The Office of the Attorney General welcomes Jose P. Mafnas Jr. as its newest assistant attorney general. He joins the litigation team of the civil division.
“I am happy to have Jose Mafnas Jr. join as member of the Office of the Attorney General. Jose’s experience and background in the legal field will assist and strengthen the office’s litigation division,” said Attorney General Edward Manibusan. “I am confident Jose will provide exemplary service to the government agencies of the Commonwealth as he brings his education and experience to our organization.”
With a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Chaminade University of Honolulu in 2011, Mafnas graduated magna cum laude in his class. He began his career in the Commonwealth with the CNMI Office of Adult Probation where he served as a probation officer in the felony division from 2011 to 2013.
In 2016, Jose earned his juris doctorate with an emphasis in Public Interest Law from the University of California at Davis School of Law.
While in law school, Mafnas worked as a legal research assistant for Prof. Rose Cuison-Villazor, whom he assisted in drafting scholarly articles for publication and also worked as a certified legal intern for the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office where he assisted in the prosecution of various felonies.
As a law student, Mafnas was published in the University of California at Davis Journal of International Law and Policy for an article he authored titled “The Case of Davis v. Commonwealth Election Commission: The Power of the Covenant and the Alternative Result,” which discusses Northern Marianas descent voting and land ownership rights in the context of the U.S. constitutional framework.
While there, Mafnas also represented his law school in regional and national moot court competitions on topics involving corporate securities and constitutional law.
Upon graduation from law school, Mafnas worked at the Supreme Court of Guam as a senior law clerk and research attorney for one year before moving back to the CNMI to work as an associate attorney in private practice for the Law Office of Stephen J. Nutting. As a private attorney, Mafnas engaged in the general practice of law in areas such as civil litigation, transactional work, probate, and criminal defense.
Mafnas also taught courses at the Northern Marianas College such as constitutional law, criminal investigations, juvenile delinquency, and professional writing for law enforcement as an adjunct lecturer.
“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the Commonwealth government, and I am grateful for the Office of the Attorney General for giving me this opportunity,” Mafnas said.
He is admitted to practice law in the CNMI, Guam, and California. (OAG)