Charles W. Daniels
PHOENIX -- New Mexico Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson bypassed a Court of Appeals judge and two on District benches to appoint an Albuquerque attorney to the state Supreme Court. Richardson yesterday named a senior partner with Albuquerque law firm Freedman Boyd Daniels, Charles W. Daniels, to replace Justice Pamela B. Minzner, who died in August. Daniels was one of three Albuquerque-based lawyers who made Richardson's final-seven shortlist for the appointment, LNL reported late last month. Freedman Boyd Daniels' website lists personal injury, wrongful death, "business litigation" and "class actions" among its practice areas. Daniels has been a senior partner for more than 30 years. "I chose Charles Daniels for the Supreme Court given his keen intellect, outstanding reputation and unwavering commitment to uphold the rule of law," Richardson stated in yesterday's announcement. Others on the shortlist included Court of Appeals Judge Michael E. Vigil, Third District Presiding Judge Robert E. Robles and Second District Judge Linda M. Vanzi. State Department of General Services Secretary Arturo L. Jaramillo also made the final seven. Apart from Daniels, Richardson also considered Albuquerque attorneys Edward L. Ricco and Maureen A. Sanders for the post, which lasts until the 2008 general election. Five of the original 15 applicants for Minzner's SC spot were Albuquerque lawyers, LNL first reported in mid-September. Three others were based in Santa Fe, the report added.