Eighth Judicial District Court of New Mexico

Speaker Bio

Melissa A. Kennelly is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Judge Kennelly was appointed district judge in April 2019 and elected to the position in 2020. Judge Kennelly presides over cases filed in the Colfax and Union county district courts, including felony criminal, civil, probate, children's court, domestic matters, administrative and magistrate court appeals, and is the district's water judge. She presides over the Raton Adult Drug Court Program, chairs the Colfax/Union County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and serves on the Tribal-State Judicial Consortium and the Supreme Court's Code of Judicial Conduct Committee.

Prior to her appointment as district judge, Judge Kennelly was the staff attorney for the Eighth Judicial District Court; clerked for judges on the New Mexico Court of Appeals and Colorado Court of Appeals; and practiced law in civil matters, including litigation and transactional work involving real estate, business, insurance, foreclosure, water rights, estate planning, and probate. Judge Kennelly graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2010, where she was co-editor-in-chief of the Natural Resources Journal. Prior to moving to New Mexico in 2004, Judge Kennelly served for six years as a police officer near Cleveland, Ohio.