By: Alexa Drago - Communications & Marketing Manager, Colorado and Denver Bar Associations
Justice Alex Martinez decided to pursue a career in law after watching his mother struggle with bureaucracy while trying to support the family and secure the medical care for his father. Aware of her frustration and the difficulty, he had the overwhelming feeling that the organizations set up to support and serve people weren't working well. He became interested in how institutions work and wondered, wasn't there a better way?
Inspired by the civil rights movement, Martinez entered into public defense in the hopes of serving his community by helping people through the legal system.
"At the end of this life, my life will have been better if I have done something to make someone else’s in some small way better as well," Martinez said.
He began his legal career as a deputy state public defender in 1976 in Denver. In 1979, he went to Pueblo to supervise its public defender office. He was appointed as a Pueblo County Court judge in 1983, then named to the 10th Judicial District Court in 1988.
In 1996, Martinez became a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, where he served for 15 years. He has been Denver’s Manager of Safety since 2011.
Martinez has been a volunteer with the Colorado Bar Association’s high school mock trial program — most notably serving as the presiding judge at the state tournament’s final round for the past 12 years.
When people say "your honor," Martinez said it is a reminder to the judge of how important that role is, and not a personal recognition. After working in public service for 37 years, he is gratified by this honor and the value others have found in his work.
"The importance of that work and how it affects people has always been foremost in my mind," he said.
To view the DBA video of Justice Martinez click here.