Attorney Darryl Genis

Paul Wellman (file)

Attorney Darryl Genis

Attorney Darryl Genis Again Accused of Misconduct

[VIDEO]: Surveillance Footage Shows Him Apparently Photographing and Tampering with Prosecutor’s Private Notes During DUI Trial

Originally published 12:30 p.m., July 22, 2014
Updated 11:00 a.m., July 23, 2014
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A private defense attorney at the center of some of Santa Barbara’s biggest DUI cases has again been accused of misconduct and flouting courtroom rules. Darryl Genis — already in the State Bar of California’s crosshairs and facing a 90-day suspension of his right to practice law — is charged with photographing and tampering with the private notes of a prosecutor in a recent DUI trial, then lying to a judge when confronted with the allegations.

The incident was recorded by a courtroom surveillance camera and the footage is included in the case’s public legal file. The Santa Barbara Independent has obtained a copy of the video and published it below.

Genis is charged with contempt of court, an offense he’s been found guilty of before, and is this time facing three specific allegations: “abusing the process of the court by willfully deceiving the court,” “violating rules of court by photographing opposing counsel’s trial notes,” and “abusing the process of the court by interfering with the opposing counsel’s trial notes.” He’s been ordered to appear before Judge Donna Geck on August 1 to answer to the counts but maintains he did nothing wrong.

“An unsworn accusation was made,” Genis said in an email on Sunday. “I tendered the equivalent of a plea of not guilty. I am not guilty of any of the three unsworn allegations. I look forward to being exonerated after Judge Geck hears the evidence and applies the law to it.” If an attorney is found in contempt, a rare occurrence in Santa Barbara’s court system, their punishment can range from a chastisement to a monetary sanction to jail time. Depending on the severity of the penalty, attorneys may be required to report themselves to the State Bar.

In the July 17 court order, Judge Brian Hill — who was presiding over the DUI case in question — details how on June 9, prosecutor Justin Greene announced to him that Genis had “deliberately disturbed or ‘fiddled’ with his papers” during a 15-minute recess in the proceedings. The move was reportedly seen by a witness still sitting on the stand at the time. The case would later end in a mistrial for unrelated reasons.

When Hill confronted Genis with Greene’s accusation, Genis asked, “Does that deserve a response?” After Hill said it did, Genies denied the incident four separate times, explaining he ‘categorically den[ied]’ any interference with the prosecutor’s papers.” Hill told Genis he would review a videotape of the recess to determine the veracity of Green’s charges. The entire back-and-forth that day is transcribed in the court filing and attached to the bottom of this article.

“A review of the videotape reveals that Mr. Genis approached the prosecutor’s counsel table and surveyed his surroundings,” Hill wrote in this week’s order. “He appeared to read and rearrange some documents, then removed his cell phone and photographed something on the prosecutor’s table. Mr. Genis then proceeded to hide a document under a larger stack of papers.” The document was a laminated half-sheet of paper that Greene referenced during his objections.

Hill also noted that in June 2012, he admonished Genis for videotaping a witness and taking photos of people in the audience without the court’s permission. This incident and Hill’s cautioning, said the judge, proves Genis was made aware of such courtroom rules yet ignored them on June 9 to carry out his “willful and contemptuous acts.” The 2012 trial was also prosecuted by Greene.

It’s not clear what effect, if any, the new set of allegations will have on Genis’s pending State Bar case. If the State Bar becomes involved in the latest issue, it would likely open a separate case. In February, State Bar Court Judge Richard Honn ruled that Genis had carried out “multiple acts of wrongdoing, bad faith, significant harm to the administration of justice, indifference toward rectification or atonement for the consequences of his misconduct and contemptuous attitude.”

Honn threw out two of the four allegations against Genis but nevertheless found him guilty of “willful disobedience” for ignoring judges’ repeated orders in two different cases, one in Santa Barbara and one in San Luis Obispo. He recommended Genis’s law practice be suspended for 90 days, his license be placed on probation for two years, and that he attend anger-management counseling. But, Honn noted, Genis’s “lack of insight raises concerns as to whether his misconduct may recur and is particularly troubling to this court.” Honn’s verdict must be upheld by a three-judge State Bar panel and the California Supreme Court.

