Fairfax criminal lawyer/Virginia DUI attorney Jon Katz’s website is full of essential information and ideas for avoiding arrests in the first place, and for navigating the labyrinthian legal system once suspected or arrested.
The key for criminal and DUI defendants is not to go to court alone. Booby traps — often invisible to the naked eye — can abound in the courthouse, and must be neutralized and transcended in advance. Your Virginia criminal lawyer’s job is to effectively battle for your winning defense regardless of the landmines and bows and arrows flying around. Jon Katz practices criminal defense and DWI defense almost exclusively, and primarily in Northern Virginia, appearing in the courts of Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Alexandria City, and the Alexandria federal court.
Jon Katz has been a trial lawyer since 1991, when he joined the Maryland Public Defender’s Office (1991-96) after an early stint handling civil litigation and regulatory work with a great corporate law firm team (1989-91). Jon graduated from a highly-ranked law school and college– George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1989) and Tufts University (B.A., cum laude, 1985). After highly-competitive selection processes, he attended the premier two-week Trial Practice Institute of the National Criminal Defense College (1994) and the four-week Trial Lawyers College (1995) at the ranch of premier trial lawyer Gerry Spence, who taught at the college nearly every weekday.
After two subsquent years with a local trial law firm (1996-98), Jon became his own boss with his former law partner Jay Marks (1998-2008), serving as the firm’s criminal law partner. Jon then formed his current law firm in 2008.
During the year between college and law school, Jon worked as a financial examiner at Wall Street’s Irving Trust Company, including reviewing for compliance with money laundering laws, against fraud and theft, and for sound financial practices. Work at Irving Trust took Jon from as close as Rockefeller Center to upstate New York, to as far Japan and Hong Kong. The Northern Virginia area teems with immigrants and speakers of English as a second language. Jon relishes such an exciting population diversity, and accommodates his non-U.S. citizen clients by keeping abreast of immigration risks from criminal court outcomes, and by speaking fluent French and proficient Spanish.
Jon’s main work is criminal and DUI trial litigation through jury and bench trials, and he also has significant appellate law experience. Jon’s published victories are Maryland v. Taylor, et al., 371 Md. 617, 810 A.2d 964 (2002), where Jon — defending three strip club managers — and the co-appellant won a key criminal case dismissal under state double jeopardy principles, and Dring v. Sullivan, 423 F. Supp. 2d 540 (D.Md. 2006), where Jon convinced a federal trial court to eject a defamation suit brought by one martial arts referee against our client martial arts referee, because the lawsuit was filed in the wrong federal court. The plaintiff never re-filed the lawsuit after the case dismissal.
With Northern Virginia as his base, Jon defends without geographical nor mental borders. Whether to take the unorthodox or orthodox battle path is not the question. All that matters is finding and staying on the path to victory, and remaining fearless on that path.
By Jon Katz
Being on the side of the angels, I thrive in the battle for my clients. Winning is euphoric and battling for victory is a thrill in itself. My zeal for fighting for the accused goes as far back as the age of ten, when a teacher stopped me in the hallway, and interrogated: “Why were you playing last Wednesday at the apartments across the street?” I asked why she was accusing me. “Because someone reported a brown-haired boy in a blue coat doing that.” I replied: “You have just described half the boys in the school.” I then walked away from this teacher possibly stunned by my firm mouth of reason. I am committed to speaking up and persuading for all accused, whether or not they did any of the acts they are accused of.
This is your battle for justice. I am ready to fight alongside you.
My clients too often are unfairly painted as alleged wrongdoers and ne’er-do-wells by police, prosecutors, judges and the general public. My job includes transcending all that and humanizing my clients.
The stakes are often high for criminal and DUI defendants, and the battle plans need to be tailor made, ready to include unconventional approaches when orthodoxy will not do.
One day a client expressed surprise that I would entertain taking his “small criminal case.” To me, no case is too big or too small, because, in the end, an often substantial piece of my client’s life is connected to that case, and I take seriously the responsibility my clients place in me to fight for justice alongside them. There is no such thing as just another DUI case, just another drug case, just another weapons case, or just another any kind of case. Each case is critical for each client, and each case comes alive through the human drama surrounding the case and with our fighting on the right side of justice. I do my best to convey my client’s story, my client’s humanity, and how this indeed, is not just another case on the docket, to judges and juries in a compelling and persuasive way in our fight for justice for each client, one at a time.
