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.”


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I do not practice criminal law but San Luis Courthouse is a small community and word travels easily. Mr. Genis zealously defends his client but his performances in the courtroom are, at times, quite off the mark.

That said, I wouldn’t bet the suspension is upheld.

They will make him pay a hefty sanction (money makes the world go round).

Sounds like he would be perfect for Family Law. He and Ed Somogyi could put on quite the show.

One of our more effective members has been moved against by the State Bar on motion of the DA’s office. If prosecutors want to throw down that gauntlet, they will regret it; there is far more corruption in their ranks than in the ranks of the defense Bar:


Check this out:

A few years ago, Mr. Genis was hired to defend a DUI client. The DA offered a reduced charge, but Genis insisted on going to trial. Apparently he had been paid handsomely to go to trial.

When trial day came, the DA allowed a legal intern/law student to prosecute the case. Because the DA was short staffed, the poor student had minimal supervision with various DDA’s coming by to check on him.

Upshot: Genis lost big to a student when the jury convicted his client.

Then he has the balls to ask the judge to force the DA to reinstate the pre-trial offer of a lesser charge. Denied!!!!!!!

So, right: Mr. Genis is one our more effective members of the bar. Not!

You should get all the facts before you go to press. The case was more than just a few years ago, it was probably around 2002, and the case was People v. C. B. The Judge was La Barberra. It was a blood test result of 0.10 and the certified law student was not some lame duck, it was the extremely bright and capable Dan Dowd. I don’t honestly remember if an offer was made, but I do know it would have been no better than a ‘wet reckless’ which is the same as a DUI, and therefore a functional non offer, and in any event, all offers are communicated to the client and it is the client, not the attorney that makes the decision to settle or go to trial. I also don’t remember if there was any request to reinstate any pretrial offer, but that does not sound like something I would do, unless the client insisted after being told it would be a futile request. The fact that Dan Dowd was capable of securing a verdict against an experienced specialist is perhaps another good reason why he is the best choice in the pending race for the next SLO DA.

Sounds like another member of the 99% of lawyers that are giving the rest of them a bad name.

Very interesting guy, I can see him walking into the court room, proudly raising a finger for all to see and winning. His clients must be getting their monies worth and we can’t have that, 90 days!

An attorney surely knows what words to use, if not, he needs to grow up , get the anger management as suggested, or review his remarks before he makes them! Bravo to this suspension!

The pot is calling the kettle black. D.A.’s consistently belittle defendants and their attorneys,, hide evidence, file bogus charges and lie in court. Prosecutorial misconduct is rampant though out the criminal justice system. The present system is so skewed in favor of the prosecution and now they want to muzzle an effective defense attorney. The fact that the state bar is going along with this shows how deep the prosecutor’s reach is.

Note To Self: Haven’t driven intoxicated since college days, never had a collision except been rear ended by others, never a DUI stop, suspicion, or sobriety test, but if EVER need a DUI lawyer, THIS is the GUY !

Me too!

Popeye Doyle?