Judge Roderick Kennedy has been a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals since his merit selection and appointment in 1999, and again in 2001. He served as its chief from 2013 until 2015. Judge Kennedy was first elected to Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Court in 1988, serving eleven years until his appointment to the Court of Appeals. He has also been a judge pro tem for the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce, NM, and served by designation as a pro tem judge and special master in the a number of other New Mexico Courts. Judge Kennedy is a former prosecutor and attorney in private practice. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
Judge Kennedy was presiding judge over civil and criminal divisions of the Metropolitan court. He was the first Chair of Bernalillo County’s DWI Planning Council, leading the creation of a $2.5 million treatment center at the Bernalillo County Jail, and the intensive pretrial supervision program that formed an early model for what is now Drug Court in Albuquerque. He also served on task forces coordinating drug treatment in Bernalillo County. Judge Kennedy is trained as an awareness-level instructor in responding to terrorist bombings, and chaired the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Committee on Statewide Courthouse Security.
Judge Kennedy is known for his expertise and teaching regarding the interface between law and science. He taught a Forensic Evidence class at the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2011, and is an adjunct faculty member there. The State Bar of New Mexico awarded Judge Kennedy its “Peak Award for Excellence” for his series of educational programs on scientific evidence in 2011 that is in its sixth year. In 2003, He received J. B. Firth Memorial Lecture and Medal from The Forensic Science Society (UK) at their annual meeting in Southampton, England. Judge Kennedy has authored and presented papers at International Conferences on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety and is a published author on the subject of impaired driving. He co- authored the description of the US judicial system in Elsevier Publishers’ recent Encyclopedia of Legal Medicine. Judge Kennedy is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, which he served as 2008-10 Chair of the Jurisprudence Section and on its Board of Directors from 2012. He was also an Associate Member of the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Judge Kennedy co-Chaired the American Bar Association’s Conference of State Trial Judges’ Ethics Committee. He has also received an Outstanding Appellate Judge award from the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2011.
Rod Kennedy has been active with charities and service organizations in Albuquerque, such as on the Executive Board of the Greater Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts, the New Mexico Zoological Society and Share Your Care, Inc., which is a day-care center for disabled adults and elderly. He was also a board member for the New Mexico Association for People Living with AIDS. Rod Kennedy is an Eagle Scout and former Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM.