William J. Martínez

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William Joseph Martínez
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Assumed office
December 21, 2010
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byEdward Nottingham
Personal details
José Guillermo Martinez Escalante

1954 (age 64–65)
Mexico City, Mexico
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (B.A., B.Sc.)
University of Chicago Law School (J.D.)

William Joseph Martínez (born 1954) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Early life and education[edit]

Born José Guillermo Martínez Escalante in Mexico City, Martínez moved to the United States with his family as a young boy and changed his name to William Joseph Martínez 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] Martínez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1977 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1980.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

From 1980 until 1984, Martínez 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, Martínez 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, Martínez worked as a sole law practitioner in Denver, and from 2001 until 2010 he was a partner at the Denver firm of McNamara & Martínez (later known as McNamara, Roseman, Martínez & Kazmierski),[3] where he specialized in employment and civil rights law.[1][4]

Judicial service[edit]

On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Martínez 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] Martínez was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 21, 2010 by a vote of 58–37.[5] He received his commission the same day.[4]

Law clerks[edit]

In 2012, his chamber practice was to hire an additional unpaid law clerk who would be asked to make a "firm moral commitment" to the job for one year and who would perform the same substantive work as his two paid law clerks.[6] This practice, however, was not without controversy; Professor Paul Campos questioned both the legal and moral basis for hiring unpaid law clerks.[7]


  1. ^ a b Robert Boczkiewicz, One of Colorado's vacant federal judge posts filled, The Pueblo Chieftain (February 26, 2010).
  2. ^ Ameet Sachdev, New Colorado federal judge has Chicago roots, Chicago Tribune (January 11, 2011).
  3. ^ a b c d e f President Obama Nominates Three for District Court Bench, White House Office of the Press Secretary (February 24, 2010).
  4. ^ a b c "Martínez, William Joseph – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  5. ^ Mark Harden, Martínez confirmed as Colorado federal judge, Denver Business Journal (December 21, 2010).
  6. ^ Debra Cassens Weiss (November 26, 2012). "Federal Judge Seeks a Third Law Clerk; Applicants Must Be Willing to Work for Free". ABA Journal.
  7. ^ Campos, Paul. "A judge searches for free labor". Salon. Retrieved 2016-06-15.

External links[edit]

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