Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday filled two vacancies in the 13th Judicial District in Sandoval County.

​Christopher G. Perez will fill the Division VII vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John F. Davis; and James Andrew Noel will fill the Division V vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Louis P. McDonald.

Christopher Perez has 23 years of experience as a private attorney in Bernalillo, his hometown. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil and criminal matters across multiple jurisdictions. He is the son of former 13th Judicial District Judge George Perez, and a 1996 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law.

James Noel is a former cabinet secretary for the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department under Gov. Bill Richardson, and served as executive director of the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission from 2004-2009. Noel has been the Court Executive Officer and Court Clerk in the Second Judicial District since 2015.

Before that, he served as assistant attorney general and general counsel for the Office of the State Auditor. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, and was admitted to the New Mexico bar the same year. He has lived in Corrales since 2001.

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