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Membership & Appointments
Tribal Court Members
Judge Randolph M. Collins, Co- chair
Chief Judge, Acoma Tribal Court
Randolph M. Collins serves as Chief Judge for the Pueblo of Acoma. Prior to his appointment at Acoma, Judge Collins served in New Mexico as Deputy District Attorney and County Attorney for Cibola County. Judge Collins has also worked as an attorney in private practice with Washington, DC, and Maryland law firms such as Jones, Day, Reaves and Pogue, and Semmes, Bowen, and Semmes. Judge Collins also served in senior policy positions for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and the Governors of Maryland and Virginia as well as serving a policy director for the gubernatorial
campaigns in Virginia for Lt. Governor and now Congressman, Don Beyer, and Governor and now U.S. Senator Mark Warner.
After college, Judge Collins taught high school mathematics and continues teaching as an adjunct philosophy professor at NMSU Grants. He earned a BA and JD (with honors) from Georgetown University and an MA from the University of Chicago. After law school Judge Collins was a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Edward S. Northrop, in federal district court in Maryland. He has been President of the Cibola County Bar Association and President of the Cibola County Chamber of Commerce, and he regularly serves as a judge for the New Mexico state Science Fair and as President of the Cibola Arts Council.
Judge Peggy Bird
Chief Judge, Nambe Pueblo Tribal Court
Judge Donald Gallegos
Tribal Judge, Toas Pueblo Tribal Court
Judge William Johnson
Associate Judge, Acoma Pueblo Tribal Court; Judge Pro Tem, Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Court; Judge, Taos Pueblo Tribal Court
Judge William Bluehouse Johnson sits as judge at the Pueblo of Acoma and is a member of the Pueblo of Isleta with roots in Navajo, Laguna, and Hopi. He holds a J.D. from the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law and is licensed to practice law with the Federal bar, 10th Circuit. His prior experience includes working as a facilitator for domestic violence education classes at the Pueblo of Jemez, three years as staff attorney with Indian Pueblo Legal Services, prosecutor with the Pueblo of Zuni and the Yavapai-Apache Nation, and as Associate Judge with the Pueblos of Isleta, Laguna, Acoma, Santa Ana and Cochiti.
Judge Johnson has also worked with two private law firms owned by Native women, as a law school tutor with the Pre-Law Summer Institute at UNM, and with the Southwest Title Plant / BIA. He has been associated with the New Mexico Supreme Court Judicial Education and Training Advisory Committee, the New Mexico State Bar Indian Law Section, the New Mexico Indian Bar Association, the Southwest Indian Court of Appeals, the Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Coordinating Council, and the New Mexico Children’s Justice Act Advisory Group.
Judge Tammi Lambert
Contemporary Court Judge, Pueblo of Santa Ana
Judge Lambert is an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico. Her clan is Ollero, the White Clan. Her commitment is to create a world that is powerfully conscious and transforming itself in every area of life, which includes government, courts, the private sector, and any area where there is a potential for making a positive difference.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico in 1996. In 1999, she earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law with a focus on Federal Indian Law. In 2022, she received her Master’s Degree in Consciousness Studies from the Holmes Institute and is a minister licensed by the Centers for Spiritual Living.
Judge Lambert has been a licensed attorney in New Mexico for 23 years. She is currently the chief presiding judge for the Pueblo of Santa Ana and accepts work as a Pro Temp judge in other tribal jurisdictions. She has directed a statewide office and was a policy advisor to the New Mexico governor on public safety, victim rights, and Indian Law issues. She provided leadership and facilitated community collaboration for policy and code development for several tribal governments in areas such as public safety, child welfare, domestic relations, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, and health and welfare issues. Judge Lambert has been on numerous boards, both civic and spiritual. She has recently been a faculty member of the National Judicial College located at the University of Reno.
In 2018, she created a Healing to Wellness Court at the Pueblo of Santa Ana. This treatment court is designed to address substance abuse issues before the Court from a holistic standpoint, blending western, cultural, and mindfulness practices to address sobriety. In October 2019, she received the New Mexico Community Champion Award from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving for this work.
