Alumni & Friends

Law Stars

Justice Patricio Serna, JD'70

Thompson G. Marsh Award - 2009

Room & board at college: a cot in the boiler room with four other boys

Believes: Justice delayed is no justice

The Nations only: Hispanic Chief Justice (2001-2002)

Raised in: three-room log house built by his father and assisted by seven year old Patricio & his seven siblings

Despite having graduated at the top of his high school class he: expected that he would work at the local saw mill. The local priest saw his potential and made arrangements for him to enroll in classes at the College of St. Joseph’s the following fall.

Began a lifelong friendship with Dean Emeritus Robert Yegge when: Serna was accepted into the inaugural year of the CLEO program supported by the Ford Foundation – a preparatory program for Hispanic students founded by Yegge. Yegge would later attend Justice Serna’s swearing in to the NM Supreme Court.

Hidden Talent: winemaker with wife, Eloise

Favorite thing to order at The Shed (Mexican food restaurant in Santa Fe, NM): #4 cheese enchilada with egg over easy on top

When he was drafted into the Army & needed to report to basic training: he hitched a ride to the bus station on a mail truck and helped the postman deliver mail along the way

Children: John (1968), Elena (1982) and Anna (1984)

Most famous cases heard: Georgia O’Keeffe multimillion-dollar contested estate, and a 1989 case in which a jury acquitted Charles "Cheater" Bella, a helicopter pilot who flew three escaping prisoners out of the Penitentiary of New Mexico. F. Lee Bailey represented Bella.

Miles driven on the campaign trail: 60,000 miles in his 1992 Buick

Aims to: make the legal system more accessible and improve public understanding of the courts

Hands shaken, babies kissed, candy tossed, lives affected: (lost count)