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Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

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Judge Victor E. Valdez retires after 18 years on the Metropolitan Court Bench

After serving nearly two decades on the Metropolitan Court bench, Judge Victor E. Valdez retired May 31, 2022.  

“Serving this community for the past 18 years has been an honor, and while it’s bittersweet to leave the place that’s become a second home, I’m ready to start this next chapter of my life,” said Judge Valdez, a proud husband and father of three.

Judge Valdez was appointed to the Criminal Division of the Metropolitan Court in March of 2004 by former Governor Bill Richardson. He served as Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division from 2005 to 2011, alongside then Chief Judge Judith K. Nakamura.

Judge Valdez served on numerous committees over the years, most notably as a member and chair of the Statewide and Metropolitan Court Rules of Criminal Procedure Committees, as treasurer of the District-Metro Court Judges’ Association, and as the court’s Security Committee Chair. He was also a member and former president of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association.

Dedicated to the youth of his community, Judge Valdez presided over the Courts to School program for nine years – a program in which the court takes the courtroom experience to local high schools and colleges and holds actual hearings in front of large student audiences as part of its education and prevention outreach efforts. Judge Valdez also presided over Competency Court for a number of years.

“Judge Valdez’s mark on this community will be felt for years to come,” said Chief Judge Maria I. Dominguez. “Going out into the schools to educate on the judicial system and engaging in conversation with students was one of his many passions. Not to mention, the countless young attorneys whom Judge Valdez mentored over the years and molded into the outstanding legal professionals they are today.”

Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Valdez practiced law for 15 years specializing in civil rights.

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Judge Valdez received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of New Mexico in 1989.

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Criminal Court Nominating Commission convened last week and recommended four candidates to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to fill the vacancy created by Judge Valdez’s retirement.