In this story, a colleague recounts Jon Artz’ unbelievable, relentless, dogged determination to fight a DUI conviction for one of his clients out of San Diego:
Eight years ago, in August of 2008, a client was arrested for a second offense DUI in San Diego County. He took a blood test and the results were allegedly a .142% BAC. The client hired a great, and I mean great, Los Angeles DUI lawyer named Jon Artz.
So Mr. Artz tried the case with all the usual assorted array of bad facts. He nonetheless somehow managed to obtain an acquittal on the under the influence charge. Unfortunately, the client was convicted of .the 08% or above charge and sentenced to real jail.
Now, normally this would be the end of the story, but what kind of good story ends with a conviction?
Well Jon Artz decides to file an appeal claiming the admission of a blood alcohol report without the actual witness who wrote the report testifying in court, violated his client’s Sixth Amendment Rights. The Appellate Division denied his appeal. Undeterred, Jon then sought an application for certification of the case to the court of appeal. This too was denied. Still undeterred, Artz then petitioned for transfer to the court of appeal. This also was denied. Now normally this really would be the end of the story, but as I mentioned what kind of good story ends with a conviction?
So this dogged relentless lawyer named Jon Artz decides he wants to file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. He calls me to consider if Lara and I would think about handling the petition. I agree to meet this lawyer (who wouldn’t?) for lunch in Santa Monica where I also meet with the client and we talk about the case.
The client turns out to be one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. He also had a dogged desire to pursue his case. We agree to handle the case in the U.S. Supreme Court and subsequently file our petition. Unfortunately, the U.S Supreme Court denied our petition. Now this definitely should end the story.
But what kind of story ends with a conviction?
So this unbelievable, relentless, dogged and determined lawyer, and his terrific likeminded client, ask Lara and I to handle a petition for habeas corpus in federal court. At this point we say what the heck, we might as well get into the same mind set as these two guys, and we file the habeas petition.
The report and recommendation eventually comes back from the federal magistrate recommending that the habeas writ be denied. Now this normally would really, truly, no kidding around, for sure be the end of line.
But what kind of good story ends with a conviction?
Lara and I file our objections to the magistrate’s report, and hope for the best. Well today, almost eight years to the day after the client was arrested, we received a 24-page order from the federal judge that concludes with: “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Writ of Habeas Corpus …filed by the Petitioner will be granted in sixty days unless the San Diego Superior Court vacates the judgment of conviction…and determines within a reasonable period of time whether to retry the Petitioner.”
I personally have never seen such relentless dogged determination by a lawyer and his client.
Congratulations to Jon Artz and the client. Somewhere, I know they are both smiling. And that is how a good story is supposed to end.