Judge Kim McGinnis
Chief Judge, Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Court
Judge Mekko Miller
Chief Judge, Pueblo de San Ildefonso Tribal Court
Judge Miller currently serves as the Chief Judge for the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. Prior to being appointed to the bench, he served in a variety of leadership and legal representative roles in service to tribal governments, tribal businesses, and individual tribal citizens. He has served as general counsel for the Pueblo of Tesuque, as President and CEO of the Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation, and in other leadership roles in Indian Country as either an attorney, lobbyist, or consultant, or in a leadership role for an organization. As general counsel for the Pueblo of Tesuque, Judge Miller assisted the tribe in numerous legal matters, including the creation of tribal agencies and programs, state-tribal gaming compact negotiations and the Tribe’s cultural properties claims against the City of Santa Fe during construction of the city’s convention center. He has also had the privilege to work as an attorney for the New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc. (NMLA), a non-profit legal services law firm dedicated to representing indigent families and individuals in the state of New Mexico. As an attorney for NMLA, Judge Miller worked in the firm’s Native American Program and practiced in numerous tribal courts and in state court representing Native American individuals and families in matters involving Federal Indian Law, child welfare, public benefits, consumer protection, civil rights claims, and criminal defense. As a result of his rewarding tenure at NMLA, Judge Miller decided to make a conscience effort to devote a large portion of his professional time to aiding indigent children and families in need of assistance in the state of New Mexico. As part of that commitment, Judge Miller was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for NMLA by the state Bar of New Mexico shortly after returning to New Mexico in 2014, after a few years living and working in the District of Columbia and South Dakota, exploring other professional opportunities. In recognition for his efforts to reduce and study the impact of Native American defendants’ terms of incarceration in the Federal Court system compared to other groups, Judge Miller was appointed to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Tribal Issues Advisory Group (TIAG).
Judge Miller is a proud enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Tesuque in beautiful northern New Mexico, with shared ancestry in the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree with a B.A. in Political Science from New Mexico State University in 1999 and his J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2003. He is a licensed attorney in New Mexico and in several tribal court jurisdictions throughout the United States. Judge Miller resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife, daughter, and his neighbor’s numerous cats.
State Court Members
Judge Rene Torres, Co-Chair
Metropolitan Court Judge, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court
Judge Torres is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta, where she was raised. She has been a Judge on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court since 2017. Her previous experience includes nine years with the NM Public Defender, two years as Associate Judge at the Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Court, and a year and a half as Chief Judge at the Pueblo of Zia Tribal Court. Judge Torres graduated from New Mexico State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and graduated from the UNM School of Law in May 2003, completing her Juris Doctorate degree and the Indian Law Certificate. She attended the American Indian Law Center’s Pre-law Summer Institute (PLSI) in the summer of 2000 and received the Advocacy Award for her writing and advocacy skills. She has been a member of the New Mexico Bar
Association since 2004.
Judge Torres has judged the American Indian Law Center’s Pre-Law Summer Institute Moot Court competition, taken numerous courses at the National Judicial College (NJC) in Reno, Nevada, for both State and Tribal judicial education, and she has also co-instructed a course at the NJC. She has been an active member of the New Mexico Tribal-State Judicial Consortium since April 2013 and was appointed by the Supreme Court to serve as the Co-chair in 2019. In addition to her regular criminal case docket, Judge Torres has presided over the Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court (HTW) at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court since 2017. She is also an active member of the NM Partners, an association comprised of private and state agencies that collaborate to improve the lives of families and children in the State of New Mexico.
Judge Catherine Begaye
District Court Judge, Second Judicial District Court
Judge Catherine Begaye, a member of the Navajo Nation, is New Mexico’s only Native American District Court judge. Judge Begaye is a graduate of UNM Law School, where she was the Editor in Chief of the New Mexico Law Review and a Dean’s Award recipient for being a student who made outstanding contributions to the law school community.
