Saturday, July 22 , 2017, 3:38 pm | Fair 72º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara Attorney Darryl Genis Again Faces Charges of Contempt of Court

A judge accuses him of 'fiddling' with a prosecutor’s notes and photographing the opposing counsel's documents during a recess in proceedings

A Santa Barbara judge has accused attorney Darryl Genis of contempt of court, alleging that Genis “fiddled” with a prosecutor’s notes and took pictures of documents during a recess in court last month.

The complaint was filed against Genis, a defense attorney who specializes in driving-under-the-influence cases on the Central Coast, late last week — nearly a year after he was convicted in a separate local contempt of court case.

Genis told Noozhawk on Tuesday he was not guilty of the charges against him, which allege he abused the court process by willfully deceiving the court, violated court rules by photographing opposing counsel’s trial notes and interfered with those trial notes.

He is scheduled to appear in Department 4 of Santa Barbara County Superior Court next Friday to show cause for why he should not be found guilty.

“When Judge (Donna) Geck hears the matter, my lawyer will make clear the factual and legal reasons,” Genis said in an email.

During trial proceedings on June 9, Deputy District Attorney Justin Greene alleged that Genis deliberately disturbed or fiddled with his papers on the counsel table during a break, rearranging them.

In the complaint, Judge Brian Hill says he asked Genis four separate times if the accusations were true, and Genis answered no.

“Does that deserve a response?” Genis said, according to courtroom minutes attached to the filing.

“On the fourth inquiry, Mr. Genis ‘categorically denied’ any interference with the prosecutor’s papers,’” Hill wrote.

The court indicated it would review a videotape of the recess at a later date, and footage allegedly found that Genis did approach the prosecutor’s table.

“He appeared to read and rearrange some documents, then removed his cell phone and photographed something on the prosecutors table,” Hill wrote. “Mr. Genis then proceeded to hide a document under a larger stack of papers.”

The filing alleged Genis has previously been ordered not to take photographs without court permission, specifically on May 17, 2012, and June 11, 2012,

If the judge finds Genis guilty, he could be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000 — the same amount the attorney paid the court last July — or face jail time.

The contempt charges come as Genis still waits for final say from a State Bar Court, where he has been accused of moral turpitude, making a false and malicious State Bar complaint and for failing to obey court orders.

A State Bar judge threw out two of those charges, recommending Genis be suspended for 90 days, placed on probation for two years, and attend anger-management counseling. State Bar prosecutors appealed that February decision, as did Genis, who asked that all counts be dismissed.

While both sides wait, Genis continues to practice law.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >