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Darryl Genis

Paul Wellman (file)

Darryl Genis


Attorney Found in Contempt of Court


Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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High-profile defense attorney Darryl Genis was found in contempt of court by Judge Jean Dandona for speaking disparagingly and disrespectfully of his opposing counsel and fined $1,000. Genis, who specializes in DUI cases, reportedly called prosecuting attorney Hannah Lucy “a little girl” as the two were leaving Dandona’s courtroom. Though the judge offered Genis an opportunity to explain himself — and to apologize — she ultimately deemed his apology “disingenuous and insincere.” Genis has locked horns a number of times with Santa Barbara judges over courthouse manners and conduct. Judges George Eskin and Frank Ochoa, for example, have declined to hear cases in which he’s involved. The size of Dandona’s fine will require Genis to report himself to the State Bar for review. Genis did not respond to multiple invitations for comment.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're all out of order!

CManSB (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 12:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

He just made a totally sexist innuendo on another thread... weird he won't talk to a reporter but comments on here like crazy.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 12:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

That Tyrolean/hipster-shyster look isn't doing much for his image either.

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes once again spiritwanker is giving us all great evidence that the time outs given to him as a child didn't work. The constant whining is very tiresome. I guess you've been to LA recently, ehh?

Priceless (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 7:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is this the same Genis that posts comments on here?

skaterspoint (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Nick Welsh, writing under the 'nom de plume' of Indy staff takes his most recent swipe at me, but neglects to speak to the meritless of the whole thing.

Here is the email he sent me (please note that this 'journalist' can't even spell my first name correctly in an email) , (I will also post the email he was responding to and I will post the contents of the Petition for Certiori which is of public record so as to save anyone interested from having to physically go to court and look up the file. Also note that Judge Anderle has signed an order staying the payment, and also that of course I self reported to the State Bar as is required):
Daryl

I find scott steepleton's writing completely and totally indecipherable. I have no idea what the f**K (Welsh's email actualy used the entire 'F" word) he is stating. could you boil it down to pig latin so i can get what has allegedly changed.

and do you plan to appeal dandona's fine or will you pay it? Or have you paid it already?

nick w

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

how prehistoric of you DG......and combining vince gambini's suit and clark griswald's hat. fitting.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't understand how a judge can refuse to hear a case in which a particular attorney is involved unless said attorney is disbarred. Any insights on this (serious replies only, please).

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

My email to Nick (foul mouth) Welsh read:
On Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM, Darryl Genis wrote:

Peter was pulled over on January 1, 2011 (New Years day) at 2:00 a.m. (deuce O'clock) by patrol officers (Heather Clark and Bruno Peterson) who handed off the stop to then DDT officer Kasi Buetel. Buetel arrested Lance. Ultimately, eleven months later, while serious allegations of felonious misconduct by police officers loomed, Judge Brian Hill ruled that Lance's 5 second hesitation before proceeding through a controlled intersection did not provide a reasonable suspicion for his enforcement stop. Some court watchers lauded Hill's decision to dismiss the case as a testament to his dedication being faithful to the US constitution. Still others criticized Judge Hill saying he had no real concern over the stop, but found it a convenient way to avoid the real serious issues of perjury, forgery, filing false police reports, intentional destruction of evidence, and they allege he was only concerned with protecting his Prosecutor and police chums.

The case that NP reporter Scott Steepleton speaks of in this news article in the fourth paragraph of the story suggests who was right and necessarily what Judge Hills real motivation was and who he was really protecting by his ruling in People v. Lance:

Ms. Jane Doe was pulled over on January 1, 2013 (New Years day) at 2:00 a.m. (deuce O'clock) by a patrol officer (Sgt. Ella) who called for the DDT officer. When Officer Palka responded, Sgt. Ella handed off the stop to him. Palka arrested Ms. Doe. Sgt. Ella observed Ms. Doe to drive for 3 seconds without her headlights. At her suppression hearing (the same kind that got Hill to dismiss Lance's case), Judge Brian Hill ruled that Ms. Doe's 3 second of driving before turning on her headlights due in no part to anything Sgt. ella did (he was in an unmarked car, and did not honk, or flash his lights) DID provide a reasonable suspicion for the enforcement stop on Ms. Doe.
http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/...

