District Court Judge
2nd Judicial District --
Evaluation: Judge Denise Barela-Shepherd received mixed ratings overall. Among attorneys, she was rated positively for treating pro se (self-represented) parties fairly, for being courteous to all participants, for being attentive to the proceedings, and for having a dignified demeanor. Among court staff and resource staff (e.g. law enforcement and probation officers), she received positive scores for conducting herself in a proper manner and for displaying a sense of fairness. However, Judge Barela-Shepherd received somewhat lower ratings from the attorneys for not always finding facts and interpreting the law with regard for possible public criticism and for not being thoroughly knowledgeable regarding substantive law and the rules of procedure and evidence. Judge Barela-Shepherd indicated that she will continue to strive to make improvements in these areas.
Experience & Education: Judge Barela-Shepherd was appointed as District Judge in December 2003 and elected in November 2004. Prior to her appointment as District Court Judge, she was a Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Judge from 1997 to 2003. She served as general counsel for the New Mexico Department of Health and in private practice prior to her judgeships. Judge Barela-Shepherd received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and her law degree from the University of New Mexico.