Hon. William J. Martinez See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
D.Colo.  
Average Rating:7.3 - 7 rating(s)
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Ratings

*Temperament:   (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Scholarship:   (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Industriousness:   (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
*Ability to Handle Complex Litigation:    (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Punctuality:    (1=Chronic`y Late,10=Always on Time)
*Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation:    (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
*Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation:   (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Flexibility In Scheduling   (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Pre-Trial:   (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Civil Settlement Discussions:   (1=Least Involved,10=Most Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Trial:    (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Sentencing:    (1=Most Lenient,10=Most Harsh)
Typical Discount Off Guidelines for Cooperators:    (1=10%,10=100%)
  Items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating
Comments


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What others have said about Hon. William J. Martinez


Comments


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 28925
Rating:3.0
Comments:
One of the worst judges I have come across. Hates having a criminal case go to trial and imposes a trial tax. He thinks he is the smartest man in the room and tries miserably to show it. He openly chastises defense counsel which then causes problems with clients who then take cases farther than they would otherwise. So shortsided. He will berate an attorney who makes an argument but has no clue that defendants want to see their lawyer fighting for them even when there are little merits. He is sarcastic and a mean judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 26628
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have now worked with Judge Martinez on several different large civil matters. In each case he has been fair, reasonable and focused in his analysis of the facts, his application of the law, and his general handling of the case as it winds its way forward. Truly a great pick to the bench. I only wish that I would get him more often.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 25399
Rating:8.8
Comments:
I'm a criminal defense lawyer and I'm moved to respond to the last comment. I categorically disagree with the writer's characterization of Judge Martinez as sarcastic and highly critical of counsel. While he expects lawyers to be prepared and know the law and rules of procedure, I've been before him on many occasions and he has been uniformly courteous, respectful and even kind to my clients every time. He has, to my knowledge and research, varied downward in most if not all of the sentences he has imposed post-verdict. So for the previous commentator to opine that the Judge exacts a "heavy" trial penalty is delusional. I know from civil law colleagues that he rarely grants full summary judgment, and frequently goes to trial on cases most of his colleagues would have dismissed. From what I can see he is not afraid to go to trial and reveres the parties' constitutional right to do so. And he's smart, works hard, and runs a very efficient chambers and courtroom. If only we had more judges like Judge Martinez on this court.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 25187
Rating:2.5
Comments:
Judge Martinez is sarcastic and highly critical of the lawyers who appear in front of him. Most often it’s about a nuance he fails to perceive or can’t perceive as he doesn’t know all the facts. This sarcasm creates problems between counsel and their clients and in one case I am aware of led to a long trial because the court was so critical of highly respected defense counsel that the defendant rejected a favorable plea agreement and proceeded to trial. Judge Martinez exacts a hefty trial tax in criminal cases as he doesn’t want anyone to exercise their sixth amendment right to jury trial. For a judge coming from a civil background he really should endeavor to understand rather than critique criminal practice. For example,
He does not understand that criminal defense lawyers often file motions or seek bail in order to engender client trust.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24526
Rating:8.8
Comments:
I echo other comments on this site about Judge Martinez. He's been such a breath of fresh air for this court. He and his staff are by far the friendliest and most approachable at the Arraj courthouse. I've had three civil cases in front of him, representing plaintiffs. His written orders are very well done, thorough and comprehensive. His case management skills are great, you never get a sense your case is adrift in some administrative twilight zone. He denies summary judgment when there are factual conflicts, like he supposed to. Just recently finished a jury trial with him. Although we lost, it was a pleasure to try the case in his courtroom -- his rulings on objections and instructions were well-reasoned and fair, and he treated every one with respect. I loved that I got to talk with the jurors afterwards. Even though he lost, my client is not going to appeal, because he said he lost before a "fair judge", which is all he wanted in the first place.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23908
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I'm a large firm civil litigator, representing primarily corporate defendants. When Judge Martinez was first appointed, I was wary. I thought no way my clients would get a fair shake with an Obama ACLU liberal judge. But things have not turned out that way. I've had 3-4 cases before this judge. In each one he was even-handed, careful and hard-working. I've won more than my share of motions. His written orders reflect considerable thought and analysis, and I've been impressed by how much effort he and his clerks put into some of them. Often on meatier matters I've expected 10-15 page opinions (about par for this court on bigger-ticket disputes), but I've not infrequently gotten 25-30+ page orders - reflecting quite a bit of effort and work. My biggest complaint is that I wish he granted summary judgment more often (something which is usually not too hard to get from his colleagues), but I've resigned myself (and advised my clients) that if he can find a factual dispute we're going to trial unless we settle, which I guess is how it should work. He is courteous and not full of himself like most federal judges, which makes appearing in front of him a pleasant experience. I hope he doesn't get elevated to the Tenth Circuit.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 23614
Rating:9.0
Comments:
As a CJA panel member I've represented 5 defendants before Judge Martinez, including one that went to trial and verdict. The judge is very respectful of and courteous to all parties, counsel and witnesses. In my view the most impressive thing about Judge Martinez is that he appears to genuinely want to administer justice fairly and impartially. I've been quite impressed with the quantity and quality of his written orders on a multitude of issues that have come up in my cases. He is compassionate but firm. While I've not won all my motions and issues with him, all of my clients have agreed that this judge gave them their "day in court" and felt they were treated fairly and respectfully by him; this in stark contrast to how some of my clients have fared before other District of Colorado judges.