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The petition for Certiori has 4 X the characters permited here so it is divided up into smaller parts (sorry for serialization):
Part I
Petitioner is not a criminal defendant. Petitioner is an attorney who was representing two separate defendants (Justine Dougan in case number 1423450 and Christopher Crowell in Case number 1422534), during suppression motions in the aforementioned case numbers.
During the course of Petitioner’s addressing the court, Deputy District Attorney Hannah Lucy, who was seated immediately to the right of Petitioner and no more than four feet away from his right ear, continually sighed loudly in a manner that demonstrated impatience and disgust and caused Petitioner to have difficulty concentrating upon his argument to the court. At a point in time very near the noon hour, Petitioner complained to the court of Ms. Lucy’s disruptive behavior. The court wisely decided to take the lunchtime recess.
After the court recessed the matter and the parties were gathering up their belongings to depart for lunch, Petitioner first asked Ms. Lucy politely if she would please behave more professionally during the afternoon session. Ms. Lucy responded in an unanticipated manner and petitioner referred to Ms. Lucy a ‘Little Girl”. Ms. Lucy complained to the court and the court then again told everyone to come back at 1:30. The court did not exercise its discretion to use summary contempt power to cite Petitioner for contempt at that time (just prior to 12:00 p.m.) in order to avoid any allegedly immediate threat to court proceedings (there were no more court proceedings as court had adjourned for lunch, although Judge Dandona was still in her robe and still seated on the bench) and no notice was given to Petitioner that such a proceeding was contemplated.
Petitioner is roughly twice as old as Ms. Lucy who is of the opposite sex and she was acting childish. In order for this phrase to have exhibited gender bias it would have to have been uttered toward an opposing counsel of the male gender!
When the court resumed from recess at 1:30 p.m. it announced for the first time that it was holding Petitioner in contempt. Petitioner’s first response was an apology to both Ms. Lucy, and to the court.
However, neither the prosecutor nor the court showed any sign of acknowledging the heartfelt apology, and in fact the court went as far as announcing that it felt the apology was ‘disingenuous’. This announcement was shocking and offensive to say the least, because the court knows that Petitioner is outspoken and willing to stand behind his words and actions such that he would not apologize for something if he did not mean it. In fact his apology included the statement that he knew better than to resort to such a thing as name calling with all his years of experience. Why would he admit such a thing if not because it was true?

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Part II
The court never advised Petitioner of any rights, nor took any waivers, and the court refused to allow Petitioner the right to present evidence and a defense.
The court did not exercise a timely summary contempt immediately upon the alleged contemptuous conduct which occurred at 11:55 a.m., nor did the court even allude to the possibility that a contempt proceeding was forthcoming. Therefore, the court was obligated to give Petitioner the legal benefit of additional rights, which the court failed to provide, including:
1. The right to be advised of the charge; and
2. The right to counsel; and
3. The right to a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges by way of a defense or explanation (which would include presentation of witnesses and evidence); and
4. The right to testify; and
5. The right to call witnesses. See In re Oliver, (1948) 333 U.S. 257; and
6. The right to a Stay of execution of the sentence for the purposes of appealing the trial court’s finding (See CCP § 12099(c) and In re Bloom, (1986) 185 Cal. App. 3d 409.

Nevertheless, after holding a very brief hearing, the court made a conclusionary recitation of facts (Ex parte Wells, (1946) 29 Cal. App. 2nd 200; Bennett v. Superior Court, (1946) 73 Cal. App. 2nd 203) and relying upon the unsupported conclusions found petitioner in contempt of court, and fined him $1,000.00, and then stayed payment for three court days, presumably to allow time for filing of this Petition for Writ of Certiorari. A stay of enforcement of the fine is thus necessary. The court action was a clear abuse of discretion.
I.
At all times mentioned herein, your petitioner, DARRYL WAYNE GENIS, was an attorney at law, duly licensed and admitted to practice law in the State of California. At all times mentioned herein, petitioner was acting in the performance of his duties as counsel for a criminal defendant.
II.
Petitioner has been found in contempt and ordered to pay $1,000.00. A copy of the Superior Court’s Order of Contempt (hereafter “Contempt Order”) is attached hereto and made a part of this petition and labeled Exhibit “A”

