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Vladimir Palamarciuc Internship with State Bar of New Mexico Report

October, 25 2013

Vladimir Palamarciuc
Internship within the State Bar of New Mexico (SBNM)
(05 October - 4 November 2013)

 

My internship takes place within the State Bar of New Mexico (SBNM). Upon my arrival to New Mexico, the first week started with an outstanding weekend spent with Richard Spinello, my supervisor and host family, attending his neighbors' party dedicated to the beginning of Balloon Fiesta (more information about Balloon Fiesta can be found on the following address http://www.balloonfiesta.com/). We also spent a great time with Richard's family, his parents Charles and Patricia and his friend Greg, having breakfast in a local restaurant and eating New Mexican food (Burrito with green chili) and attended a football game of Richard's nephew, Eric.

 

October 7 was my first working day. My supervisor, Richard Spinello, General Council of SBNM, started my orientation by describing the SBNM activity and gave me a tour of the offices and main meeting rooms of the institution. After that, I was invited to participate at the SBNM board meetings and general staff meetings. I also participated in the meeting of the SBNM's IT Department, where the issue of electronic administration of information was addressed.

 

On October 8, I participated in the SBNM Young Lawyers Division (SBNM YLD) project, Free Civil Legal Advice for VA-enrolled Veterans, where lawyers and paralegals provided veterans with advice on diverse law issues (Family Law, Consumer Rights, Bankruptcy, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosure and Employment). I monitored how the SBNM YLD and their partners organized the meetings and address the issues of legal consultation for veterans (more information about this project and SBNM YLD activities could be found at the following address http://www.nmbar.org/AboutSBNM/YLD/YLDactivities.html ). I also had the opportunity to read information on particular legal issues prepared by the SBNM YLD and talk with local lawyers about the legal issues of the New Mexico system, as well as to share my knowledge of Moldovan legislation in particular issues. In the afternoon, I attended the meeting of the SBNM Lawyers Professional Liability and Insurance Committee, where the member benefits program was discussed. Also in the afternoon, I read the Renter's Guide for New Mexico legislation.

 

On October 9, we continued the orientation session with my supervisor and discussed aspects of the SBNM's structure, functions and public responsibilities. We discussed similarities between Moldovan and US legislation. In the afternoon. I worked on reviewing a contract on renting the office space offered by SBNM.

 

On October 10 and 12 I attended classes organized by the Center for Legal Education (CLE) of the New Mexico State Bar Foundation on the topic "Business Torts: A Primer for All Litigators" presented by Joseph L. Romero, Esq. and respectively "Duties of Debtor and Debtor's Attorney in Completing Bankruptcy Schedules, statements, and Related Documents" presented by Judge David T. Thuma, U.S. Bankruptcy Court. More information about these classes and CLE can be found on following address http://www.nmbarcle.org/. In the second weekend of my internship, I had the opportunity to visit, together with my supervisor Richard Spinello, the capital of New Mexico - Santa Fe. We enjoyed visiting the oldest church from the US - San Miguel Church, as well as the Loretto Chapel and the Cathedral Basilica.

 

On October 16 I attended the meeting of the Law Practice Management Committee of the SBNM, where the issues of lawyers practice were discussed, and made arrangements for future CLE focused on attorney-client privilege. After the meeting, professor Donald Becker, the member of the committee, was so kind to invite me to assist in his classes "Law Office Management" at the University of New Mexico (UNM). During the classes, I had the opportunity to speak with professor and students about legal career and opportunities of young lawyers in New Mexico and share my experience and knowledge about legal career in Moldova.

 

The 17th October was dedicated to visiting the UNM and enjoying the classes and meetings with professors, administrative staff and students (more information about UNM could be found at the following address http://www.unm.edu ). In the morning I met with Raylene Weys, the administrative assistant to the Dean & Coordinator, Judicial Nominating Commission (Raylene and Chris Becker, Governance and Special Project Administrator of SBNM, cooperate on my visit to the UNM and helped establish a schedule abundant in activities). I met with Professor Daniel Ortega, responsible for the International Law Program and we discussed the experience of student exchange programs and the fruitfulness of international cooperation.
After that, I attended the Indian Law class presented by Professor Jeanette Wolfley. The class was dedicated in particular to the sovereignty of pueblos and examined several practical cases and the relevant federal legislation.


After the class, I had a meeting with Professor Eileen Gauna - Assoc. Dean Academics and we talked about the academic curriculum and professional opportunities that students could obtain by graduating the law school. Further, I enjoyed a tour of the Law Library with Marquita Harnett and discovered the large variety of books and electronic resources of the UNM. The next engagement was a class on Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiations, presented by professor John Feldman. For the class, there were two attorneys invited, who provided practical advice on interviewing the client and prepare him for the court hearings.


