William J. Martínez

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William Martínez
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Assumed office
December 21, 2010
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Edward Nottingham
Personal details
Born Jose Guillermo Martinez Escalante
1954 (age 61–62)
Mexico City, Mexico
Alma mater University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Chicago

William Joseph Martinez (born 1954) is a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Early life and education[edit]

Born José Guillermo Martinez Escalante in Mexico City, Martinez moved to the United States with his family as a young boy and changed his name to William Joseph Martinez in 1974.[1] He grew up in the South Shore community of Chicago and graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois.[2] Martinez earned two bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1977 and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1980.[3]

Professional career[edit]

From 1980 until 1984, Martinez served as a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, and from 1984 until 1987, he served as a staff attorney for the foundation's Employment Law Project.[3] From 1988 until 1992, Martinez served as a senior litigation associate for a Denver law firm.[3] From 1992 until 1996, he served as a Denver-based regional attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[3] From 1997 until 2001, Martinez worked as a sole law practitioner in Denver, and from 2001 until 2010 he was a partner at the Denver firm of McNamara & Martinez (later known as McNamara, Roseman, Martinez & Kazmierski),[3] where he specialized in employment and civil rights law.[1]

Judicial service[edit]

On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Martinez to be a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, to fill the seat that Judge Edward Nottingham vacated in 2008 when he resigned under pressure amid allegations of misconduct.[3] Martinez was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 21, 2010 by a vote of 58-37.[4] He received his commission the same day.[5]

His chamber practice has been to hire additional unpaid law clerks who are asked to make a "firm moral commitment" to the job for one year and who perform the same substantive work as his two paid law clerks.[6] This practice, however, has not been without controversy as Professor Paul Campos questioned both the legal and moral basis for hiring unpaid law clerks.[7]


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward Nottingham
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado