Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Michael A. Martinez
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 10-0, unanimously recommends that Chief Judge Michael A. Martinez BE RETAINED.
Governor Bill Owens appointed Michael A. Martinez to the Denver District Court in September 2000 and he has served as Chief Judge since 2013. Before his appointment to the district court, Chief Judge Martinez served as a Magistrate in several district and county courts beginning in 1994. As a trial lawyer in private practice before taking the bench, he practiced civil, domestic, and criminal law. Chief Judge Martinez received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his law degree from the University of Denver. He teaches trial advocacy and has served on numerous boards, committees and commissions, including: Rose Community Foundation, Colorado Child Support Commission (Chair), Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Supreme Court Magistrate Rules Committee, State Board of Education Advisory Committee for Gifted and Talented Education, State Personnel Review Board, Denver Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee, and the Executive Committee of the District Judges Association.
The commission reviewed Chief Judge Martinez’s self-evaluation and survey responses from attorneys, appellate judges, and non-attorneys. The commission also interviewed Judge Martinez and reviewed three written opinions. Selected members of the Commission observed Judge Martinez in court. Of the 16 attorneys who completed the survey, 94% recommended to retain, 0% not to retain, and 6% expressed no opinion. Of the 13 non-attorneys completing, 91% recommended to retain and 8% recommended against retention. Judge Martinez was rated equal to other district court judges standing for retention by the 21 appellate judges who evaluated his “overall performance as a judge.”
Chief Judge Martinez’s scores in all areas surveyed exceeded those of all district court judges standing for retention. As Chief Judge, he carries a 50% civil case load, presides over the Colorado Statewide Grand Jury, and has administrative responsibility/authority for the district court. This term, he completed a year-long Executive Leadership Training Program involving Chief Judges, Judges, Justices, Administrators, and other leaders in the judicial branch. Chief Judge Martinez describes his philosophy as “taking a collaborative, team oriented leadership approach which values the individual contributions of every member of the 2nd JD team, no matter what role they serve in the courts.” All data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Chief Judge Martinez be retained.