My Name is Daniel Roberson and I am applying for the Division XVI Metropolitan Court judicial opening. My professional experience makes me a perfectly qualified candidate but it is my life experiences, work ethic, good-natured demeanor, and diversity that make me an excellent choice for the position.
I was born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico 37 years ago to a Mexican mother and an African American father. The rich culture and history of both my parents are a huge part of my identity and outlook in life. While it has been a blessing in many ways, I am also well aware of the problems caused by our society because of skin color. While in high school, I was detained by police for fitting the description of a “young Black man in a sedan with a hoodie”. I was just a scrawny, nerdy teenager walking back to my mom’s minivan from a 7-Eleven with my hands full of snacks. Once during a school soccer trip, another Black child and myself were singled out and were refused food service at a restaurant in Arizona. These types of encounters, though thankfully rare (for me), are part of my life experience which informed my work as a prosecutor and would do so also as a Metropolitan Court Judge.
I started my legal career with the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico. Many people think that attorneys are supposed to always go for the win. As a prosecutor, I fully understood that my job was justice and that meant gracefully accepting what some would call losses. I made sure I closely reviewed my cases and that I had strong evidence to move forward. My life experience made me conscious of possible bias which I tried to mitigate through my work. I naturally have a calm temperament and friendly demeanor and these qualities greatly increased communication with the opposing side to advance justice, to the best of my ability.
After seven years as a prosecutor, I went to work for the Bernalillo County Attorney’s Office. A large part of my job consists of facilitating communication and cooperation between different justice partners in the County. From social workers, law enforcement, jail officials, and Judges, I do my best to help because I know that better engagement and collaboration in the system impacts everyone in our community.
I am experienced, knowledgeable, and of a good temperament, all of which are valuable traits for a Judge. This is particularly important in Metropolitan Court because many new attorneys start their careers in Metro. In fact, I too benefited from these Judges when I first began my career. Judges that were professional and approachable made me feel comfortable asking for critique which ultimately helped me become a better attorney. It also helped ease the stress and anxiety of all the practitioners in the courtroom. A knowledgeable Judge, that also has a good demeanor, is a valuable resource to new attorneys and it is something I would ensure they receive.
Professionalism and a good demeanor are qualities that benefit more than just new attorneys. The Metropolitan Court sees people of all races and socio-economic classes walk in and out of its doors every day, and all of them deserve to be treated with respect. As a Judge, I know that I would serve the people of Bernalillo County fairly and professionally.
I am applying for the Division XVI Metropolitan Court judicial opening because representation matters. I can no longer complain about the lack of African American Judges in New Mexico if I, who am more than qualified, never apply. Thank you for your consideration.