An impressive young rising star in Colorado’s legal and political communities was sworn in as the new city attorney for Denver Jan. 8, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues including luminaries in the legal and political arenas.
Martinez, who served as the deputy city attorney since 2011, replaced Doug Friednash, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s first appointment to the position. Friednash left last month to join the Denver law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
Appointed to his elevated post by the Mayor in December, Martinez was officially sworn in during a well-attended ceremony in the atrium of the Wellington Webb building followed by a reception at the McNichols Civic Center Building across the street.
Despite his relative youth, Martinez, 35, has already distinguished himself as an up-and-comer in the state. Besides his impressive legal acumen, politicos might remember his recent role in 2011 in helping draw the boundaries for the new congressional districts as an appointee of former Gov. Bill Ritter on the Colorado Election Reform Commission. Democrat Martinez also played a key role behind the scenes in the drawn-out battle to draw new legislative boundaries under reapportionment.
In his capacity as city attorney, Martinez will provide legal representation to all city officials, agencies, departments, boards and commissions, as well as 200 attorneys and staff.
“During his tenure as deputy city attorney, Scott has proven his ability to provide the highest quality of counsel and representation to our city,” Hancock said at the time of Martinez’s appointment last month. “I am thrilled to be able to promote from within our strong team someone with the legal acumen and passion for community that Scott brings.”
“I am committed to bring cutting-edge solutions to our evolving legal landscape and honored to assume such an important role,” Martinez said at the time. “It’s a dream come true to serve as Mayor Hancock’s counsel, and I will defend the city and its people with all that I have.”
As deputy city attorney, Martinez managed the daily operations of one of the largest public law offices in the west. Using his knowledge of government regulatory systems to find innovative approaches to problem-solving, he forged strategic partnerships to leverage opportunities for the city and its people and worked to create a culture of inclusivity and value among city attorney employees.
“Scott brings an innovative and energetic approach to the City Attorney’s Office that will greatly benefit the city and all its residents,” Hancock said.
Martinez previously practiced at Holland & Hart LLP in its government investigations & white collar defense practice group, representing companies under investigation by the Department of Justice, investigatory committees of the U.S. Senate and House, and by state and local government agencies.
Martinez is active as a member of the board of the Colorado Bar Association, the board of directors of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and the board of advisors to the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado.
Martinez is also active in the community, serving as an appointee to the Municipal Victim Assistance & Law Enforcement Board, on the steering committee for City Summit and as Chair of the Bell Policy Center.
Martinez grew up in Lakewood. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.
See the Jan. 17 print edition for full photo coverage.