PHOENIX — The prosecutor who tried Jodi Arias for murder is appealing discipline handed down last week by a lawyer-discipline committee of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Juan Martinez is fighting the Sept. 29 admonition by the Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee of the Supreme Court of Arizona that recommended he be placed on probation for one year, The Arizona Republic reported (http://bit.ly/2dsZMPg ).
The admonition comes after a complaint was filed by Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, an association of criminal defense attorneys accusing Martinez of misconduct and unprofessional behavior over the course of at least 11 murder cases, including the Arias trials.
The Supreme Court committee considered Martinez’s pattern and practice without identifying specific incidents. It found Martinez violated three Supreme Court rules governing the conduct of attorneys by engaging in unprofessional conduct; using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass or burden another person, or using methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person by, among other things, improperly attacking the defendant; and engaging in professional misconduct that is prejudicial to the administrating of justice.
In addition to one year of probation, Martinez would be required to take continuing-education courses on professionalism and not commit further violations.
Martinez is appealing the admonition and calling for a formal hearing before the Supreme Court presiding disciplinary judge. Formal hearings are conducted much like trials.
Martinez’s attorney, J. Scott Rhodes, said Martinez “… looks forward to the opportunity to put his career of devoted public service prosecuting some of the state’s most heinous crimes into a fair context.”
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com