Beware of Dogs Bearing Gifts

Poodle Cleans Up Nick Welsh’s Mess

Thursday, July 11, 2013
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RETRACT THIS: Attorney Darryl Wayne Genis has demanded a retraction from me. It involves what appears to be a nitpicky point, but I intend to give him one anyway. For those just tuning in, Genis has emerged as Santa Barbara’s best-known lawyer, specializing exclusively in defending people charged with driving while under the influence. More than that, he reigns as the id monster of the local court scene, infuriating judges and prosecutors alike with his open contempt, saying out loud things that most attorneys are afraid to even think. Court documents indicate he informed one judge, “I feel sorry for your shortsightedness,” and is famous for referring to Judge George Eskin as “Georgie Porgie.” Judge Frank Ochoa he once called, “a petty-minded self-absorbed power monger,” not to mention, “a pro-Mexican-American racist.” Of a prosecuting attorney he recently beat, he was quoted in the News-Press boasting, “I slit her throat and she doesn’t even know she’s bleeding.”

Angry Poodle

As with most courthouse performers, the mystery surrounding Genis is whether he wears the mask or the mask wears him. Loud and flamboyant, Genis dresses like a leprechaun on crack. There’s an unconfirmed story making the rounds that Genis recently bought a suit off Elton John because the singer found it too outlandish. If it’s not true, it should be. In action, however, Genis is part tsunami, part wrecking ball, and all attack. On a strictly animal level, Genis is a marvel, prolific beyond belief and a force of nature for whom sleep seems utterly beside the point. Genis, it must be acknowledged, has won two major victories involving the Santa Barbara Police Department in the last year and is riding high. But he also finds himself in serious hot water with the bench. Judge Jean Dandona recently found Genis in contempt of court for calling prosecuting attorney Hannah Lucy a “little girl” in Dandona’s courtroom. She offered Genis an opportunity to apologize ​— ​which he did ​— ​but the judge deemed his contrition contrived and insincere. So she fined him $1,000, citing his “disorderly, contemptuous, and insolent behavior.” That doesn’t sound like much, but in court circles, it’s a very big deal.

Last week, I wrote ​— ​in my alter ego as a news reporter ​— ​a brief news article on the subject. In closing, I noted that judges George Eskin and Frank Ochoa had been so put off by Genis’s courtroom antics that they’d recused themselves from hearing any of his cases. While Genis never replied to any of my emails for comment prior to the writing of the article, he wasted little time demanding a retraction almost immediately upon publication. I was factually inaccurate on a key detail, he pointed out. Judge Ochoa, Genis insisted, did not recuse himself from hearing Genis’s cases in 2007; Ochoa, in fact, was ordered by another judge not to hear any of Genis’s cases because of an action brought by Genis alleging Ochoa was biased against Genis. Ochoa had called Genis ​— ​in open court ​— ​“the most unethical attorney I have encountered in my judicial career.” Genis has a point, so let me set the record straight. There are three court rulings on the matter. In two, independent judges from outside Santa Barbara County upheld Ochoa’s ability to preside impartially. But another case went the other way. On May 25, 2007, Judge Lee Cooper, then a retired assignment judge, concluded that a rational person might question Ochoa’s ability to remain impartial. Ochoa had threatened to file an official misconduct complaint against Genis, Cooper noted, and Genis had, in fact, filed such a complaint against Ochoa. Cooper, in his ruling, also praised Ochoa for displaying “a commendable level of patience” in dealing with Genis’s “insincere apologies” and “apparent misrepresentations.” As for Genis, the judge said he was “not always careful with the truth,” that he conducted himself in court “in a condescending, supercilious manner,” and that “his circumlocutious explanations seem disingenuous at best.” Cooper termed Genis’s conduct “deplorable,” adding, he “should be reported to the State Bar!” Last August, the Appellate Division of the San Luis Obispo County bench fined Genis $750 for repeatedly failing to show up despite being personally ordered ​— ​multiple times ​— ​to do so. The panel of judges described Genis’s oral arguments “a parade of insults and affronts,” taking particular exception to Genis’s description of the judges as “women in a sewing circle” gossiping about attorneys. They concluded monetary sanctions were not enough for Genis. “Something more therapeutic needs to be done,” they explained in ordering a copy of their opinion be sent to the California State Bar for disciplinary action. They differed from Cooper only in the omission of the exclamation mark.

