Central Coast DUI attorney accused of wrongdoing
February 5, 2014
Genis has successfully defended several high-profile DUI cases on the Central Coast including reporter Peter Lance whose case was tossed out because of civil rights violations. The state bar judge noted that Genis zealously defends his clients often for a reduced fee.
The Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office filed a 25-page complaint with the state bar that led to Genis’ suspension, probation and an order to attend anger management counseling. The complaint noted fines Genis received for repeatedly sending someone else to trial readiness conferences in a San Luis Obispo County case after the judge had ordered him to attend personally.
Last year, he was also found in contempt and fined $1,000 for calling opposing counsel a “little girl” in court.
Genis said the Santa Barbara County DA’s office “has gone to extraordinary lengths to try and muzzle me” because of his winning record as a defense attorney.
His “repeated tirades and impertinence, and with a tone wholly condescending and accusatory, appellant’s conduct is a serious and significant departure from acceptable appellate practice, or for that matter, practice in any court of law,” Judge Richard Honn wrote. “If left unaddressed, this sort of advocacy demeans the profession, lowers public respect, and conveys the impression that it is acceptable and effective.”
Noting that there is no precedent for a 90-day suspension because of violating court orders, Genis said he plans to appeal Honn’s ruling.
“In the end, I believe that I will be fully exonerated,” Genis said. “And if I am wrong about this outcome, then I take comfort in the fact that I have worked tirelessly as an advocate for my clients for many years, and if a 90-day hiatus from the practice of law is required, it will give me some much desired time to spend with my beautiful two children and my beloved wife.”