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DUI Lawyer Slammed for ‘Willful Disobedience’

by | Feb 7, 2014 | In The Community |

San Diego DUI litigation and trials is a fight over details.  The officer is looking for the most minute of details to find impairment.  The defense is showing those red eyes can be reasonably caused by the fact the individual was up at 7am that morning and it is now 2am the next day. These small details make the difference in San Diego DUIcases.  The rulings of the judge do make a difference in a San Diego DUI case.  I can tell you as a former prosecutor of 10 years, the judges rulings lean to favor the prosecution.  In the case below the court made the decision between advocacy and disobedience.  Here is the story.

Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer Slammed for ‘Willful Disobedience’

DUI Lawyer Slammed for ‘Willful Disobedience’

Darryl Genis Given 90-Day Suspension, Two-Year Probation

Darryl Genis, Santa Barbara’s most famously and flamboyantly combative defense attorney, had his right to practice law suspended for a 90-day period by the State Bar of California, had his professional license placed on probation for two years, and was ordered to attend anger management counseling from a licensed professional twice a month for the duration. Richard Honn, judge of the State Bar Court, ruled that Genis had engaged in “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” toward a panel of appellate judges. In rendering his punishment, Honn said Genis’s “lack of insight raises concerns as to whether his misconduct may recur and is particularly troubling to this court.”

Genis, a specialist in DUI defenses, has emerged as one of the county’s best-known attorneys, having won several high-stakes, high-profile cases in recent years in which he’s attacked the personal credibility, integrity, and competence of law enforcement officers, prosecuting attorneys, and at times, the judges themselves. Honn described Genis’s style as “very aggressive,” noting the zealousness with which he pursued his clients’ interests. But in at least two cases, Honn found that Genis went too far, crossing the line of ethical conduct. Honn found Genis guilty of “willful disobedience” for repeatedly ignoring a San Luis Obispo judge’s order to show up in court in 2011 to represent a client charged with driving under the influence. Frustrated by multiple delays in the case, the judge ordered Genis to appear rather than send an associate, as he had at least twice, who was either not prepared or authorized to move the matter forward. Genis knowingly ignored the judge in one instance, Honn said, so he could attend a legal education seminar in New Orleans.

In Santa Barbara, Honn found that Genis ignored Judge Brian Hill’s repeated admonitions during a 2012 case to not ask two Santa Barbara police officers — Aaron Tudor and Kasi Beutel — any questions in front of the jury regarding allegations of perjury. Such questions, Hill had insisted at the time, would serve to improperly prejudice the jurors against the two officers. Genis asked anyway, prompting Hill to impose a $2,000 sanction. “Respondent [Genis] harmed the administration of justice,” Honn wrote. “His failure to obey court orders required the courts to repeatedly admonish him. Honn added that Genis’s insistence that he did not understand the admonitions were “unbelievable and disingenuous.”

But Honn rejected two of the four allegations against Genis filed by State Bar prosecutors. In those instances, Honn found that Genis acted in a good faith — if erroneous — belief that a county prosecutor had committed a misdemeanor. In that case, Genis had threatened to file a misconduct complaint against a prosecutor who’d turned over otherwise confidential legal notes to an attorney taking over a case before the transfer had been authorized by a judge. Prosecutors fumed that Genis acted with malice by filing the complaint, which they saw as an over-the-top intimidation tactic. The judge disagreed.

Genis said he will “almost certainly appeal” the decision, adding, “In the end, I believe I will be fully exonerated.” If not, he said, he would take comfort in having “worked tirelessly as an advocate for my clients.” If he loses his appeal, he said the suspension would allow him to spend time with “my beautiful two children and my beloved wife.” In conclusion, Genis noted that even Judge Hill had described him as “probably the best DUI lawyer on the Central Coast,” and because of his prowess the District Attorney had “gone to extraordinary lengths to try to muzzle me.”

Honn’s verdict must be upheld by a three-judge state bar panel to which Genis can appeal. After that, the California Supreme Court must uphold it as well. Every year, about 250 California attorneys are either suspended or disbarred in disciplinary actions.

The full article can be found here.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges.  Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, ClairemontDUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case.  Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected]

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