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Part III
The underlying criminal cases are entitled People v. Jane Roe, and is found under case number 14XXXXX, and People v. John Doein Case number 14YYYYY . The Judge is Jean Dandona, and the act which was alleged to be the contempt occurred on June 20, 2013 sometime around 11:55 a.m. The court then for the first time noticed a hearing at !:30 the same day and immediately had that hearing thereafter at 1:30 p.m. on June 20, 2013 which lasted a few minutes and consisted only of Petitioner apologizing to Ms. Lucy and the Court and expressing his frustration which lead to the unfortunate comment. Although Petitioner sought to put on a defense with live witnesses, the court outright refused Petitioner that opportunity. Instead, the court made its own ‘record’ of fictitious facts, for instance, the court stated that Ms. Lucy was 8 feet away from Petitioner when she was allegedly making the offensive breathing noises when in fact she was no more than 4 feet away, and probably only 3 feet away. The court also feigned that it neither saw nor heard the things Petitioner complained of, yet it is anticipated that the sighing noises will be readily audible on the electronic recording of the proceedings, and a copy of the audio CD of the proceedings of June 20, 2013 has been ordered and will be attached to this petition as Exhibit “B”, as soon as the same is made available. Once Exhibit “B” is received, Petitioner will have it transcribed and will attach the transcript of the oral proceedings to this Petition as Exhibit “C”.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Part IV
V.
On June 20, 2013, the court issued its written contempt order (See Exhibit “A”). The court’s order reads as follows:
“On June 20, 2013 at approximately 11:55 a.m., in suppression motion and related hearings in case numbers 14XXXXX, People v. Jane Roe, and 14YYYYYY, People v. John Doe, Darryl W. Genis addressed opposing counsel, Hannah Lucy, as “Little Girl.” This was done in the immediate view and presence of the court.
Mr. Genis was given an opportunity to explain, provide an excuse, or give an apology. Mr. Genis apologized to the court and Ms. Lucy. He also explained that he was frustrated what he believed was Ms. Lucy loudly sighing during his argument on the motions. The court considered and weighed the apology and excuse. The court finds the apology disingenuous and insincere. The court finds nothing inappropriate about Ms. Lucy’s behavior.
The court finds Mr. Genis guilty of contempt beyond a reasonable doubt, finding the conduct to be disorderly, contemptuous, and insolent behavior toward the court while holding court as well as toward opposing counsel, and a breach of the peace, all tending to interrupt the due course of the judicial proceeding, and a willful violation of Mr. Genis’ duty as an attorney, including the duty to maintain the respect due to the courts.
Good cause appearing,
IT IS ORDERED that DARRYL W. GENIS be fined the sum of $1,000. This order is stayed for three judicial days.”

VI.
The trial court’s finding of contempt was error.
(1) While (with the benefit of hindsight ) certainly not the best choice of words, Petitioner was nevertheless entitled to exercise his First Amendment rights after the proceeding had recessed to refer to a member of the opposite sex roughly half his age as a ‘Little Girl’ when pressing home the point that she was acting unprofessional and immature. There was never a court order that petitioner could not use of the phrase “Little Girl” when referring to Ms. Lucy prior to his use of that term.
(2) Counsel cannot be found in Summary contempt for his manner, or his word choice, since no warning specifically concerning his manner or word choice was ever given by the court, and such a warning is a prerequisite to a contempt based on tone of voice or manner, or use of words.
(3) The complained of phrase did not actually disrupt the court proceedings;
(4) When taken in context, the court could reasonably have been offended.
(5) Petitioner was never served with proper accusatory pleadings by the court;
(6) Petitioner was denied his basic constitutional rights in the proceedings, including but not limited to his right to present evidence, and his right to be represented by counsel;

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Part V
(7) Counsel never interrupted the court. Court was already in recess. Counsel merely engaged in an exchange with opposing counsel after the recess began, but before the court had stepped off the bench, and this started as a request by petitioner to opposing counsel that she be more professional during the afternoon session and not make immature sighing noises while counsel was addressing the court. Opposing counsel made the same sighing nose and that is the point at which counsel made the regrettable comment for which he did genuinely apologize immediately upon returning to court for the afternoon session. Such an exchange cannot qualify as an interruption of court proceedings, because they had clearly already been adjourned.
The attached memorandum of points and authorities and exhibits are incorporated by reference herein.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

All said and done, civility between attorneys in the courtroom is necessary, important and wasn't observed. Calling opposing counsel names in front of the judge and public was improper, uncalled for and wrong regardless of what other circumstances existed. Opposing counsel was doing her job as Mr. Genis was supposed do his. Decorum, objectivity and adult behavior is needed to keep order and focus. Mr. Genis failed to contribute his required share to the whole and the judge recognized his failure.

