National Association of Attorneys General

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NAAG Supreme Court Fellows Start Work

The NAAG Supreme Court Fellows program gives deputy and assistant attorneys general an opportunity for direct and rigorous exposure to the practices of the U.S. Supreme Court. This hands-on experience allows selected attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General to come to Washington, D.C. for several months during the Court’s argument session. During this time, they watch oral arguments, participate in moot courts, prepare an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case, and draft the biweekly Supreme Court Report. The following two fellows are working with the NAAG Supreme Court counsel during the fall.

Natasha Cortina comes from the California Attorney General’s Office where she is a supervising deputy attorney general. She oversees a team of appellate prosecutors litigating at all levels in state and federal court. Natasha is regularly sought out by deputies office-wide to edit briefs and serve on moot courts for the U.S. and California Supreme Courts.

Natasha has personally argued and briefed cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit and lower state and federal courts. Her areas of practice include capital and non-capital direct criminal appeals, habeas corpus litigation and trials.

On behalf of the California Attorney General’s Office Natasha also served as a member and then chair of the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition. She coordinated with representatives from all law enforcement agencies in San Diego and many diverse community-based organizations in their effort to respond to and prevent hate crimes in the local community. She began her tenure in the California Attorney General‘s Office as a law clerk in the Antitrust division in the summer of 1989.

Prior to joining the Criminal Division of the California Attorney General’s Office, Natasha worked as an associate for Musick, Peeler, and Garrett where she handled all aspects of civil litigation and appellate work in state and federal courts. She also served a judicial externship for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of San Francisco, Calif.

Natasha graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations and she received her J.D. from the University of California Los Angeles.

Assistant Attorney General Christyne Martens works in the Criminal Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Christyne briefs and argues criminal appeals before the Wyoming Supreme Court, as well as represents the state in post-conviction litigation, including habeas corpus, state post-conviction relief, and federal habeas corpus petitions. She is responsible for representing the Wyoming Board of Parole, litigating civil asset forfeitures under the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act, and training prosecutors and law enforcement officers. She is also currently spearheading the Wyoming Prosecution Handbook project.

Prior to her current position, she worked in the Office of the Monona County Attorney where she prosecuted all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, probation violations, and juvenile delinquency cases on behalf of Monona County, Iowa. She also represented Monona County in civil child in need of assistance cases, termination of parental rights cases, substance abuse commitments, and mental health commitments.

Christyne received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with a political and economic emphasis from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She attended law school at the University of Wyoming College of Law where she graduated with honors. As a student at the University of Wyoming she edited the Wyoming Law Review as a senior staff member in addition to working as a legal writing and appellate advocacy teaching assistant. While serving as a vice president of the University of Wyoming College of Law Board of Advocates from September 2009-May 2010, she organized the Rothberger, Johnson & Lyons Trial Advocacy Competition, one of the largest competitions held at the college. She also worked as an extern in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne, Wyo., and in this capacity, she appeared in federal court on behalf of the United States through the Prosecution Assistance Clinical Program.

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