Culbert seeks Division 2 bench

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Democratic candidate has more than 30 years experience as a lawyer

By Carol A. Clark

Citing a desire to bring his long and varied experience as an attorney to the bench, Democrat Peter Culbert is running for District Court Judge in First Judicial District Division 2.

“I have been in New Mexico for 40 years and an attorney for more than 30 years doing actual litigation in the district court in Santa Fe,” he said. “I’ve raised five sons in the local schools and put them through college and through that I’ve gained a good understanding of the issues facing the community. That is an important perspective to bring into the courtroom and helpful to a judge.”

Culbert’s three older sons graduated from Cornell, Stanford and St. Johns College in Santa Fe and his two younger sons are currently attending New Mexico State University and the College of Santa Fe.

Culbert’s professional emphasis includes general civil litigation, insurance law, personal injury litigation and medical malpractice. He also has extensive litigation and trial experience on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Culbert’s trial work includes bench trials, jury trials and administrative law hearings and trials.

He has prosecuted a variety of appeals, many of which have resulted in the establishment of new law in New Mexico such as Hovet and Reynoso v. Allstate involving the right of a third party to bring a claim against an insurer if they unreasonably refuse to settle a claim.

Culbert, 65, earned his bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, a master’s degree from the State University of New York and his law degree from the University of New Mexico.

Culbert served as the processing editor for the New Mexico Law Review from 1976-1977.

“I’ve got a good education, which helps with understanding the technical issues often surrounding large corporate cases,” he said.

Culbert is not a political person nor motivated by any particular political connections, he said, adding rather that his motivation is helping people.

“Having done litigation in the courts throughout the state including Los Alamos and having observed a lot of different judges and a lot of different attorneys, I think gives me an important perspective for understanding all parties involved,” Culbert said. “Ninety-five percent of cases end up settling and it’s too bad they wait until the last day and waste everybody’s time and resources. My focus will be to move cases along and I’ve learned how to do that in my years in the courtroom.”

Culbert served as a law clerk to Hon. Mack Easley of the Supreme Court of New Mexico from 1977-1978. He is a member of the First Judicial District and American Bar Associations, the State Bar of New Mexico and the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association. He also is listed as a Distinguished Attorney in the Martindale-Hubbell Directory, which is based on  reviews by fellow attorneys.   

Culbert was a senior partner in Jones, Snead, Wertheim, Wentworth & Jaramillo law firm in Santa Fe from 1978-1998. He went into private practice in Santa Fe in 1998 where he presently remains.