Artimez Seeks Election as Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge
SISTERSVILLE – Moundsville native and attorney John Artimez is seeking election as judge in the Second Judicial Circuit.
Artimez has more than 35 years of experience in civil and criminal law. An attorney with extensive trial experience, he has handled more than 70 jury trials, 50 of them as chief counsel.
In addition to his civil practice, Artimez currently serves as the prosecuting attorney for the City of Moundsville and is a former assistant prosecuting attorney for Marshall County. He says that one of his proudest achievements is that throughout his career as a prosecutor, he has maintained a 100 percent conviction rate in cases involving drug dealers and sex offenders.
Artimez said he has always focused a portion of his practice on protecting children. With more than 20 years experience representing abused or neglected children in court, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network and for Harmony House Children’s Advocacy Center.
The election for the Second Judicial Circuit will be in the May 10th Primary, and for the first time will be non-partisan. The other candidates in the race are Jeffrey Cramer and David Hummel Jr.
Artimez said in order to be as effective as possible on the bench, a judge needs to have significant experience in as many areas of the law as possible.
“The practice of law is very much like the medical profession in that respect,” he said. “Just as you don’t go to a family doctor to perform neurosurgery, you can’t expect a judge with minimal trial experience to efficiently and competently handle complex civil and criminal litigation. I have been practicing law for 35 years, during which time I have handled hundreds of cases of pretty much every imaginable type. From the simplest wills or real estate transactions, to prosecuting drug dealers and murderers, to the most complex civil cases with multiple millions of dollars at stake, I have substantial experience in pretty much everything there is to see in the legal field.”
Artimez explained the nature of sitting on the bench.
“It’s also important to understand that the nature of a judge’s experience is critically important to his success on the bench,” he said. “It isn’t enough to have simply worked on or supervised cases of one sort or another; the most qualified judge should have substantial experience in actually presenting his case to a jury.”
Artimez said trial experience to an attorney is much like surgery is to a doctor.
“Just as a family practitioner could not be expected to supervise heart transplant surgery, a judge with minimal trial experience cannot be expected to preside over complex cases at trial,” he said. Any experienced lawyer can tell you that trying cases is an art that is only learned through experience, and the judge who is responsible for making sure that justice is done needs an intimate understanding of trial tactics and procedures if he is to effectively do his job.”
Artimez said throughout my career, he has been involved in more than 70 jury trials, and in over 50 of those trials, he served as chief counsel.
“I have tried cases from the simplest auto accident, to the most complex product liability cases, to the prosecution and conviction of sexual offenders and pedophiles,” he said. “I am the only candidate in this race who has the combination of years and quality of experience to be the most effective judge possible.”
Artimez said aside from the experience, there are several reasons why people should vote for him.
“I have been described as an ‘old school’ candidate, and that suits me just fine,” he said. “I was raised to get up early, work hard, and make sure the end result of my work is something I can be proud to put my name on. My parents taught me that actions have consequences, and a person can’t escape the result of his actions just because of where he lives or who he knows.”
Artimez said if a particular act is deserving of punishment, that punishment should not change simply because the person who did the act has more money or influence than most.
“Equal justice under the law means just that: equal,” he said.
Artimez pledges to be a judge that the citizens can talk and relate to.
“My name is John, and it won’t change to ‘Your Honor’ or ‘Judge Artimez’ simply because I win an election,” he said. “I am a volunteer firefighter, a deer hunter, a bass fisherman, and I still enjoy a cold beer and a good cigar. A good judge needs to always remember where he came from.”
Artimez said people should vote for him because he is committed to eliminating the flood of illegal drugs flowing into communities.
“The politically correct thing to say here would be something about trials and verdicts and fairness, but this is not a time for political correctness,” he said. “In order to eliminate the plague of illegal drugs, we need to create an atmosphere where drug dealers are afraid to peddle their deadly products in our communities. In my courtroom, a convicted drug dealer can expect to serve every minute, of every hour, of every day of the maximum possible sentence for his/her crimes. No plea deals, no probation, no home confinement. If you are convicted of dealing drugs, you will go to jail, and you will stay there for as long as possible. It’s as simple as that.”
Artimez said he is most passionate about protecting our children and communities. He said as a prosecutor, he maintained a 100 percent conviction rate in cases involving sex offenders and drug dealers as well as a 100 percent conviction rate in cases of any sort that went to trial.
“I was able to maintain those success rates because I understand the importance of protecting those who are unable to protect themselves,” he said.
Artimez said being a circuit judge is about far more than simply moving up the ladder in his chosen profession.
“It’s about giving back to the people who have given me so much over the course of my lifetime,” he said. “It’s about protecting my friends and neighbors from the deadly onslaught of heroin and other illegal drugs. In the end, I want people to know me and to decide that I am the person they trust to protect them and their families. And then, I want to exceed their expectations.”