BLiss (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

And for those who are interested in the law of the matter, the Points and Authorities in support follow (again serialized by necessity and with appology):
THE SUMMARY CONTMEPT PROCEDURE WAS IMPROPERLY EMPLOYED.

A direct contempt does not have to be handled summarily, but the court has the power to do so if it wishes, if immediate control by the court is necessary to maintain the dignity of the judicial process. In re Karagozian, (1975) 44 Cal. App. 3rd 51; Taylor v. Hayes, (1974) 418 U.S. 488; Bennett v. Superior Court, (1946) 73 Cal. App. 2nd 203.
Here, the court used a Summary proceeding, but did not do it immediately upon the commission of the allegedly contemptuous conduct at 11:55 a.m., and it not was not necessary for the court to use a summary contempt proceeding to “maintain the dignity of the judicial process. The court had instead used the calling of a recess to bring the proceedings to a temporary halt and then only after declaring a recess did the allegedly contemptuous conduct occur. Therefore the absolute necessity of preventing actual obstruction of justice no longer existed, and Petitioner therefore had an additional six (6) rights to which he was never afforded.
According to Fernos-Lopez v. United States Dist. Court, (1979 First District) 599 F.2nd 1087, at 1092, in order to justify summary action, the complained of conduct must present an imminent threat to the administration of justice. It must “immediately imperil” the judge in the performance of her judicial duty:
[C]ases have uniformly held that misbehavior which obstructs the hearing and permits summary action must present an imminent threat to the administration of justice. It must "immediately imperil" the judge in the performance of his judicial duty. In re Little, 404 U.S. 553, 555, 92 S. Ct. 659, 30 L. Ed. 2d 708 (1972). Where there is no physical disorder in the courtroom, no laughing, shouts or abusive language, and no significant delay in the proceedings, obstruction of justice is not shown. United States ex rel. Robson v. Oliver, 470 F.2d 10, 14 (7 Cir. 1972).

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The court in the case of In re Gustafson, (1980 Ninth Circuit) 619 F.2nd 1354, made the need for language to go beyond affront and in some way actually obstruct the proceedings clear:
The implicit suggestion of the dissent that offensive or disrespectful language is per se contemptuous is incorrect. Affronts to the dignity of the court or to a judge's sense of dignity do not automatically constitute criminal contempt. As the court noted in Gordon, on which the dissent relies, "(t)o amount to criminal contempt . . . insult must go beyond affront and in some way obstruct the proceedings or threaten the dispassionate administration of justice." Gordon v. United States, supra, 592 F.2d at 1217, citing 18 U.S.C. § 401; In re Little, 404 U.S. 553, 92 S. Ct. 659, 30 L. Ed. 2d 708 (1972); Offutt v. United States, 348 U.S. 11, 75 S. Ct. 11, 99 L. Ed. 11 (1954); United States v. Seale, supra, 461 F.2d at 369-71.

Clearly the language used in this case did not go beyond affront and in some way actually obstruct the proceedings. There must have been some other reason for the court to misuse the summary contempt procedure:
The court used a summary proceeding after the need for such had passed, and did so in an effort to deprive Petitioner of the following rights:
1. The right to be advised of the charge; and
2. The right to counsel; and
3. The right to a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges by way of a defense or explanation (which would include presentation of witnesses and evidence); and
4. The right to testify; and
5. The right to call witnesses. See In re Oliver, (1948) 333 U.S. 257; and
6. The right to a Stay of execution of the sentence for the purposes of appealing the trial court’s finding (See CCP § 12099(c) and In re Bloom, (1986) 185 Cal. App. 3d 409.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

PETITIONER WAS DENIED HIS FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
Although Petitioner tried to exercise some of his rights (to testify, and to call witnesses and to present a defense beyond merely apologizing and giving an explanation, (which could never be confused as being the same as a defense) the court flatly refused to provide Petitioner with Due Process of law by affording him his basic and fundamental rights, including:
1. The right to be advised of the charge; and
2. The right to counsel; and
3. The right to a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges by way of a defense or explanation (which would include presentation of witnesses and evidence); and
4. The right to testify; and
5. The right to call witnesses. See In re Oliver, (1948) 333 U.S. 257; and
6. The right to a Stay of execution of the sentence for the purposes of appealing the trial court’s finding (See CCP § 12099(c) and In re Bloom, (1986) 185 Cal. App. 3rd 409.