Genis, who has no prior record with the State Bar, has appealed the ruling. So have State Bar attorneys, who contend the proposed punishment is too lenient considering Genis’s ongoing pattern of misconduct. “In the end, I believe I will be fully exonerated,” Genis told The Independent in February. But even if he’s not, Genis said he would take comfort in knowing that he had “worked tirelessly as an advocate for my clients.” And a suspension would let him spend time with his “beautiful two children and my beloved wife,” he said.

A ruling on both appeals is still pending. In the meantime, Genis continues to practice law.

During last month’s contentious trial with Greene, Genis claimed that the Department of Justice crime lab in Goleta, which processes blood samples for alcohol content in DUI cases, has not followed the requisite technical processes in conducting their analysis. Further, he has alleged that employees of the crime lab swear under penalty of perjury to have followed these procedures. Last week, Genis met with senior prosecuting attorneys Hilary Dozer and Kelly Scott in the chambers of Judge Hill to hash out these issues.

Hill reportedly ordered the District Attorney’s Office to turn over all recent emails sent from county prosecutors to the crime lab and vice versa — as well as between all prosecuting attorneys among themselves on the same subject — to determine whether potentially exculpatory evidence was not provided to defense counsels. According to Genis, no fewer than 6,000 email chains were given to Hill.

But, according to prosecution sources, Hill indicated no potentially exculpatory evidence was dredged up in the effort. Instead, he found that the email chains did show that evidence that might have been used by defense attorneys to impeach a prosecution witness was not turned over in three separate cases. Hill made no finding that there was an intent to withhold this information. It’s unclear what impact this new information may have on the affected cases.


Nick Welsh contributed to this report.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Caught on Candid Camera!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 2:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Darryl, Darryl, Darryl----once again (like his many clients) the genius goes afoul of the law. And that hat? Seriously? Fat Masterson.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 2:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If these serious allegations are true, then he needs to be disciplined. DG, you need to keep your eyes on your own paper, chief.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 3:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Did you know that this case was drafted by the famous, or in some womens' views, infamous, S. Carr? I mean, you should know, as he is the only man that could be able to produce such a concise and clear report. I mean honestly, just reading the first few words of the report, how he capitalizes those words with such gusto and aggression, as to strike fear into the reader's very soul, all in the name of justice. He is truly a man of a higher caliber than the rest. One may say he is comparable to the Star of Bethlehem; the wise men follow him.

CigarLakhani (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 4:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

this should be fun!

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Incorrigible Fool.

mangomamma (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis is demented, no lawyer I have ever met would think he/she could get away with that, or would want to. That is like have a peep hole in a bathroom. He may be on the road to disbarment with that video. Really really weird.

sbreader (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis jumped the shark long ago.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

" the email chains did show that evidence that might have been used by defense attorneys to impeach a prosecution witness was not turned over in three separate cases. Hill made no finding that there was an intent to withhold this information.'

Give me a break here - does Hill always work for the DA's office when he's pretending to be a superior Court Judge? I watched Beutel on the witness stand, and he was unreal.

The DA's office not turning over evidence that could impeach a witness in 3 different trials isn't worth mentioning? Thats' withoding evidence! The same thing Dozer did over 10 years ago to get a murder conviction with no bar sanction. DA's cheat all the time, but they should be held accountable.

I noticed the Indy's Raymond Morua articles didn't mention any guests from the Public Defender's Office, only the DA's office.

Considering the police perjury, DA discretion in trying cases, crooked DA's and judges, locals need a gang of our own for protection.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis is apparently a narcissistic sociopath (like most of his clients) simply from the evidence of the video. Does he think he is James Bond? Oh the adrenalin rush when he pauses and turns away to avoid the detection the bailiff, who soon thereafter enters the scene! The best thing that could happen on August 1st is for him to be found guilty of contempt, taken into custody by the bailiff, and taken to the pokey (without a toothbrush) for 48 hours or so to sit in his Homburg hat and ponder his actions. What a low rent loser he is.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Daryl: I like your new look, but the hat should be a little wider, and set about 2-3 inches lower.

No man is properly attired without a hat, I say.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 9:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Genis jumped the shark long ago."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 7:22 p.m.

He's not only jumped the shark, he's jumped Dolphinpod14 as well. An aquatic version of Evel Knievel

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 9:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Speaking of hats and dolphins, with apologies to dp14 for infringing on his/her schtick (and not least to Charles Mingus), a musical "tribute" and farewell to this shyster-clown:

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Eddie Sachs, the "Clown Prince" of Indy Car driving who backed up his antics with by being a great race car driver used to say "If you can't win, be spectacular".

