Mayor Michael B. Hancock appointed Scott Martinez to serve as Denver City Attorney in January, 2014. He is the youngest City Attorney in Denver’s history and the youngest large-city City Attorney in the country.
Mr. Martinez brings focus and energy to the five unique roles for Denver's chief legal officer, which are: advisor to all elected city officials, departments, boards and commissions on municipal law, transactions and taxation; defender of the City and its 11,000 employees against legal claims and lawsuits; prosecutor of municipal crime offenders; legal ambassador as chief counsel to the country's third busiest transportation hub, Denver International Airport; and protector of the most vulnerable as human services legal counsel for the county.
Paramount to Mr. Martinez’s ability to advise on the broad legal areas facing the city are the over one-hundred attorneys and one-hundred staff in the City Attorney's Office that comprise the best public law department in the country. To that end, Mr. Martinez’s priority is the investment in the culture and resources of the legal department. He is committed to promoting a culture of innovative thinking and inclusive problem solving that appreciates the diversity of the legal team and the City’s people that the department serves.
For the two years immediately prior to his appointment as City Attorney, Mr. Martinez served as the mayor-appointed Chief Deputy City Attorney. Before coming to work with the City, Mr. Martinez practiced at Colorado’s largest law firm in its Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group. In private practice, Mr. Martinez represented companies under federal investigation by the Department of Justice as well as investigatory committees of the U.S. Senate and House, and by state and local government agencies. Many of those representations focused on the use of electronic data collection and storage, privacy issues, and data breach. Mr. Martinez joined the City Attorney’s Office to use his knowledge of government regulatory systems to find practical, customer-friendly approaches to problems solving.
Mr. Martinez remains active in the broader legal community. He is 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, School of Law. He previously served on the Executive Board of the Colorado Lawyers Committee and received accolades as one of the twelve inaugural “Top Up and Coming Attorneys” by Law Week Colorado and one of the Denver Business Journal’s Forty under 40.
Outside the legal community, Mr. Martinez is active on several boards and commissions. Mr. Martinez serves as an appointee to the Municipal Victim Assistance & Law Enforcement Board, the Steering Committee for CitySummit, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Board, and as Chair of the Bell Policy Center. He previously served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado Election Reform Commission and the Colorado Collection Agency Board.
In 2008, Mr. Martinez took a leave of absence from private practice to serve on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team where he worked with both the technical and legal teams regarding transparency and ethics in the federal government. He continues his work in the field and has been published on transparency in political campaigns and governmental ethics issues.
Mr. Martinez grew up in Lakewood, Colorado. He holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law. Mr. Martinez and his wife, Julie, have two young, rambunctious sons.