Christina M Cabanillas
Assistant U.S. Attorney
United States Attorneys Office
Christina M. Cabanillas is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona, where she has served as Appellate Chief, Senior Litigation Counsel, Deputy Appellate Chief, International Coordinator, and a trial attorney in the Criminal Division. She has litigated criminal, civil, international, appellate, and other matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and is a former deputy county attorney. Ms. Cabanillas has taught a variety of legal topics locally and nationally, particularly criminal law and procedure and appellate practice. She served a detail as an Assistant Director for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Education, where she organized courses and conducted legal training for attorneys and staff. She has taught appellate advocacy and legal research and writing at the University of Arizona College of Law and Pima Community College. She was a contributing author to ARIZONA DUI TRIAL NOTEBOOK (2d ed. 2005), and IMMIGRATION LAW, OFFICE OF LEGAL EDUC., U.S. DEP’T OF JUSTICE (4th Ed. 2005). She has participated in many bar and other community and volunteer activities.
In 2019, Ms. Cabanillas received the Pima County Bar Association’s inaugural John M. Roll Award for longtime professionalism, excellence, and dedication as a state and federal prosecutor, legal instructor, and community volunteer. She received the 2015 George H. Lyons Mentor Award from Arizona’s Finest Lawyers for excellence in mentoring law students, and in 2013, she received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the second-highest DOJ award for employee performance, for her work contributing to United States v. Loughner, 672 F.3d 731 (9th Cir. 2012). Other awards have included the Arizona State Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Award for her pro bono teaching and writing, the U.S. Attorney’s Distinguished Service Award, and two Department of Justice awards for excellence as a legal instructor and for her work contributing to United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266 (2002).
Ms. Cabanillas earned her J.D. from the University of Arizona and her B.A. from Arizona State University. She spent most of her childhood abroad because her mother worked for the U.S. Foreign Service, living in South America, Africa, Europe, and Mexico. She is proficient in Spanish and French.
Ms. Cabanillas wishes to thank her family, friends, and colleagues, past and present, for their support. She is also grateful to the Arizona State Bar, Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council, Arizona Supreme Court Judicial Education Division, Department of Justice, University of Arizona College of Law, and the many judges, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, attorneys, law students, and others who have encouraged her teaching and writing.