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Hon. Michael A. Martinez

Hon. Michael A. Martinez (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Class Action & Mass Tort
Education Law
Energy & Utilities
Governmental & Public Agency
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Michael A. Martinez (Ret.) is a JAMS DENVER neutral.  JAMS Denver is a licensee office. Policies and procedures may differ between JAMS, Inc., and JAMS Denver. Please visit or contact Lisa Gaige at or 303-534-1254 for information related to JAMS Denver. 

Hon. Michael A. Martinez (Ret.) served as a judicial officer in Colorado for more than 28 years in the county and district courts of the 2nd Judicial District as well as the 17th Judicial District. In 2000, Judge Martinez was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens to the Denver District Court, a court of general jurisdiction, where he presided in all subject areas of the court: civil, domestic relations and criminal. During his tenure, he presided over hundreds of trials, hearings and evidentiary proceedings. 

In 2013, Judge Martinez was selected as chief judge of the 2nd Judicial District, serving from 2014 until his retirement in 2022. He also served as presiding judge of the Colorado Statewide Grand Jury, an investigative body charged with the responsibility to investigate violations of state law, including violations of civil rights, drug and sex trafficking, securities fraud, insurance fraud, theft and organized crime.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Martinez was a trial lawyer in the public and private sectors, trying more than 60 criminal and civil trials to verdict in county, district and federal courts. His primary areas of emphasis were personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability and general negligence. He also served as associate general counsel for the Regional Transportation District in Denver. In that position, he was responsible for litigating civil, administrative and labor matters.

Judge Martinez’s background as a judge and a trial lawyer provides him with a unique perspective into the legal process and allows him to evaluate risk and resolution options to efficiently assist parties.

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Commercial dispute involving claims for breach of contract regarding the distribution of beauty products and wellness technology with claimed damages of more than $5 million
      • Dispute between former law partners regarding the disposition of legal fees for work partially completed prior to dissolution of the firm; in a case of first impression, Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the unfinished business rule, resolving the issue
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
      • National class action concerning alleged failure to pay employees for wages earned beyond the usual workweek, in violation of written corporate policy; damages claimed exceeded $150 million
      • National class action concerning claims for breach of contract to provide wireless telephone services by a national telecommunications company
      • Class action dispute regarding the sale of limited liability partnerships in prepaid cellular phone services
      • Collective action between over-the-road truck drivers and their employer concerning entitlement to overtime compensation and application of Colorado’s Minimum Wage Order
      • As an advocate, was defense counsel for a Fortune100 company in national litigation regarding effects from a dietary supplement
  • Construction
      • Construction defect and breach of contract action involving construction of local hotel and damages in excess of $24 million
      • Construction defect and breach of contract involving local gaming industry facilities and involving damages of multiple millions of dollars
  • Education Law
      • Constitutional challenge to implementation of school voucher program in a public school district; decision was affirmed by Colorado Supreme Court and resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court
      • Constitutional challenge to the Public School Financing Act involving adequacy of funding for public schools in rural Colorado; decision was affirmed by the Colorado Supreme Court
  • Employment
      • Employment dispute involving allegations of breach of noncompete agreement, theft of trade secrets and spoliation of evidence; damages alleged were $65 million
      • Dispute involving allegations of breach of noncompete agreement, tortious interference with contract and theft of trade secrets in national real estate brokerage industry
  • Energy & Utilities
      • Dispute regarding interpretation of Colorado Securities Act and whether investment contracts for the sale of general partnerships in undrilled wells constituted the sale of a security; this enforcement action by the attorney general’s office sought disgorgement of more than $60 million; Colorado Supreme Court resolved this matter of first impression
      • Presided over a challenge to air quality regulations by local board of county commissioners; decision was affirmed by Colorado’s appellate courts
      • Dispute involving the interpretation of operating agreement between 20 oil and gas entities for purposes of allocating rights, obligations and entitlements; case was affirmed by Colorado’s appellate courts
  • Securities
      • Post-arbitration attorneys’ fees collection dispute between investors and national brokerage firm’s insurance provider; after conflicting appellate decisions, case was resolved by Colorado Supreme Court
      • Dispute concerning application of FINRA Rule 12200 to mandate arbitration of disputes between customer and broker/sales agent

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Denver County Court Commission on Judicial Discipline
  • Member, Rose Community Foundation
  • Chair, Colorado Child Support Commission
  • Member, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association
  • Member, Supreme Court Magistrate Rules Committee
  • Member, Supreme Court Public Access Committee
  • Member, Supreme Court Court Records Committee
  • Member, Supreme Court Committee on Senior Judge Program Reform
  • Member, Judicial Personnel Review Board
  • Member, Denver Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the District Judges Association
  • Co-Chair, Chief Judges Council, 2015–2021
  • Fellow, Academy of Court Appointed Neutrals
  • Faculty Member, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • Co-Dean, New Judge Orientation

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Judicial Excellence and Leadership Award, Colorado Judicial Institute, 2020
  • Judicial Excellence Award, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2016

Background and Education

  • Chief Judge, 2nd Judicial District, 2014–2022
  • District Judge, 2nd Judicial District, 2000-2014
  • Magistrate, 17th Judicial District, 1996-2000
  • JD., University of Denver College of Law, 1986
  • BA., University of Colorado, 1983


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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