Well-known Santa Barbara attorney Darryl Genis, a specialist in DUI defense work, has been upbraided and fined $3,000 by Presiding Judge Brian Hill pursuant to Genis’ violation of a trio of court orders during the course of a DUI trial in Hill’s courtroom.
Genis comes to Hill’s courtroom with a history of confrontation, including citations of contempt from the bench earlier this year when Genis accused DUI Taskforce Officer Casey Beutel of impropriety beyond the bounds of her authority in making traffic stops and subsequent DUI arrests.
The current case—a typical DUI trial for Genis—also involves Officer Beutel’s testimony, which Genis attempted earlier to record on video, resulting in Hill’s proscription against recording without the court’s permission. Following that ruling, on June 11th however, Genis photographed Beutel having a conversation with her police officer husband Mark Corbett in the rear of the courtroom. He explained at that time his belief that Corbett was inappropriately coaching his wife regarding her ongoing testimony; at that time Hill counseled Assistant District Attorney Justin Greene against the appearance of such impropriety in the courtroom.
For his part, Genis was admonished for ignoring Hill’s instructions that neither evidence nor testimony as to prior acts or testimony in other cases on the part of Beutel were to be discussed in front of the jury in the current case. Immediately thereafter, however, Genis asked the same question of Beutel and another arresting officer in the case, Aaron Tudor, at which point Hill gaveled Genis into silence reprimanding him about his prior instruction with “I repeated it, I repeated it, I repeated it.” It was at that point that Hill announced the $3000 fine with warnings that more were possible should Genis continue to ignore the court’s instruction.
Following the jury trial—which resulted in an acquittal on the charges of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher—Assistant DA Greene commented to the press that “the fair administration of justice requires that both sides adhere to the court’s orders so that neither party is prejudiced.”
Genis was not as politic in his comments to the media following the hearing, announcing that “clearly this judge has more interest in protecting Casey Beutel from being publicly exposed as the documented liar she is,” going on to admit that as an attorney he himself is “willing to put myself in harm’s way…in order to expose corrupt government officials like Beutel, Corbett, and Tudor.”
Genis has been ordered to pay the $3000 fine by July 3rd…and will likely not be drinking while driving through the streets of Santa Barbara any time soon.
Photos: Courtesy Darryl Genis, Santa Barbara County Superior Court
ABA Journal: Judge Slaps Lawyer with $3K Fine
keyt.com: Local Attorney Fined by Judge for Actions During Trial
Santa Barbara Independent: Judge Fines Lawyer for Courtroom Violations