New Mexico trucking attorney nominated for seat on federal bench

 A New Mexico attorney who specializes in trucking issues has been nominated to the federal district court for that state by President Trump.

Brenda Saiz is an attorney with the Rodey law firm of Albuquerque. The firm’s website lists her as a director in that office and the leader of Rodey’s Products and General Liability Practice Group, which the firm’s website describes as focused on medical malpractice and trucking.

Another part of the firm’s site shows five attorneys under its Trucking Practice. Saiz, while not the head of that group, is one of the lawyers shown.

“She is a good lawyer and will be a good judge,” Rob Moseley of the trucking-focused law firm of Moseley Marcinak said about Saiz in an email to FreightWaves. “She is a very well-respected member of the transportation law community. She has had a role in some of the most notable cases in New Mexico.”

Moseley added that New Mexico is a notably tough state for verdicts from the perspective of trucking companies. 

Mike Gallagher, an investigative reporter for the Albuquerque Journal, who covers the court system in the state, said that within the legal community, Saiz’s reputation is that she is “very smart and professional.”

An email to Saiz from FreightWaves for comment had not been responded to at publication time.

While appointments to the federal district court bench can pull in lawyers of all backgrounds, trucking litigation attorneys would probably be one of the less likely avenues for that lifetime appointment.

Saiz was nominated along with Fred Joseph Federici III to serve as judges on the U.S. District Court for New Mexico. Federici is an assistant U.S. Attorney. 

Several news reports indicated that the federal courts in New Mexico have been suffering under a shortfall of judges for several months. 

Saiz has New Mexico deep in her background. She received her B.A. and law degree from the University of New Mexico, where she was an editor of the New Mexico Law Review. She also is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

While the political affiliations of Saiz and Federici were not disclosed, most federal court nominees are the same party as the one controlling the White House. Federici has come close to a significant promotion before; the Law & Crime website reported that he had been favored to become U.S. Attorney for New Mexico several years ago before losing out. 

According to the website: “Politically, Saiz is effectively a blank canvass.” But Law & Crime also notes that Saiz is rated a “Super Lawyer” by the website of that name. What that means, according to the website, is that Saiz “has been consistently one of the top-rated attorneys in the Land of Enchantment for several stretches of years at a time.”

The Albuquerque Journal quoted a joint statement by the state’s two Democratic U.S. Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, as supporting the nominations. “We reviewed a number of high-quality applicants, and found both Fred Federici and Brenda Saiz to be experienced attorneys who came recommended by fellow New Mexicans,” they said in the statement. “We believe they are well qualified district court judicial nominees.” 

They added, however, that “we recognize we are still at the start of the confirmation process.”