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NM lawyer nominated to 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both New Mexico Democrats, and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.,  submitted a list of five candidates to the White House, including Joel M. Carson III, for the 10th Circuit Court appointment. The White House came up with the list of names without delegation input.

WASHINGTON – The White House said late Wednesday that President Donald Trump will nominate Joel M. Carson III of Carlsbad to replace retiring Judge Paul Kelly Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Joel M. Carson III

Carson, who once served as a law clerk on the Denver-based 10th Circuit court, is currently a principal at Carson Ryan LLC, a Carlsbad-based law firm specializing in oil and gas law, regulatory issues, litigation and appellate cases.

According to his firm’s website, Carson earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at Texas Tech University and his law degree at the University of New Mexico.

“As a former partner of one of New Mexico’s most established energy law firms and general counsel to one of New Mexico’s largest producers of oil and gas, Mr. Carson brings a broad perspective to the practice of law,” his law firm biography says. “In those roles, he participated in projects or cases covering the spectrum of issues faced by the energy industry and experienced firsthand the problems and issues faced daily by employers and employees.”

Carson was one of five names under consideration for the 10th Circuit Court vacancy.

The 10th Circuit hears appeals from New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of Montana and Idaho. In addition to Kelly, Judge Harris Hartz of Albuquerque sits on the court now, as does senior Judge Bobby Baldock of Roswell.

“I am confident that Joel will serve in this highly respected position with honor and integrity,” Pearce said Wednesday. “I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly work to confirm Joel.”