This would apply to Genis.

Seriously, someone could make a fortune by giving Genis his own reality show.

Love him or hate him, he IS entertaining.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 6:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

100 Genises > 1 Beutel

"That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved." -Benjamin Franklin

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 9:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cigar, I believe the document was written by Judge Hill. S. Carr is just the clerk in the office that accepted and stamped the document for filing.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 11:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Legendary Yeti January 28, 2014

" I also think it's time to cut Ms. Beutel a little slack. If she was guilty of all that her accusers said she is guilty of, then the department would have removed her long ago. Her accusers seem to have major axes to grind."

5 forged signatures on Trombetta releases, multiple perjuries in police reports; claims of being in different locations at the same time, etc, field sobriety forms filled out in advance...
tazing, threatening to shoot his dog, fraudulent worker's comp claim in a traffic stop for a taillight out

penalty - representing SBPD in community

Has SBPD ever fired a cop for misconduct? Has the DA ever filed charges against a cop for misconduct?

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 6:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

From my perspective, rogue cops are not a threat to me as I spend my evenings at home mostly and the last dozen or so entertainment venues I attended, I saw not a single cop while driving home (or when my wife drove home if I had been drinking). What I think is a far worse menace and public safety hazard is drunk drivers on the road. I am all for exuberance in the pursuit and arrest of drunk drivers. A drunk driver who gets off on a technicality because Genis is a skilled attorney remains a menace and public health hazard. Twice in my life, I have lived in countries ruled by dictatorships and the police protection that we have in Santa Barbara County is nothing like what those poor people endured. In my view 14noscams and loonpt are a little too paranoid about the police. Maybe they had bad relationships with their fathers.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 6:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt is one of my two fathers, the other being Foofighter.

FoolPt (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 9:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are you saying Loonpt and 14noscams are related?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 9:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think Genis may be my father. That would explain a lot.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 5:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

14noscams, the answers to both of your questions is yes, not that this has anything to do with the subject of this Indy article or with Officer Beutel. Repeating someone else's version of facts does not make them true nor does it prove anything. But please keep grinding your axes.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 6:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Genius never learned one of the golden rules in life -- What goes around comes around. Maybe Mr. Genius ought to reflect upon the time he worked with former DDA Franklin to railroad a local Latino (knowing the deck was stacked against the Latino) into a prejury felony conviction. What they knew was that the judge in that case harbored a personal bias against the Latino because the judge wrongly believed the Latino was a right wing ideologue. Mr. Genius believed he would curry favors with the DA office by his actions. But that didn't pan out and worse, Mr. Genius acted in direct contrary to the true tenets of criminal defense theories.

OpenMind (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 8:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckerman: Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad for you that your boring lifestyle has enabled you to avoid contact with a rogue cop who could, on a whim, take you to jail for something you didn't do and otherwise unfairly ratchet you into the criminal justice system (which you seem to believe you could never be thrust into, except by your own choosing (because everybody in it chooses to be in it, right?)... because you're inherently special.… or is it because you're white and/or affluent… Or is it because because your parents, Ward and June, raised you better?)). Does leading a less boring lifestyle seem to you to be a fair reason for having to deal with rogue cops? Ironically, it's self-focused people like you who whine and cry the loudest when the government is unfair to them in any way shape or form. Go ahead and claim that we need rogue cops to combat the DUI problem. Go ahead until it's you who is falsely accused, and then we'll see. Everyone hates lawyers until they need one. Yes, DUI is dangerous and undesirable. So are rogue cops. A more insidious problem is people like you who can only see as far as their own navels.

Hobbs3 (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis is a scumbag, the kind of low life form loonywoony supports. Birds of a feather flock together they say and loons are a bird, so...

