Changes Afoot in 41st Year at New Mexico Law Review

Changes are afoot at the New Mexico Law Review. In its 41st year, the journal’s focus has been redirected to issues impacting the State of New Mexico, and publication is now twice a year.

By eliminating the third issue, which contained student-authored articles, those articles are now spread among the first and second issues, alongside professional articles. This combination provides readers with well-researched, well-written and well-analyzed articles predominantly focused on issues affecting New Mexico.

Kicking off Vol. 41, Issue 1 is Randi Mandelbaum’s Delicate Balances: Assessing the Needs and Rights of Siblings in Foster Care to Maintain Their Relationships Post-Adoption, which analyzes an important issue that can have great impact on children who have been adopted or are in foster care: maintaining their sibling relationships.

Mandelbaum begins by discussing federal and state statutes covering post-adoption sibling contact, as well as how courts have addressed the issue of post-adoption sibling contact. The article then turns to social science research to demonstrate the importance of the sibling relationship. It concludes by providing plausible solutions to the issues surrounding post-adoption sibling contact while recognizing the hurdles associated with such recommendations.

Two subsequent articles in this issue involve more practical implications, particularly for litigators. In Jeff Fisher’s Lowering Standards: The Simultaneous-School-Bombing-and-Shooting-Threat Exception of Armijo ex. rel. Armijo Sanchez v. Peterson, the author delves into Fourth Amendment territory. Specifically, the article looks at the implications of a 10th Circuit decision that, for the first time, authorized officers to use the emergency-aid exception in the criminal context.

Federal Rule of Evidence 502 is explored in an aptly named article by Ann M. Murphy, Federal Rule of Evidence 502: The “Get Out of Jail Free” Provisions—Or Is It? This rule greatly assists attorneys, particularly those engaged in civil litigation, due to the expansive amounts of electronically stored information maintained by individuals, business and firms alike. However, as evidenced by Murphy’s take on the federal rule and recent district court opinions involving it, Rule 502 can serve as a godsend to attorneys while at the same time becoming their worst nightmare due to the possible inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents.

Dorothy E. Hill delves into a sensitive immigration-related topic: guest worker programs. In Guest Worker Programs Are No Fix for Our Broken Immigration System: Evidence from the Northern Mariana Islands, Hill explores H-2 visas, particularly the issues of abuse associated with guest workers.

Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne, discusses the problem of violence against women in Tangled
Up in Knots: How Continued Federal Jurisdiction Over Sexual Predators on Indian Reservations Hobbles Effective Law Enforcement to the Detriment of Indian Women. Painter-Thorne explores this sensitive issue from the paradigm of sexual violence against women on reservations and in the Native American community. This is a particularly important topic for New Mexico given its close ties to Indian sovereign nations.

Concluding the issue is a student article written by Co-Editor-in-Chief D’Ontae D. Sylvertooth (`11). In Untangling Ricci v. DeStefano: The Wards Cove of the Twenty-First Century, Sylvertooth tackles a complicated employment law case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court that impacts the way a disparate impact case is proven by plaintiffs. Most pointedly, he addresses the Supreme Court’s importation of the strong basis in evidence standard from the equal protection context into the employment law context.

Complete articles can be read on the law review’s website.

December 15, 2011