Grace B. Duran Announces Her Candidacy
for State District Judge
Las Cruces attorney and former State District Judge Grace B. Duran today announced her candidacy for District Judge in the Third Judicial District, Doña Ana County, Division VIII in the June 5 primary. Duran held the position previously from 1997 through May 2005. The position handles domestic relations cases and Duran is the only Board Certified Specialist in Family Law in Las Cruces.
“I am dedicated to helping families in southern New Mexico,” Duran said. “I know the difficulties they face when in the legal system and I am committed to making that experience as fair and equitable as the law allows. I will continue to treat every person who comes before me with the respect, dignity, patience and understanding they deserve.”
Duran was the first woman ever elected State District Judge in the Third Judicial District and won retention following her first term. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Judicial Service Award from the State Bar of New Mexico.
Before serving as District Judge, she was the first person appointed to the newly-created position of Child Support Hearing Officer/Domestic Violence Commissioner for the Third Judicial District and was instrumental in establishing the court’s Mediation Program. While in her second term as District Judge, she was selected as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement embedded with the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Following this unique assignment, Duran returned to Las Cruces and re-established her law practice.
In total, Duran has more than 40-years legal experience in southern New Mexico:
2007 - Present Private practice in family law
2005 - 2006 Special Assistant United States Attorney, District of Puerto Rico
1997 - 2005 State District Judge (Won retention in 2002)
1991 - 1996 Child Support Hearing Officer/Domestic Violence Commissioner; Mediation Director
1979 - 1991 Private practice
1979 - 1981 Contract Public Defender
1977 - 1979 Southern New Mexico Legal Services
A native of La Luz, New Mexico, Duran graduated from the New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque and thereafter moved to Las Cruces.
Duran and her husband Udell F. Vigil have been married for 34 years. They have two adult sons, Udell Justin and Cameron Frank Vigil.