For the record, Genis has since objected that shortly before he called Hannah Lucy a “little girl,” she had called him an “asshole.” This she did, he claimed, while walking out of Judge Eskin’s courtroom and into Dandona’s. I do not know Lucy, but I’d bet $100 she did it. When I called for a confirmation or denial, her supervisor Gary Gemberling called me back instead, to say he had been in court that day and never heard the A-word epithet hurled. To most reporters, that’s as close to an admission one can make without actually making one. Last Wednesday, Genis mysteriously sought to file “a hybrid contempt” against Lucy into Eskin’s courtroom despite Eskin’s blanket recusal. Things got hot fast. Based on second- and third-hand accounts, Genis prefaced his argument by identifying himself as “an officer of the court.” This reportedly inflamed Eskin, who countered that Genis was not an officer of the court in Eskin’s courtroom, where Genis was not allowed to practice law. Eskin then accused Genis of lying to him in his courtroom and then reportedly stood up and walked out of the room. Fireworks like that were not seen on the Fourth of July. Genis has since filed a complaint with the Commission on Judicial Performance.

So Darryl, there’s your retraction. But maybe the point isn’t so nitpicky after all.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Thanks for a hopefully full, and presumably factual account. I read in another source that the contempt charge was inapplicable because Genis was not in the courtroom at the time of the alleged insult. ANd Genis did allege that your email to him was rather profane - no comment on that?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 8:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Genis dresses like a leprechaun on crack."

Oh, oh. Now his haberdasher is going to be looking for a retraction too.

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Who really cares how Genis dresses? The real question is why do judges get to conduct legal proceedings dressed in what ammounts to a cloth sack?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Brilliant poodle.

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The top attorney is a drunk driver lawyer going after a paper that is a running ad for the alcohol industry. What irony.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 8:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nick STILL can't report facts correctly. Too many errors to correct. But I'm not going to argue with him because as the old Joe Walsh album title correctly proclaims: 'You can't reason with a sick mind.'

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

(This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of use policy.)

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.

This was neither brilliant nor particularly compelling poodledog. When you let being cute get in the way of the facts you are displaying the same flawed characteristics that DG is capable of.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Setting a few of Nicks 'Facts' straight:
The 'Little Girl' comment was made on June 20, 2013 at 11:55 am in Department 11 in response to Ms. Lucy rolling her eyes, tossing her hair and sighing in her 'Valley Girl' act after I asked if perhaps she could please act more professional at the afternoon session.
Whereas, the incident where she used the "A-hole" word occurred on July 3, 2013 at approximately 10:55 am in Department 12 where I sat patiently and silently waiting for Ms. Lucy who was two and a half hours late for her hearing in Department 11. Mr. Gemberling was not in the courtroom at that time so he certainly could not have heard anything. There was however a witness (Chris Cook) who signed a sworn declaration and I provided that to Nick, but apparently he can't be troubled by easily accessed facts that get in the way of his muddled excuse for reporting.
The item of clothing referred to was a vintage pair of Teal colored Versace boots, not a suit (though I did also purchase several suits and other assorted shoes and boots) when Sir Elton John and his life partner David Furnish sold all their possessions to raise money for Aids research. Perhaps Nick will Benifit from that act of charity since he appears either like a practicing crackhead, or a dying aids patient.
As for Eskin saying anything, who cares. And he didn't just walk off the bench, he was crying and he ran out of the courtroom into chambers (shades of an earlier episode in the LA city attorney's office when he was covering for Burt Pine). And I can't take credit for Georgie Porgie, that goes to the late, and great Michael Ganshaw. Why, I asked Michael and he told me: "Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry".
Nick, I'll ask again: Why did Eskin's clerk "Pat" suddenly retire? Is there a connection? Did he 'make her cry'? Was there a cover up?
Do some real reporting you worthless turd.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 7:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Genus says he is not going to engage with Welsh and 8 minutes later he starts spewing. Then Genus quickly pivots to another unrelated gossipy topic and finishes with profane language directed at the Poodle. This guy seems ready to implode...

henryjk (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You must be really good at math.
The time difference between 6:44 and 7:04 is 20 minutes, not 8 minutes. Genius.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Genis, you're a really sick individual.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Despicable comments from a despicable man.
Mr. Genis, I suspect that the clock is ticking on your 15 minutes of SB "fame."
Even the fools who see you as some sort of "defender" against local law enforcement's excesses are wising up. Get a clue (and a proofreader as well.)
You're a public embarrassment.

