Final Recommendation

John M. Paternoster
The Honorable

John M. Paternoster

District Court Judge
8th Judicial District --
Colfax, Taos, and Union Counties

Year: 2008

Recommendation: Retain

Election Results: Retained

Evaluation: Judge John Paternoster received positive ratings from the court staff and resource staff (e.g. law enforcement officers, probation officers, etc.), and somewhat mixed ratings from attorneys. For example, attorneys rated Judge Paternoster well for being punctual in commencing proceedings, being attentive to the proceedings, and for maintaining proper control over the proceedings. Court staff rated Judge Paternoster highly for respecting all court employees and for conducting himself in a manner free from impropriety. The resource staff rated him well for maintaining proper control over the proceedings and for having a dignified demeanor. However, attorneys rated the judge somewhat lower when it comes to his ability to quickly and decisively rule on procedural and substantive matters, and for not always ruling on motions or cases in a timely manner. Judge Paternoster has expressed the desire to improve in these areas.

Experience & Education: Judge John Paternoster was appointed to the District Court in April of 2006 and was elected in November of 2006. He presides over civil and criminal cases. Prior to his appointment as a judge, he served as assistant attorney general, deputy district attorney, elected district attorney, municipal judge, and also spent some time in private practice. Judge Paternoster received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico and his law degree from Gonzaga School of Law.


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