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State Supreme Court suspends Albuquerque attorney

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque defense lawyer has been indefinitely suspended from practicing law over a “flagrant and intentional failure” to comply with court rules and orders, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Daniel Salazar was held in contempt by the state Supreme Court last year for failing to comply with a disciplinary order, and on Thursday the court affirmed his indefinite suspension for a period of at least 18 months.

According to a news release announcing the opinion, the court found that Salazar repeatedly failed to comply with deadlines for filing notices of appeals — in one case waiting three years to file such notice in a first-degree murder case. Court rules require filing within 30 days.

“Rules matter. An attorney must conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the rules and orders of this Court,” Justice Barbara Vigil said in the unanimous opinion.

The opinion also says that the discipline may salvage Salazar’s career by enabling him to “reform his dilatory ways and accept responsibility for the harm he has inflicted on his clients and the fair administration of justice in New Mexico.”

Salazar said Thursday evening that the disciplinary board’s recommendations were less punitive.

“The Supreme Court went out of their way…to suspend me rather than accept the recommendation of the disciplinary board,” Salazar said. “That is, I think, of note.”

He said he is considering filing a motion to reconsider.