After the classes, I spent my lunchtime with David Mendes, MALSA Co-President, and spoke about the students activities and their involvement in academic life. In the afternoon, I assisted in the class Business Associations, presented by Professor Kevin Tu. After the class, I discussed with the professor about practical issues of the LLC administration and shared information and comments about the Moldovan relevant legislation. My next meeting was with Professor April Land, Assoc. Dean Clinical Program, and she explained to me the aspects of structure and functionality of the clinic and how students are involved in its activity.
Further, I had the honor to meet Judge Roderick T. Kennedy from Court of Appeals who greeted me with the Moldovan Hymn (Limba Noastra). We discussed the judicial system of the US and certain particularities of the New Mexico system. In the same time, I presented details of the Moldovan judicial system. At the end of our meeting ,Judge Kennedy was very kind to invite me to his upcoming birthday - I am excited to meet him soon again. Later, I met with the students' association president, Daniel Apodaca, and attended the YLD Mentorship BBQ. During the BBQ, I met the YLD Chair, Keya Koul, and spoke with many young lawyers about the legal profession, as well as the culture of our countries.

 

On the 18th of October, assisting Joe Conte, executive director of SBNM, I attended the Chief Justice Committee meeting, where the chiefs of all courts from New Mexico and the SBNM's representatives discussed issues of the legal profession and the administration of justice. Starting in the evening of the 18th and during the 19th of October, I attended the Symposium dedicated to the law of the indigenous people. The Symposium marks 100 years from the pronouncement of the Supreme Court Decision "United States. v. Sandoval (1913)" that addresses the issues of Pueblo Indian lands as Indian country.

 

My third week started with spending two days with Judge Henri A. Alaniz from Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. On the 20th and 21st of October, I attended the proceedings on Driving Under Influence (DWI/DUI) cases and other misdemeanors. I was impressed to discover an online procedure of examination and fast processing of cases. Also on 21st of October, for the first time, I attended court proceedings with the participation of a jury. In the afternoon, the judge introduced me to some experienced bond-specialists and provided details regarding their activity. In the evening, I attended the meeting of City Council of Albuquerque where daily issues of citizens were discussed.

 

In the morning of October 22, I organized a short presentation of SBNM's premises via Skype for the team of the Moldovan law firm Turcan Cazac that I am associated with (more information about the law firm here: www.turcanlaw.md). The presentation included a tour of the SBNM premises and a quick comparative discussion of the SBNM and the Moldovan Bar Association. In the afternoon, I volunteered for Law-La-Palooza project that provides legal services for low income people and families, organized by the SBNM Second Judiciary District Pro Bono Committee. The event involved 70 volunteering lawyers and over 210 beneficiaries.

 

On the 23rd of October, I spent another day with the UNM professors and students. I attended the Criminal Procedure and Criminal Law classes moderated by Professor Max Minzner. I also attended the class "Contracts presented by Professor Jenny Moore and Wills and Trust presented by Professor Sergio Pareja. After classes, I had the opportunity to discuss with professors the issues of the New Mexican relevant legislation and provided comments with reference to relevant Moldovan legal provisions. Also I enjoyed the lunchtime spent with Professors Petter Winograd and Sherri Burr - we talked about law schools and legal education in New Mexico and Republic of Moldova.

 

On October 24 and 25, I attended the web-transmission CLE on "Screening and Working with Older Clients with Diminished Capacity: Practical Tools and Strategies" and respectively "Fourth Annual Fall Elder Law Institute". During the weekend, I had a great time with Richard and his family. On Saturday, we attended one class at Art Gallery for Painting from Albuquerque. On Sunday, we enjoyed the visit to Taos Pueblo - one of the oldest pueblos in New Mexico with a wonderful preservation of Indian house design and architecture.

 

(05 October – 4 November 2013)
My fourth week started with an interview with D. D. Wolohan, Program Manager of Communications and Member Services. The interview was published in the weekly Bar Bulletin from November (also found on page 9 of the electronic Bar Bulletin: http://www.nmbar.org/Attorneys/lawpubs/BB/bb2013/BB110613.pdf). In the afternoon, I attended the meeting of the management team of the SBNM where the issue of administrative and financial planning was discussed.


On October 29, I spent a day at the New Mexico Supreme Court where retired Supreme Court Justice Patricio M. Serna gave me a special tour of the Court’s facilities and its rich history. During the visit I met three of the current sitting justices and spoke with them on topics of the judicial system in Moldova and the process for becoming a judge in my country. In the evening I participated at the YLD Speed Networking project and had the opportunity to converse with young lawyers and law school students on various topics related to the legal systems of our countries, as well as to legal education.


On October 30, I spent the day with attorney Dennis E. Jontz, Partner at the Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP (http://www.lrrlaw.com/). He introduced me to his firm’s lawyers and staff and we spoke about their judicial experience and the cases that they handle. I also attended the lunch meeting with one of the firm’s clients. In addition, I talked with Partner Jason C. Bousliman about insolvency procedure and the differences between the legislations of our countries. On 1 November, I attended a full-day CLE, organized by SBNM, on the Business Law Institute.


On the 4th of November, I had a final meeting with the management and general staff of the SBNM where I presented a short report on my internship with the SBNM. I related my impressions and appreciation of the commendable standing of the SBNM. I expressed my appreciation for the professionalism of the staff and my sense of duty to further cooperate and instill the lessons learned at the SBNM in Moldova.

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