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not so sure Genis' time is up. There are a LOT of drunk drivers around, and with the possibility of the national blood alcohol content being lowered from 0.08 to 0.05, think of all the work he will have on his hands.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 5:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, I'm sure eventually they'll get it down to to where that morning gargle with Listerine or that balsamic vinegar on your salad will send you to jail - gotta keep the prison/industrial complex in the pink!

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 6:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No Genus... you posted at 9:09 and again at 9:17. Seems like about 8 minutes to me but then you are the attorney with the eye for detail.

henryjk (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 10:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Henryjk: Speaking of attorneys who have eyes for details (only when it suits their cause) I remember when Leslie Abramson was defending the Menendez brothers in their murder trial she referred to them as "the boys". How interesting, they were both over 18 when they killed their parents.

As we know, details are capricious things for some barristers.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 1:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Perhaps Nick will Benifit [sic] from that act of charity since he appears either like a practicing crackhead, or a dying aids patient."

Oh Mr. Genis. Shame on you, as a writer (or someone who thinks he can; I shudder to imagine your pleadings) and member of the SB community, let alone an attorney. Anyone who publicly expresses such a sentiment or belief is a pitiful being.

I thought Mr. Welsh had a few decent, non-vile/non-attacking things to say about you. Yes, my radar may be wholly off-kilter and I'll have to read past comments and interactions.
I was once a paralegal in a meaningful practice that truly protected the public (I don't want to identify myself by defining it, but we helped protect children). In part from my work, but mostly as a citizen, I realize how unprofessional you are, as all it takes to see what you are is reading local media and most especially YOUR POSTS! But I do grudgingly congratulate you on some parts of your work, because it brings issues to light. Too bad that you are the biggest issue.

You certainly do not deserve attention. You are a grand-stander and an Internet troll. I intend to treat you as such.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 5:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks Zappa. I realized I had left "despicable" out of my post to and about Genis, Esq. I agree, and now I hope to ignore the man -- apart from reading about him, especially if Mr. Welsh is writing!

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 5:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Hubris is one of the great renewable resources." - P.J. O'Rourke

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2013 at 6:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ooh, I remember back in the 80s I used to quote P. J. O'Rourke all the time... when he wrote for National Lampoon. Then he seems to have been caught in a downward spiral - from Car and Driver, he devolved to American Spectator till, well... where does a person have to go to quote P. J.? The Honolulu Advertiser? The SLO Easy Ad? Where? (Enquiring minds want to know!)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2013 at 11:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I remember when O'Rourke wrote the National Lampoon.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 21, 2013 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For those not busy viewing their own prostates, he's been quite visible and active:

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 21, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the link, Ken_V. O'Rourke is very witty. I had never heard of him when I read the quote I used earlier. I just like what it says, and I thought it was appropriate re the subject of this comment thread.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 21, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wish more attorney's had the balls he has. I wish you the best Darrly Genis you're the best there is.

dorothydee (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2013 at 5:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A girl talking about balls... Seems legit, NOT! Darryl your new screen name? Created two days ago....

deniseL (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2013 at 9:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

1 box National Lampoon, 70's - 80's, best offer, memorized, some good condition, some readable. We have a critical humor deficit in current society. We need this not only because it makes us laugh, but because laughter is a beneficial "drug" - it causes endorphin release, like exercise and opiates. We're very fortunate to have Ashleigh Brilliant in our community, and we shouldn't ignore his occasional commentary on local events.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2013 at 11:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't agree with O'Rourke on quite a few topics, but I really DO miss his humor - he was a funny guy. (Not so sure about his sense of humor now though, it seems to me that his bread and butter "conservatism" impedes his thought process to a certain extent.)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 5:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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