Common justice requires that no man shall be condemned in his person or property without notice and an opportunity to make his defense. (citing In re Oliver, (1948) 333 U.S. 257)

Lankford v. Idaho, (1991) 500 U.S. 110

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

THE ALLEGED CONTEMPT OCCURRED AFTER COURT HAD ALREADY RECESSED.

As previously pointed out, the sequence of events was that: 1) court recessed at 11:55 a.m.; and 2) Petitioner made the allegedly contemptuous comment directly to the prosecutor only after said recess had commenced, and 3) the prosecutor immediately complained to the court who was at that time still in the process of leaving the courtroom; and 4) when the prosecutor complained, Petitioner informed the court of the fact that he first requested of the prosecutor that she act more professional when she returned to court for the afternoon session, and that she responded in a childish manner whereupon Petitioner called her a “Little Girl”.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

CONCLUSIONS ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR FACTS
The court made a conclusionary recitation of facts in an effort to satisfy the need for proof that court proceedings were actually affected, when in fact no court proceedings were ever affected because court was in already recess when the alleged contemptuous comment was made. (Ex parte Wells, (1946) 29 Cal. App. 2nd 200; Bennett v. Superior Court, (1946) 73 Cal. App. 2nd 203) and relying upon the unsupported conclusions found petitioner in contempt of court, and fined him $1,000.00, and then stayed payment for three court days. An interference with the court's process (CCP 1209(8)) must be actual in order to be contemptuous, not merely a threatened interference. See Cantillon v. Superior Court, (1957) 150 Cal. App. 2nd 184 @ 188.
There must be particular findings which stand on their own. In re Littlefield, (1993) 5 Cal.4th 122, 138:
The recital of facts requirement is not met by a mere statement of the trial judge's conclusions regarding the nature of the conduct giving rise to the contempt. The order adjudging a person guilty of contempt must be stated with sufficient particularity to demonstrate on its face, "without aid of speculation or reference to any extrinsic document[,] that a contempt actually occurred." (Hawk v. Superior Court (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 108, 125, fn. 16; see McCann v. Municipal Court (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 527, 536; see also 7 Witkin, Cal. Procedure (3d ed. 1985) Trial, § 178, p. 175.)

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

COUNSEL CANNOT BE HELD IN CONTEMPT
FOR USE OF THE PHRASE “LITTLE GIRL” DURING A RECESS.

No valid contempt can lie for violation of a court order unless that order is lawful and proper. (In re Blaze (1969) 271 Cal.App.2nd 210, 212) Since an order that petitioner cease his reference to Ms. Lucy as a “Little Girl” never issued, there was no lawful order and there can be no, disobedience of that absent order and therefore the evidence cannot support a contempt.
“An attorney has the duty to protect the interests of his client. He has a right to press legitimate argument and to protest and erroneous ruling.” (Gallagher v. Municipal Court (1948) 31 Cal.2nd 784, 796; see also Cooper v. Superior Court (1961) 55 Cal.2nd 291.) “It is not only the privilege but the duty of an attorney to speak up at a proper time and in a proper manner in an effort to forestall rulings by the court which he considers erroneous and detrimental to his case, or, in other words, to argue with a judge in the interest of his client.” (People v. Travis (1954) 129 Cal.App.2nd 29, 36.) In fact, counsel’s duty to his client did require him to argue the point, and counsel was right. Counsel’s duty to his client in fact required him to argue this point even if it meant being held in contempt. (Gallagher v. Municipal Court, supra, 31 Cal.2nd 784, 796; Cooper v. Superior Court, supra, 55 Cal.2nd 291; People v. Travis, supra, 129 Cal.App.2nd 29, 36.) Counsel could not be held in contempt for arguing a point to the court, even if counsel was wrong. (See, e.g., Gallagher v. Municipal Court, supra, 31 Cal.2nd 784, 788; Cooper v. Municipal Court 91961) 55 Cal.2nd 291, 300; Smith v. Superior Court (1968) 68 Cal.2d 547, 560; and Maness v. Myers (1975) 319 U.S. 449, 464-469.) Here, counsel was not even before the court at the time he made the comment which became the subject of a summary contempt; instead he was having a personal conversation in the courtroom with opposing counsel during a recess.
Here, it was imperative that Petitioner request Ms. Lucy to stop acting unprofessional since the court had indicated it was not going to do anything. (As pointed out earlier, the court went as far as to claim no knowledge of the complained of behavior even though the bench is elevated to give the court the best audio and visual perspective of the entire courtroom.) Since there was no order precluding petitioner from referring to Ms. Lucy as a “Little Girl” no contempt can result from the utterance of that phrase, and certainly not during a recess.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ah what a wonderful legal system we have here in Paradise. More concerned with name calling, protecting their own, and "paying the professionals" rather than the best interest of children which entails destroying chidlren's lives based on NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE and handing them over to absentee "parents", alcoholics, sociopaths, and molestors in order to hide their own incompetence and errors made from the bench.

