Justice, Colorado Supreme Court
Keynote speaker for CMC Rifle
Monica M. Márquez was sworn in as justice of the Colorado Supreme Court on Dec. 10, 2010, the first Latina named to the state’s highest tribunal. She was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr. Before joining the Supreme Court, Márquez served as deputy attorney general at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where she led the State Services section in representing several state executive branch agencies and Colorado’s statewide elected public officials. She also served as assistant solicitor general and as assistant attorney general in both the Public Officials Unit and the Criminal Appellate Section. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Márquez practiced general commercial litigation and employment law at Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP.
Márquez grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1991, then served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a volunteer inner-city school teacher and community organizer in Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before earning her law degree from Yale Law School in 1997. Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge Michael A. Ponsor of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Springfield, Massachusetts, and for Judge David M. Ebel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver.
Márquez is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and the Minoru Yasui Inn of Court. Before joining the Supreme Court, she served on the boards of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, and the Latina Initiative, and as chair of the Denver mayor’s LGBT Commission.
Márquez serves as a liaison justice to the Office of Attorney Regulation and its related committees, and as chair of the Water Court Rules Committee. She is a co-leader of the Bench Dream Team, a group of judges dedicated to diversity and inclusion in Colorado’s judicial system. She also serves as chair of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Márquez and several law clerks helped coach La Academia’s mock trial team from 2014 until 2018, when the alternative high school closed its doors. She regularly mentors students and aspiring young lawyers, including a first-generation Latina college student with Law School Yes We Can.
For her career of service, Márquez has been recognized with the Colorado LGBT Bar Association’s 2009 Outstanding LGBT Attorney Award, Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP’s 2009 Richard Marden Davis Award, the Yale Latino Law Student Association’s 2011 Public Service Award, the Latinas First Foundation’s 2014 Trailblazer Award, the Hispanic National Bar Foundation’s 2017 Judicial Leadership Award, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado’s 2019 Minoru Yasui Community Service Award.
When not working or volunteering, Márquez enjoys hiking with her spouse and partner of 20+ years, Sheila Barthel, and playing endless games of fetch with their boisterous yellow Lab, Tegan.