Hon. John Paternoster


Born in Cooperstown, NY, and a lifelong baseball fan, the Judge was educated at Moses Brown School, a Quaker school in Providence, RI. Responding to the urge to “go west” he attended college at the University of New Mexico from which he graduated with a BA in history and geology in 1971. He later exchanged a promising career in a Nevada casino for a desire to learn and practice law. He graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA, in 1976 receiving a fine education from the Jesuit institution, but immediately returned to New Mexico for the bar examination. He has worked for three District Attorneys in three judicial districts and three Attorneys General. After a term as elected District Attorney, he maintained an enjoyable and fulfilling private practice in Taos at the time of his appointment to the Court by Governor Bill Richardson. He and his wife Pam make their home in Raton.


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Appointment History

Eighth Judicial District Court 06/01/11 - 07/17/15

Retired 7/17/15