LOPD’s Kim Chavez Cook named for prestigious New Mexico legal distinction

Agency Press Release

Driscoll Award goes to Appellate Defender

The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association has selected Kim Chavez Cook for the esteemed 2022 Charles Driscoll Award. The Driscoll Award is given annually to a person who has fought diligently and creatively for his or her clients, and has also made an important contribution to improve criminal defense in New Mexico.

Chavez Cook, the chief Appellate Attorney for the state’s Law Offices of the Public Defender, was selected by the 30 prior recipients of the Driscoll Award.

As the top appellate lawyer for LOPD, Chavez Cook has prevailed on many significant legal rulings. She has also served on the Sentencing Commission and Supreme Court Rules committees. She lobbies on justice issues at the Legislature, serving both the LOPD and NMCDLA.

NMCDLA president Angelica Hall praised the selection, saying that Chavez Cook “is an incredible force before the courts and at the Roundhouse, tirelessly working to promote good laws that protect New Mexicans and to halt bad laws that are ill-advised.”

Marc Lowry, 2020 Driscoll Award recipient, said he marveled at Chavez Cook’s skills as she argued for inmates seeking relief from the Supreme Court for COVID conditions and fielded
questions from the justices. “It was an awesome piece of appellate advocacy. It was exceedingly inspirational.”

Chavez Cook said she deeply values “the mentorship, support, opportunities and encouragement I have received from other attorneys in this community.”