Damon Martinez is an experienced practitioner in the area of litigation. His practice focus is cybersecurity and other issues related to national security. Prior to joining Modrall Sperling, he served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico from 2014-2017. As the top federal law enforcement official in the State, he established for the first time in the office a National Security and Anti-Terrorism Section. He also served as the chair for a working group that focused on national security challenges regarding the seventeen national labs and research universities around the nation. Additionally, he served as a member on the Attorney General’s Terrorism and National Security subcommittee.
During his tenure as the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, Damon represented the United States’ interests in civil cases filed in New Mexico, managed an office of more than 140 staff members, including 75 Assistant U.S. Attorneys prosecuting more than 4,500 criminal cases annually and litigating a broad range of civil cases. He served as the Vice Chair of the Attorney General’s Native American Issues subcommittee and also a member of the Border and Immigration subcommittee. His significant accomplishments include implementing a state-wide, collaborative strategy for addressing New Mexico’s high violent crime rate; launching, in partnership with the UNM Health Sciences Center, the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative, a multi-faceted, comprehensive strategy for addressing New Mexico’s opioid epidemic; prioritizing prosecutions of violent crimes against women in Indian Country; and enforcing civil rights in institutional settings.
University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1992
University of New Mexico, M.B.A., 1993
University of New Mexico, B.A. Economics and Political Science, 1989
New Mexico, 1992
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, 1994
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1997
- United States Attorney
May 2014 to March 2017
Damon Martinez served as U. S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Nominated by President Barrack Obama in November 2013 and unanimously confirmed by the U. S. Senate in May 2014. Served as the top federal law enforcement official in New Mexico and managed an office of more than 140 staff members, including 75 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted more than 4,500 criminal cases annually and litigated a broad range of civil cases.
- Assistant U. S. Attorney, Criminal Division
March 2000 to May 2014
First Assistant U. S. Attorney, March 2014 to May 2014; Supervisory Assistant U. S. Attorney, Organized Crime and Gangs Section, February 2013 to March 2014; Assistant U. S. Attorney, Albuquerque office, 2005 to February 2013; Assistant U. S. Attorney, Las Cruces office, November 2001 to 2005; Special Assistant U. S. Attorney, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, Las Cruces office, March 2000 to November 2001. Federal Investigative and prosecutorial experience focused on national security and anti-terrorism matters, complex narcotics trafficking and money laundering cases, and immigration cases. While serving as Assistant U. S. Attorney, Damon tried 32 felony cases to jury verdict.
- Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland, University College Europe
August to October 2012
Taught a three-credit hour course in American Government at campus in Sinai, Egypt.
- Legislative Director, U. S. Congressman Tom Udall
January 1999 to February 2000
Directed the Congressman’s legislative staff in addressing Congressional matters and responding to constituent concerns.
- Assistant Attorney General, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office
August 1996 to December 1998
Held unique position that provided legal support to various divisions including Prosecution, Litigation, Criminal Appeals, Consumer, and Civil Divisions. Investigated and authored response letters to 21 Open Meetings Act complaints and six Inspection of Public Records complaints, and ten advisory response letters to public officials on a range of issues. With co-counsel, successfully negotiated a consent decree in Udall v. Chavez requiring Rio Arriba County to comply with the State Election Code and Municipal Election Code.
- Legislative Assistant, U. S. Senator Jeff Bingaman
September to December 1993, January to October 1994, November 1994 to August 1996
Worked in the legislative areas of Energy, Natural Resources, Crime, Veterans’ Affairs, Transportation, Banking and Agriculture.
- Staff Member, U. S. Senator Jeff Bingaman’s Senate Campaign
December 1993 to January 1994, October to November 1994
- Special Assistant District Attorney
First Judicial District, Santa Fe County, 1998
Fourth Judicial District, San Miguel County, 1998
Second Judicial District, Bernalillo County, 1993
- Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army Reserve
December 2015 to Present
Adjunct Professor assigned to the Criminal Section, Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia
- New Mexico National Guard
November 2009 to September 2015
Deployed to Sinai Egypt, March to December 2012
Advised and defended soldiers and airmen on Uniform Code of Military Justice matters; briefed soldiers on deployment issues; drafted wills and powers of attorney; and counseled the Command on legal issues. While deployed to Sinai, Egypt, served as the U. S. Battalion Judge Advocate of the 1st Battalion of the 200th Infantry Regiment as part of the Multinational Force & Observers 56 Mission in support of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Advised the Command on Uniform Code of Military Justice matters, briefed soldiers on deployment issues, and counseled soldiers on broad range of legal matters.
- Judge Advocate, U. S. Army Reserve
August 2002 to November 2009
Deployed to Washington, D. C., June to November 2008
Served as trial counsel for the 505th Garrison Support Unit and the 1st Legal Support Organization. Mobilized to Washington, D. C. area to work on a special project that became the U. S. Army Reserve Legal Command, which currently provides training and readies Judge Advocates, Legal Administrators, and Paralegals to deliver legal services to the U. S. Army.
Military Medals, Ribbons, and Certification
- Army Commendation Medal, 4th award
- Army Achievement Medal
- Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, 2nd award
- National Defense Service Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Army Service Ribbon
- Overseas Service Ribbon
- Multinational Force and Observers Medal
- Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Devise and 10 Year Bronze Hourglass
- Certified in Basic Combatives, October 4, 2012
- UNM Anderson School of Management Alumni Council, 2011-2014
- UNM School of Law Alumni Board, 2011-2014
- H. Verle Payne American Inn of Court, 2007-2014
- National Association of Assistant U. S. Attorneys, 2002-2014
- Albuquerque Bar Association, 1992, 2009-2014
- State Bar of New Mexico, State Bar Commissioner, 7th District, 2004-2005
- New Mexico Hispanic Bar, Board Member 2005-2011
- Las Cruces Rotary, Board Member 2004-2005
- Dona Ana County Bar Association, 2003-2005
- Col. Albert J. Fountain American Inn of Court, 2003-2005