Yes, we all know who she is. Judging family law cases with no family and barely functioning while she makes faces and rolls her eyes at witnesses she doesn't like in the presence of a jury.

How about a contempt order, discipline or sanction for an incompetent judge who should be OFF THE BENCH before she destroys more children's lives.

HolaAmigos (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

COUNSEL CANNOT BE HELD IN CONTEMPT FOR HIS MANNER, SINCE THE COURT NEVER WARNED COUNSEL ABOUT HIS MANNER OR TO NOT REFER TO MS. LUCY AS A ‘LITTLE GIRL’.

The written contempt order recites that the court found petitioner in contempt for use of an, insolent, and disrespectful phrase. But it is clear that an attorney may not be held in contempt for tone of voice or use of certain language without prior warning first. A contempt was annulled where counsel was held in contempt for his “loud, insolent, aggressive, belligerent, boisterous, harsh, offensive and contemptuous“ tone of voice, where there had not been a prior warning concerning such tone. (Ghallager v. Municipal Court, supra, 31 Cal.2d 784, 796-797.) This rule is very well-settled. (See, e.g., Boyshaw v. Superior Court (2000) 23 Cal.4th 215, 222-223; In re Hallinan (1969) 71 Cal.2nd 1179, 1183-1184; In re Carrow, supra, 40 Cal.App.3rd 924, 930; In re Buckley (1973) 10 Cal.3rd 237, fn. 15, at pp. 249-250; Hawk v. Superior Court (1974) 42 Cal.App.3rd 108, 118, and 124-125; and In re Grossman (1972) 24 Cal.App.3rd 624, 638-639.)
In Hallinan, the Supreme Court discussed the sufficiency of warnings with respect to tone. (In re Hallinan, supra, 71 Cal.2nd 1179, 1183-1184.) The trial court had warned counsel, but those warnings were general and not specifically about tone. (Ibid.) The court concluded, “Thus the only warning given by the court was as to the possible intent petitioner as shown by the words petitioner used, and no mention was made of objection to petitioner’s tone of voice or manner.” (Id. at p. 1184.) The court thus voided the contempt for tone of voice, for lack of a prior warning concerning tone. (Ibid.)
Thus, it is clear that general warning will not suffice. Counsel may be held in contempt for tone of voice or manner only if there is a specific prior warning concerning tone or manner previously. There is no such warning here. Thus, no contempt can be upheld for the manner in which petitioner responded to the Prosecutor after court had already adjourned the proceeding for the lunchtime recess.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

THE LACK OF AN ORDER MEANS THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS BY VIRTUE OF VAUGNESS.

