Heather Martinez Zona
Heather Martinez Zona is a Deputy Public Defender in the Law Office of the Kern County Public Defender. Previously Ms. Zona worked as a civil litigator in the Bay Area focusing on commercial litigation, and at large firms in New York representing policyholders in disputes with their insurance companies, white collar criminal defendants, and companies involved in commercial disputes. She has extensive pro bono experience in constitutional, political asylum, and landlord/tenant law. Ms. Zona received an Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 2015 and 2016 for her pro bono work.
Ms. Zona is an active volunteer. Currently Ms. Zona serves on the board of the Social Justice Collaborative in Oakland. Previously Ms. Zona served on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission, and on the boards of Lincoln Child Center (now “Lincoln”) in Oakland, Oasis for Girls in San Francisco, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and the New York Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Zona also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to two young women, and was an educational surrogate to a number of youth in foster care to ensure their special education needs were met.
Ms. Zona is a graduate of Williams College, and the University of Michigan Law School where she was awarded the 1994 Jane L. Mixer Award for Social Justice. While at Michigan, Ms. Zona co-founded the critical race theory reading group which spawned a new journal at the Law School. Ms. Zona also taught an undergraduate class at the University of Michigan entitled “Women and the Law” which addressed issues of race, class and gender in the legal system.
In her free time, Ms. Zona plays soccer.