Merri Rudd

photo of Merri RuddAuthor of Life Planning in New Mexico

(Photo by Kim Jew)

Merri Rudd served as the Probate Judge for Bernalillo County, New Mexico from 2001 through 2010 and owns Abogada Press. Rudd received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and has been an attorney since 1986 when she graduated from UNM’s School of Law. After clerking for the Honorable William W. Bivins on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, Rudd focused her practice on elder law, addressing the needs of Albuquerque’s senior citizens. She worked at the Senior Citizens Law Office (SCLO), which provides selected free legal services to Bernalillo County seniors over 60.

Rudd spent three years compiling and editing the New Mexico Senior Citizens Handbook, published by the State Bar of New Mexico in 1989. In September 1989 she received the state bar’s Outstanding Contribution award for her work on the Handbook. In 1990 the state bar published the Elder Law Manual, a training manual for attorneys who work with senior citizens. Rudd co-authored the Elder Law Manual with Ellen Leitzer and Patricia McEnearney Stelzner, attorneys and co-directors of SCLO.

In 1993 Rudd, along with attorney Tom Smidt, drafted and advocated the successful passage of a law that ensures an individual’s right to choose cremation.

Rudd closed her private law practice in 1997 and went on "inactive" status with the State Bar in 2013, but contributes to the elder law field in an academic capacity. Ms. Rudd taught wills, trusts and probate to TVI paralegal students and has served as an adjunct professor at the UNM Law School. In 2000 Rudd and Patrica Elliott, a retired CPA, presented a 5-part series on estate planning created by KNME-TV, the local PBS station for New Mexico. The series aired statewide.

Rudd wrote a bi-weekly column "Ask the Probate Judge" for the Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook for eight years, which helped many with their estate plans. She also wrote a legal column for Prime Time newspaper, which received the State Bar’s 1998 Silver Gavel Award and the 1999 North American Mature Publishers Association’s Best Entry in Editorial Category award. In 1998 Merri also received a YWCA Women on the Move Award for her many years of community service to the legal profession and is included in the national edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

In her spare time Rudd enjoys raising native wildflowers, hiking, swimming, contra dancing, bird watching, and ushering for AMP Concerts.

Shannon Broderick Bulman

Shannon Bulman photo - smallContributing Author of Life Planning in New Mexico (2013 5th edition)

Shannon Broderick Bulman has lived and worked in Santa Fe since graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1989. After clerking for the Honorable William W. Bivins on the New Mexico Court of Appeals and serving as Assistant General Counsel for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and the New Mexico Human Services Department, Bulman entered private practice in 1993 as an associate attorney at Sylvia F. LaMar & Associates. In 1996 Bulman started her own law practice. In 2014 Bulman was elected to serve a four-year term as Santa Fe County’s probate judge.

Bulman has considerable experience representing elders and their families in Medicaid and benefits planning, estate planning, trust administration, probates, and guardianships and conservatorships. Part of her practice is also devoted to representing people in the adoption process.

Bulman is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the New Mexico Chapter of NAELA; and has served on the Board of Directors for the Estate Planning Council of Santa Fe, the New Mexico Guardianship Association and the State Bar’s Elder Law Section.

She enjoys speaking to professional and community groups about estate planning and elder law issues. Bulman has been awarded an AV rating, the highest possible rating in legal and ethical standards, by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process.

Shannon is most proud of her family, including her supportive husband Chris and her two children, Colin and Jessa. She treasures traveling and camping adventures with them.

Barbara L. Shapiro

photo of BLSCo-Author of Family Law in New Mexico

(Photo by Merri Rudd)

Barbara L. Shapiro practiced family law in Albuquerque as a specialist certified by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization before retiring to pursue a new career in art and spend time actively gardening. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and listed in the New Mexico family law section of Best Lawyers in America from 1987 until her retirement in 2000. She graduated from UNM Law School in 1978 and taught several classes there as an adjunct professor, including Advanced Family Law.

Ms. Shapiro was a former Chair of the New Mexico State Bar’s Family Law Section. For many years, she acted as a draftsperson and lobbyist in support of numerous pieces of family law legislation that have now become New Mexico law. She was a member of the 1994 Child Support Guidelines Review Commission, drafted the 1985 New Mexico Domestic Relations Manual, and was on the Board of Editors of the AAML Journal and Matrimonial Strategist. She was a trained mediator, arbitrator, and settlement facilitator and devoted a substantial amount of time to writing and speaking about family law issues to professionals and to the general public. She assisted with this second edition even though she is no longer actively practicing law. Barbara has been married for more than 40 years and has one grown son.

Antoinette Sedillo López

photo of BLSCo-Author of Family Law in New Mexico

(Photo by Victor López)

Antoinette Sedillo López is executive director of Enlace Comunitario, a non-profit community-based organization that provides direct services to Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence and advocates for the rights of Latino immigrants and their children. She is a former professor of law at the University of New Mexico. She received her law degree from UCLA and her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico. She specializes in Family Law, Professional Responsibility and Clinical Legal Education. She currently serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. Through her clinical teaching, she has worked with students to represent hundreds of clients in family law matters. She has published numerous articles in the area of Family Law and is a regular speaker on Family Law topics at local and national venues. She also has published articles on clinical legal education, as well as poetry and creative writing.

Ms. Sedillo López has served as president of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education, President of the Clinical Legal Education Association, and former President of the Board of Enlace Communitario. She also serves on the Board of the Southwest Women’s Law Center. She is married and has three children.

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