I listen deeply to what you are saying and not saying; and to your concerns, fears and hopes. I use that as ammunition to fight on your behalf and to help give you harmony and to reduce the pressure on your shoulders as we proceed forward. I endeavor to bill honestly and to give full value to my clients. I will always be honest and fair with you, not only because the lawyers’ ethics rules mandate it, but also because that is the only way I know how to live.
We are easy to reach, easy to talk to, and easy to work with.
Fairfax, Virginia criminal lawyer Jon Katz’s work is all about his clients, winning, and civil liberties.
From the time Jon entered public school in 1968, he was captivated by the daily Pledge of Allegiance’s promise of Liberty and Justice for All, and then the Declaration of Independence’s insistence on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and ending tyranny. However, from that time until today, we still have far to go to close the gap between the ideals of the pledge of allegiance and Declaration of Independence on the one hand, and the realities of the criminal justice system in Virginia and beyond and the nation’s civil liberties situation on the other.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jon Katz thrives defending his clients in criminal court not because it is some sort of rarefied place to do intellectual jousting, but because despite the mess and ugliness that often faces criminal defendants in court, the courtroom is the decisive battlefield for obtaining justice.
Jon’s main motivating factors for doing the work he does is fully serving clients against the legally-backed might of police and prosecutors, protecting civil liberties, and reveling in the thrill of battling for victory. As a result, Jon’s legal practice focuses on criminal defense and DUI defense, where DUI arrests ensnare even those who otherwise support governments’ so-called get-tough-on-crime campaigns. Because civil liberties are not only protected through criminal defense, on occasion Jon also defends students caught in disciplinary actions, and advocates for First Amendment rights through libel defense, adult entertainment defense, and defense of political activists and demonstrators.
Virginia criminal lawyer Jon Katz fully defends you regardless of your politics, profession, or personal background. He fights for you no matter how big or small your case may seem at first blush. All that matters to Jon is that you are an individual needing a lawyer to fight for your rights and for the best possible outcome in your case.
All of the above is Jon’s call to battle for his clients. Backing that up is his over two decades of experience successfully defending clients at trial and in negotiations backed by readiness to go to trial, and by Jon’s close teamwork with his experienced staff.
Jon and his staff are ready to serve you.
Virginia criminal lawyer Jon Katz believes in lawyering without borders, by being admitted to the surrounding essential bars and by litigating with an eye to transcending obstacles as best he can. Jon passed both his bar exams (Virginia and Maryland) on the first sitting, including when the Virginia bar exam had a 45% pass rate (Feb. 1997).
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jon Katz graduated from the highly-competitive George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1989) and Tufts University (B.A., cum laude, 1985). Through highly-competitive selection processes, Jon attended the Trial Practice Institute of the National Criminal Defense College (1994) and the full-month Trial Lawyer’s College (1995).
Great legal defense requires constant learning and retooling, including through sharing and brainstorming with colleagues, and serving worthy organizations. In that regard, Fairfax criminal lawyer Jon Katz is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, Legal Committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, First Amendment Lawyers Association, and American Civil Liberties Union. Jon is a past Board Member of Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (2002-05), Board Member of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (1992-95), and Vice President of the Philippine American Bar Association of the capital area (1998-2001),
Jon opened his current law firm in 2008. Before then, he was the criminal defense law partner at the law firm of Marks & Katz, LLC (1998-2008), a trial lawyer at Chaikin & Sherman (1996-98), a trial lawyer at the Maryland Public Defender’s Office, and an associate attorney at D.C.’s Weiner, McCaffrey law firm. During law school, Jon worked as a law clerk at the Weiner, McCaffrey law firm (1988-90), and as a first-year summer law clerk at the then-named Federal Home Loan Bank Board (1988). Before law school, Jon worked for a year as a financial examiner at the Irving Trust Company (1985-86).
Virginia criminal lawyer Jon Katz believes in spreading the word of justice on his criminal defense blog and through the news media. He is experienced effectively dealing with the media to his clients’ advantage, having defended in such high profile cases as the Westboro Baptist Church’s trial (that proceeded to a Supreme Court victory on First Amendment grounds); radical peace activists in the Plowshares depleted uranium case (teaming up with Lyndon Johnson’s last attorney general Ramsey Clark to defend famous peace activist Philip Berrigan and co-defendants).