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Federal appeals court could have two Roswell residents


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Pending approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee, two Roswell residents could be sitting judges on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Honorable Judge Bobby Baldock was nominated to the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. His office is located in the federal building in Roswell and he travels to Denver whenever the appeals court convenes.


On Wednesday, President Donald Trump nominated Roswell attorney Joel Carson III to replace retiring Judge Paul Kelly Jr. of Santa Fe.

Along with his private practice, Carson works part-time as a federal magistrate judge at the federal courthouse in Roswell.

Carson was out of town and could not be reached for comment, but Baldock, his longtime friend, spoke highly of Carson when contacted by the Daily Record.

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“I have known him for many, many years,” Baldock said. “He is a man of complete integrity and a man who follows the law. Period. He knows and understands the difference between the judiciary and the Legislature.”

Baldock said as a part-time judge, Carson deals mostly with criminal matters.

He conducts initial appearance hearings, which are something like a arraignments. The cases then move to the federal courts in either Las Cruces or Albuquerque, Baldock said.

Carson will soon attend hearings held by the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C., which Baldock said is a very grueling process.

After earning a degree from Texas Tech University, Carson continued his education at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He then served as a law clerk in the 10th Circuit.

He also worked as general counsel for one of the state’s largest oil and gas producers.

Carson has served on legal committees for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico.

His father, Joel Carson Sr., is a practicing attorney in Artesia.