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 12:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm going to continue to side with Ben Franklin on this one, you guys can continue to side with tyranny and the British Crown.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 12:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice guess about my past and experiences but no cigar for you Hobbs3. I have lived and continue to live a very interesting and rich life. I have been menaced by policemen who entered my home without knocking and without permission and proceeded to threaten me with all manner of crimes (only about a third of which really applied to situation of all the pot smoking minors in my apartment). I watched a friend get hit by a metal flashlight for the crime of sassing off. But you know, I grew up and I got perspective and I quit putting myself in situations where I might run afoul of the police (i.e., I quit breaking the law). Cops should not exceed the boundaries of their authority. On the other hand, drunk drivers are much more dangerous than zealous cops. Just look at the statistics.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckermann is correct about the DUIdemic. However moralizing about it isn't a solution. It's akin to asking a person to stop smoking if they are in a designating smoking area. Rather, the ending of DUIs solution is hidden somewhere in the public policy morass in which alcohol flows freely; it is thoroughly enjoyed by a large majority of responsible drinkers; and it is Legal.

OpenMind (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 4:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No loony, you're going to run with teabagger/truther conspiracy theory. It's how you roll (more like stumble).

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 5:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

He's B-slapped the Kangaroo Court so many times, they're hopping mad. I wish he was inside the crooked Justice, IRS, VA, State, Obama Admin., to expose their prolific criminality.

skcyclist (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 8:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yep, blah, that's our pal loony-toons: "run(ning) with teabagger/truther conspiracy theory"(-ies) all the time, day or night. DrDan calls him loonpot, after dolphinpod14. Genis will get disbarred for this.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 8:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

skcyclist, I totally agree with you, but the problem is he uses unethical methods, that's the problem. Sorry man, but going through somebody's stuff, that's an all time low, I don't care which side of the case you sit on.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, I had no idea Benjamin Franklin was a tea party based conspiracy theory. You guys are really smart.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 12:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As punishment he should be required to buy the town a drink.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 1:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This fifty second video sums it all up. Genis is crazy, and he wears a hat. It all ties in here.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckermann: Are drunk drivers dangerous enough that cops should try to get them off the road, or is following them for miles until they leave their vehicle, then beating the **** out of them sufficient to keep us safe?

Legendary Yeti: You have poor information on Beutel because you obviously didn't witness the trial, hear the expert witnesses' testimony, watch her evade all questions, run to the back of the room repeatedly to check her script of "I don't remember's" and "I don't know's" with Corbett, wading through the field of DA office staff defending her, and see her psychopathic* blank facial expression on the witness stand. Beutel and Brian Hill were a much better show than Genis could ever manage. Genis has no tolerance for BS and scams, unlike Joe Allen,for example, who plays by the rule - you've got to go along to get along, and NEVER steps on the toes of corrupt SB power.

*I'm a member of an organization founded by the organizational psychologist who co-wrote "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work" with the psychologist who developed the PCL series, the psychopath checklist, used by law enforcement and mental health professionals, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare; Hare is chairman of the board, and there are also LE and criminal justice professors and additional psychologists. I'm not a psychologist, but I'm not representing Eckermann's National Enquirer viewpoint; I read a lot of research articles and expert opinions, can ask questions, etc.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 8:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

14noscams, you continue to allege wrongdoing on the part of Beutel while at the same time you dismiss and minimize new allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Darryl Genis, evidently because you and he feel that he's a crusader for what you see as The Right and the Good.

However, if Genis wants to continue his crusade for the Right and the Good [while at the same time making a lot of money], then he needs to follow the rules set by the State Bar and other entities [e.g., judges like Hill that he clearly has no respect for] for how to act in a courtroom and how to do his job. If he doesn't follow these rules, then he will ultimately lose his privilege to practice law. Even the great and powerful Darryl Genis must follow the rules. He is not allowed to cheat, which is basically what he's alleged to have done in the most recent case.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Beutel, though you seem to think it does somehow. But keep grinding your axes though, because it's pretty funny.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2014 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

LegandaryYeti: Keep grinding your sophist ax in your advocacy for vigilantes and fascists. A society ostensibly governed by law only exists if laws apply to all parties

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2014 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The video doesn't show that Genis looked at or touched or rearranged any property belonging to the DA's office. It shows him examining unidentified items on what appears to be a table at the stage right of the counsels' table. The items may be the private property of the DA's office. They may be items and paperwork that are evidence in the trial, and any information they contain or knowledge that Genis gained during the actions recorded in the surveillance video may be subject to disclosure rules and may not have been new information to Genis.
I prefer law to vigilantism, so I consider Genis innocent until proven guilty. We don't have a disagreement about the law: I believe in the US Constitution and laws consistent with it, and you believe in gang law enforced by power rather than justice, and in persecution and retaliation against those who don't respect it.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2014 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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