Monday, August 10, 2020

People v. Ogaz (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 10, 2020)

This is a really well-written and well-reasoned opinion.  That's somewhat surprising given that it was initially unpublished.  Often a justice will save his or her best written work for published opinions.  Not here.

I was also surprised when I reached the end of the opinion and saw that it was written by . . . Justice Bedsworth.  It's not that he's typically a slouch in the writing department; far from it.  Rather, it's that the opinion wasn't particularly written in his inimitable style.  I suspect that there are reasons for that; in any event, the author did an outstanding job, in my view.  The writing is crisp and clean.

Though then, after discovering (on page 19) that the opinion was from Justice Bedsworth, I then got (at the end) to the page or two of amendments that were subsequently added to the opinion once the Court of Appeal granted the request to publish.  There's that unmistakable Justice Bedsworth style.  Including but not limited to the footnote.  Couldn't be anyone else.

Then I also looked back at the caption (and docket) and discovered that the Deputy Attorney General who argued the case was none other than a friend and former professorial colleague at the University of San Diego -- Junichi Semitsu.  Junichi is a fascinating fellow (just a taste here) and wonderful lawyer.  But he didn't prevail in this case, so:  Total Loser.

Though I suspect that Mr. Ogaz will be convicted again on remand.  This time with the right lab technician on the stand to confirm (as required by the Confrontation Clause) that, yep, that's indeed heroin and meth that they seized from the guy.