Eighteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Frederick Thomas Martinez
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends by a vote of 10-0 that Judge Frederick Thomas Martinez BE RETAINED.
Judge Frederick T. Martinez was appointed to the District Court on June 6, 2014 by Governor Hickenlooper. Prior to his appointment, Judge Martinez practiced law at Hall & Evans LLC, specializing in defense litigation of individuals, professionals and transportation corporations. His expertise ranged from railroad defense, professional responsibility and criminal defense to general tort litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 1984 and his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1987. Judge Martinez currently participates in a group called “Courageous Conversations,” he judges Moot Court competitions and serves meals at Urban Peak. He is also on the founding board of the EDUCATE program.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Martinez, reviewed opinions Judge Martinez authored, observed him in court, and carefully reviewed surveys sent to attorneys and non-attorneys. The Commission studied Judge Martinez’s personal self-evaluation, and met with interested persons regarding his performance. Judge Martinez’s combined retention score was 79%. Of the 28 attorneys who completed the surveys with knowledge of Judge Martinez’s performance, 55% recommended that he be retained on the bench, 33% recommended that he not be retained and 11% made no recommendation. Of the 88 non-attorneys who completed the survey with knowledge of his performance, 87% recommended that he be retained, 7% recommended that he not be retained and 7% made no recommendation. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)
Judge Martinez has presided over a 95% criminal docket with a small number of civil cases. He is a relatively new district court judge and has successfully managed the very large, back-logged caseload that he inherited. Based on the survey results, Judge Martinez received ratings below the average rating of all district court judges standing for retention from attorneys in the areas of case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, demeanor, and diligence. Non-attorneys scored Judge Martinez slightly higher than the average rating of all district court judges in the areas of neutrality, retention, demeanor, communication, fairness, diligence, application of the law and sentencing. There are conflicting demeanor scores and comments from both attorneys and non-attorneys which are concerning to the Commission, particularly in how he relates to and interacts with attorneys in his courtroom. Judge Martinez has begun a self-improvement plan on his own initiative that includes seeking feedback from lawyers, having his performance on the bench videotaped, and asking senior judges to observe him. The Commission recommends that Judge Martinez work with the State Court Administrator’s Office, Judicial Educator, and Chief Judge to develop a formal improvement plan. The Commission recommends that Judge Martinez be retained.