Our People

Meet Your City Attorney

D. Scott Martinez

City Attorney

Mayor Michael B. Hancock appointed Scott Martinez to serve as Denver City Attorney in January, 2014.   Mr. Martinez brings focus, energy and an entrepreneurial approach to the five unique roles of Denver's chief legal officer, which include serving as: lead counsel 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 from domestic violence to graffiti and traffic crimes; chief counsel to the country's third busiest transportation hub, Denver International Airport; and protector of the most vulnerable as the county attorney for Denver Human Services.

Paramount to the ability to advise on these broad legal areas are the over one-hundred attorneys and one-hundred staff in the City Attorney's Office, comprising the best public law department in the country. The City Attorney's Office staff is integrated into every city project, initiative, and high-stakes matter that faces the city. To that end, Mr. Martinez is dedicated to creating a culture of inclusivity and innovation at the City Attorney's Office. He believes that culture creates positive ripples in every matter the people in the City Attorney’s Office touch and promotes opportunities for customer-friendly experiences for those interacting with the legal profession.

For the two years immediately prior to his appointment as City Attorney, Mr. Martinez served as the mayor-appointed Deputy City Attorney. The Deputy position serves as the Chief Operating Officer, managing the day-to-day operations of the office. 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, 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’s leadership approach to the City Attorney’s Office is formed by his experience in the private sector, where he regularly interacted with government regulatory systems. He believes that every city employee can be an entrepreneur in their public service and practical problem solver for those that need our help.

As City Attorney, Mr. Martinez has been on the forefront of major legal issues including: the implementation of the nation’s first retail sales of marijuana, revamping City laws to allow for open data sharing, challenging the legal framework prohibiting marriage equality, and tackling the legal issues around public safety.

Mr. Martinez remains active in the broader legal community. He is a Member of the Board of the Colorado Bar Association, 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. He has also received accolades as one of the twelve inaugural “Top Up and Coming Attorneys” by Law Week Colorado, honored as one of the Denver Business Journal’s Forty under 40, awarded the Dean Edward King “Pay it Forward” Award by the University of Colorado Law School, and the annual Alumni Award by the University of San Diego School of Law. Under his leadership, the City Attorney’s Office was also awarded the Outstanding Corporate Commitment Award by the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.

Outside the legal community, Mr. Martinez is active on several boards and commissions. He 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 board member 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’s most important role is as husband to his wife, Julie, and father to two young, rambunctious sons. His favorite spots are in the nose bleed section at a Red Rocks concert and Civic Center Park hitting the food truck scene. Mr. Martinez is a connoisseur of green chile, avid CU Buffalo fan and amateur psephologist.

LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/scottmartinez/
Twitter - @scottmartinez
Webpage – www.denvergov.org/cityattorney

Cristal Torres DeHerrera

Deputy City Attorney

Cristal T. DeHerrera is Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of Denver. She was appointed in 2014 by Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and her responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of more than 200 attorneys and staff in one of the largest public law offices in the Western United States. She also advises the city on a wide range of legal and policy issues.

Prior to joining the City and County of Denver, Ms. DeHerrera was a shareholder at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, public and private securities offerings, capital formation and securities advice.

Prior to joining Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Ms. DeHerrera served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge John L. Kane of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and interned at the Denver City Attorney’s Office. In addition, she worked on the 2000 U.S. Presidential campaign and on several key political campaigns throughout the country.

Ms. DeHerrera has been recognized with several industry awards and is active in philanthropic and community issues. She is on the board of directors of Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and she served as co-chair of the National Hispanic Bar Association’s 2013 annual convention and on the planning committee for the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2014 CGI America conference. She also has held leadership positions supporting numerous community organizations ranging from the Downtown Denver Partnership to the Denver Public Library.

Ms. DeHerrera earned her J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and her undergraduate degree, with honors, in Political Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California.