Scott Charles LaBarre and Kristy Allyne Martinez
Scott Charles LaBarre
July 2, 1968–December 10, 2022
Scott C. LaBarre, a longtime disabilities advocate, died on December 10, 2022, following a short battle with cancer. He was 54.
Scott was born on July 2, 1968, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated in 1990 from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1993.
Scott lost his sight at age 10 but lived his life by the motto that he could do anything. He clerked in Washington, DC, in the office of US Representative Gerry Sikorski. He was awarded a scholastic achievement award and met President Bush. He later moved to Colorado, where he met his wife, Anahit, and acted as general counsel for the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado for five years. He launched his own law firm in 1998 in Denver, where he practiced in employment law, disability rights, and international copyright policy.
Scott was a fierce leader in the movement for disability rights and spent decades working for the blind of his generation and beyond. He chaired the ABA Commission on Disability Rights from 2004 to 2007, serving as a mentor to many young disabled lawyers and speaking frequently about the unique talents and skills disabled lawyers bring to the profession. His work with the ABA Commission on Disability Rights included proposing policies that called on the United States to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled and urged Congress to grant a private right of action to air travelers with disabilities whose rights to equal access were violated. They were adopted by the House of Delegates.
Scott was active in the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, becoming the organization’s president. He also served as the National Federation of the Blind’s national general counsel and chair of the Colorado Center for the Blind. He additionally served as president of the National Association of Blind Lawyers.
Between many long hours of work and travel, he raised two children and watched as much of his beloved Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Vikings as possible. He was an avid music lover and enjoyed sharing his favorites with others, and adored playing with his beloved labradoodle, Moka.
He is survived by his wife Anahit, children Alexander and Karter, brother Craig, sister-in-law Debrah, and parents Donna and Charles.
Donations in his name can be made to the Colorado Center for the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind.
Kristy Allyne Martinez
October 24, 1969–February 21, 2023
Boulder County Judge Kristy Martinez, who also served as the first full-time director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Korey Wise Innocence Project, passed away on February 21, 2023, from cancer. She was 53.
Kristy was born in October 1969 to Sally Wear and Ralph Clayton Sieg in Washington, where she grew up. She later moved to Colorado to attend the University of Denver. She received a BA in human communication from the University of Denver in 1995.
Kristy attended law school at night while working full time, earning her JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1999. This began what Kristy described as a love affair with the legal profession. Kristy embodied what some might see as an old-fashioned conception of what it means to be a lawyer—she believed it was a noble calling, answered by people in pursuit of high ideals of fairness and justice.
Kristy was one of the rare Colorado attorneys who answered that calling on both sides of the criminal justice system. She began her career as a deputy district attorney in Adams County. In 2002, Kristy established a criminal defense practice representing indigent clients at trial, on appeal, and during post-conviction review. She represented clients from difficult circumstances, including those experiencing mental illness, homelessness, lack of education, substance abuse, domestic violence, and terminal illness. Kristy had a particular talent for forging strong connections with people, no matter their background. This talent, combined with her dogged pursuit of fairness, hardworking approach to cases, and passion for the law earned her a reputation as an exceptional trial and post-conviction attorney.
While in private practice, Kristy and her then-husband Esteban Martinez welcomed their daughter—Isabella “Bella”—into their life. Kristy cherished her role as a mother and her time with Bella. She firmly believed raising Bella was the most important thing she ever did. Kristy survived her first cancer diagnosis in 2003. From that experience, Kristy developed an acute sense that each day was a gift and sought to make the most of the time she had left.
Beginning in September 2015, Kristy served as the director of the Korey Wise Innocence Project, which provides free investigative and legal services to people serving time in Colorado prisons for crimes they did not commit. Kristy built and led a team of student volunteers to screen requests and correspond with incarcerated persons and their families seeking exoneration.
While serving as director of the Innocence Project, Kristy taught both post-conviction criminal procedure and wrongful conviction at the University of Colorado Law School. As a professor, Kristy instilled in students a deep commitment to fairness, fair process, and the US Constitution. She inspired a generation of lawyers to view their role as attorneys as an awesome responsibility, while inspiring the very best growth in them. When she wasn’t investigating wrongful convictions or teaching, Kristy could often be found mentoring students from all walks of life. She shaped the lives and careers of innumerable students. Her passion and enthusiasm left a longstanding mark on the law school and many of its graduates.
In 2019, then-Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Kristy to serve as a county court judge in the 20th Judicial District. Judge Martinez served the Boulder community with the same diligence she brought to her advocacy. She brought to the bench a sense that the law is made up of the human beings that walk into the courtroom. She prioritized treating every person appearing in her court with dignity. She strove to make the proceedings accessible to every defendant and pro se litigant. She inspired jurors with a sense of their critical role in the democratic process. She continued to mentor both lawyers and court personnel. Judge Martinez was a truly exemplary judicial officer.
Those who knew Kristy described her as energetic. She brought intensity to her professional responsibilities, but also magic to every single day—whether it was running through sprinklers or buying the biggest pumpkin she could find. She was a talented markswoman with a bow and arrow, and she loved horses and hiking. She could hustle a deal better than anyone. She was a fierce and loyal friend, daughter, colleague, judicial officer, and above all, mother. She gave her very best to those around her and brought out the very best in them. She left an indelible mark on the profession, the Boulder community, and the lives of everyone she knew.
Kristy is survived by her mother Sally, her daughter Bella, Bella’s father Esteban, and her brothers Russell Sieg and Dale Sieg.
Donations in her name may be made to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley or an organization of your choice.