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December 29, 2011 11:34 PM UTC

Scott Martinez Tapped as Deputy City Attorney

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  • by: Colorado Pols

Holland and Hart’s Scott Martinez is widely renowned in both Democratic and Republican circles for his almost encyclopedic understanding of Colorado administrative and constitutional law. The young lawyer also played an important leadership role in this year’s reapportionment and redistricting processes, much to the disdain of the Colorado GOP.

As it turns out, Martinez will soon be trading his private practice digs (and considerable paycheck) for the mantle of public service. He’ll be joining the Denver City Attorney’s office as deputy to City Attorney and fellow USD Law alumnus Doug Friednash.

From Denver Mayor Michael Hancock:

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today appointed Scott Martinez as Deputy City Attorney for Denver, a critical position responsible for helping manage the daily operations of the City Attorney’s office and advising the City on a wide range of legal and policy issues.

“Scott is a well-respected attorney and a bold community organizer who will be a great asset to our team,” Mayor Hancock said. “He brings an in-depth understanding of all aspects of government, a strong reputation in our community and a fervor to help deliver a world class city where everyone matters.”

Martinez will assist in overseeing the 88 attorneys and 91 staff members within the City Attorney’s office, one of the largest law firms in the state.  He will provide critical support in representing the City in all civil and prosecutorial litigation, advising on legal matters affecting Denver’s interests and drafting legislation and legal opinions. Martinez will begin January 9, 2012.

“It’s a privilege to join Hancock’s dynamic team of community leaders who work diligently to provide the highest level of services to the residents of Denver,” Martinez said. “As a steward of the public’s trust, I take the responsibility of providing high-quality legal counsel to our City very serious and I am eager to get to work.”

An attorney at Holland & Hart, Martinez’ practice spans from government investigations to commercial litigation to data security. He has recently been recognized for his work in crafting the boundaries for Colorado’s congressional and legislative districts.

“Scott has been a wonderful asset to Holland & Hart and our clients during his more than five years with our firm,” said Tom O’Donnell, managing partner of Holland & Hart. “We will miss him, but are very proud of his appointment as Deputy City Attorney with the City & County of Denver.  We know that he will bring incredible dedication in his new position serving the public.”

In 2009, Martinez was appointed by Governor Ritter to serve on the Colorado Election Reform Commission. Also, in 2007, he was named one of the twelve inaugural “Top Up and Coming Attorneys” by Law Week Colorado.

Martinez remains active in Denver’s community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Bell Policy Center and as a motivational speaker at local schools. He took a short leave from Holland and Hart 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.

Martinez also serves as a member of the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, an Advisory Board Member of the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law and Chair of the Hispanic Bar Association Public Policy Committee.

The term “rising star” is often overused and abused in politics: anybody under 35 who has achieved any modicum of professional success usually earns the title. Most are undeserving – after all, you can only rise for so long.

Martinez, on the other hand, has incredible connections across Colorado and in the Obama White House. His move to the city attorney’s office makes a lot of sense: Martinez will be gaining valuable experience as a public servant. That experience may inform a future run for district attorney or any other office in Denver in addition to even primer appointments in city and state government.

The move to a deputy position in the mayor’s office may at first seem like a step down from Martinez’s view at Holland and Hart, but the lawyer is nothing if not shrewd. We suspect this is but the first step in what will amount to a long career in public service. Make no mistake, Martinez’s star is on the rise and will be for the foreseeable future.  

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