She worked as a Public Defender representing juveniles and adults in District and Appellate courts. When she went into private practice in 2013, she found her calling in her work with
Native families in the abuse and neglect arena.
She is the Chair of the Children’s Court Rules Committee.
Judge Jason Lidyard
District Court Judge, First Judicial District Court
Judge Lidyard is a state district judge in the First Judicial District of New Mexico. The First Judicial District consists of a three counties: Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba. Located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the First Judicial District are nine sovereign tribal nations: Kewa (Santo Domingo), Cochiti, Tesuque, Pojoaque, Nambe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Ohkay Owingeh, and Jicarilla Apache. In 2019, Judge Lidyard was appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court as a voting member of the Tribal-State Judicial Consortium.
Judge Alexandra C. Naranjo
Court: Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court
Judge William E. Parnall
District Court Judge, Second Judicial District Court
Judge Parnall was born and raised in the South Valley in Albuquerque and attended Atrisco Elementary school as a child. He earned his BA degree from UNM, attended UNM School of Law and became a member of the New Mexico State Bar in 1979. He was a Public Defender until 1986 when he went into private practice. While in law school, along with dear friends, he started the locally famous country/western and rock and roll band called Lawyers, Guns, and Money, playing rhythm guitar and harmonica at various local venues from the late seventies to the early nineties. He still plays harmonica with the band Incredible Woodpeckers. Judge Parnall practiced law for 30 years before becoming a judge and represented clients in personal injury, criminal defense and juvenile law cases. He was appointed District Court Judge in 2007. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Judge Amanda Sanchez Villalobos
District Court Judge, Thirteenth Judicial District Court
Judge Villalobos graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico in 2002, with a degree in Criminology and Political Science. She graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2005, where she was a member of the New Mexico Law Review. After law school, Judge Villalobos clerked for Justice Pamela Minzner of the New Mexico Supreme Court for one year before entering private practice. After five years in private practice, she worked as Assistant District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Grants, and then as staff attorney for New Mexico Court of Appeals Prehearing Division in Albuquerque. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed her to the bench in 2019 and since that time she has served as District Court Judge in the 13th Judicial District Court, in Cibola County. As the sole district court judge in Cibola County, she has a general jurisdiction docket and presides over all types of cases.
Judge Frank A. Sedillo
Metropolitan Court Judge, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court
Judge Sedillo attended Albuquerque High School and the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management, where he obtained his BBA in 1982. A multi-sport athlete in high school, he was an honor student at the University of New Mexico and played college football and baseball for the Lobos, earning academic all-conference honors in football for three consecutive seasons. Judge Sedillo earned his JD from the UNM School of Law in 1987. After law school, he worked in private practice and in the University Counsel’s Office at UNM, before his appointment to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in 2000. He has been Presiding Civil Judge in that Court since 2015.
Besides the Tribal State Judicial Consortium, Judge Sedillo has served in various roles for numerous other committees and commissions, and he is currently a member of the NM Mexico State Bar Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession, the NM Supreme Court Data Standards Committee, and the NM State Bar Legal Services & Programs Committee, which he co-chairs. He is a former president and current member of the American Inn of Court, and he serves as a guest lecturer at the UNM School of Law.
Beyond the legal profession, Judge Sedillo is active in the UNM Alumni Letterman Association, and he has been active as a coach, official, and volunteer for numerous youth sports teams, as well as an instructor and volunteer for area high school programs and youth summer camps.
Supreme Court Liaison to TSJC - Justice Briana Zamora
Associate Justice, New Mexico Supreme Court
Justice Briana Zamora was appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court in July 2021. She began her judicial career when she was appointed to the Metropolitan Court bench in December 2008. She was then elected to the Bernalillo County District Court in 2012. As a trial court judge, she spent a decade presiding almost exclusively over adult criminal cases. In addition to her day-to-day docket, she presided in various specialty courts, including, Homeless Court, Courts to School, Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court and the medically assisted treatment track of drug court. Justice Zamora was also elected to the Court of Appeals where she authored opinions in all areas of the law.
Justice Zamora was born and raised in New Mexico. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University and received her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.