A. This also adds to the vagueness attack on the missing order. Since the power of a court to punish for an alleged contempt of its authority is not to be doubted, it is a power which is in its nature arbitrary, and its exercise is not to be upheld, except under the circumstances, and in the manner prescribed by law. (Batchelder v Moore (1871) 42 Cal. 412.) Because of this power, on review of a contempt order presumptions or intendments may not be indulged in support of the order, since contempt is criminal in nature, and the findings and judgment are strictly construed to favor the accused. (Raiden v Superior Court (1949) 34 Cal.2nd 83.)
The prime purpose of contempt proceedings is punishment for disobedience of valid order directing performance of specified act, and liability for such drastic punishment should not rest on implication or conjecture but rather on order expressing in clear specified and irrevocable language the act required or prohibited. (Foust v Foust (1956) 47 Cal.2nd 121.).
B. The court never cited or warned Petitioner about contempt during the Hearing. The court proceeded on the theory of a direct contempt occurring in front of the court during the Hearing. The court cited Petitioner only after the prosecutor brought her post-recess complaint of the objectionable phrase to the court’s attention, presumably for an OSC. This shows there was no obstruction of court proceedings; otherwise, the court would have acted. See Cantillon v. Superior Court, (1957) 150 Cal.App.2nd 184, 188.)
C. For exercise of contempt power at least, courts are required to have thick skins. In Ryan v. Commission on Judicial Performance (1988) 45 Cal.3rd 518, 532, the Court stated:
The Commission also correctly concluded that the contempt order was substantively invalid. The comment made by Starks regarding the next judicial election was mild. Those who accept judicial office must expect and endure such criticism. As one court aptly stated, "the judge must be long of fuse and somewhat thick of skin." (DeGeorge v. Superior Court (1974) 40 Cal.App.3d 305, 312 [114 Cal.Rptr. 860].) Moreover, Starks's heated discussion with Spangler did not rise to the level of contemptuous behavior. Starks's conduct did not interfere with court proceedings, nor did it lower esteem for the judiciary.
D. Also, in contempt proceedings, an intent to commit a forbidden act is as essential to guilt as in the case of a criminal offense. (Uhler v Superior Court (1953) 117 Cal.App. 147) and there was no evidence of an intent to commit a forbidden act here.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

really darryl? quit caterwauling, man up and take your lumps.

you know women have the vote now, right.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The defenses here:
1. No obstruction of court proceedings. In In Re Little (1972) 404 U.S. 553, the United States Supreme Court reversed a contempt order which was in part based on "statements that the court was biased and had prejudged the case." The lower court found this statement to constitute contempt and "reflected the integrity of the Court and tended to subvert and prevent justice." (404 U.S. at 554.)
The Court reasoned:
There is no indication, and the State does not argue, that petitioner's statements were uttered in a boisterous tone or in any wise actually disrupted the court proceeding. Therefore, "The vehemence of the language used is not alone the measure of the power to punish for contempt. The fires which it kindles must constitute an imminent, not merely a likely threat to the administration of justice. The danger must not be remote or even probable; it must immediately imperil... [T]he law of contempt is not made for the protection of judges who may be sensitive to the winds of public opinion. Judges are supposed to be [women and] men of fortitude, able to thrive in a hardy climate." [Citations omitted] "Trial courts . . . must be on guard against confusing offenses to their sensibilities with obstruction to the administration of justice." [Citations omitted.] (404 U.S. at 555.)
See also United States v. Cooper, (1989 First District) 872 F.2nd 1
Here, the court's order has not demonstrated that Petitioner uttered his statements "in a boisterous tone" or "obstructed the administration of justice." The court’s sensibilities may have been offended by a 57 year old male lawyer calling a 30 year old female lawyer a “Little Girl”, but that is does not rise to the level of obstructing the administration of justice. Therefore, these statements cannot now be labeled as contemptuous without more facts to support this charge. An interference with the court's process (CCP 1209(8)) must be actual in order to be contemptuous, not merely a threatened interference. See Cantillon v. Superior Court, (1957) 150 Cal. App. 2nd 184 @ 188.;

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

2. No warning. Nowhere in the court's order charging Petitioner with contempt, does the court state that it warned him that he would be held in contempt if he continued with his statements. When Petitioner accused the Prosecutor of acting like a “Little Girl” just immediately after the court announced the noon recess, and the Prosecutor brought that matter to the court’s attention, Petitioner apologized first thing after the case resumed in the afternoon session. The court states that it did not believe the apology was sincere, but cited no facts to support that conclusion.
As to the need for a warning, If a contempt order is based on "words wholly innocuous" or on language of which is in itself not insolent, contemptuous or disorderly, the judge is first required to warn the person before taking disciplinary action against him. (Hawk v Superior Court, (1974) 42 Cal.App.3rd 108.)
The issue of adequate warning is apparent since you were never warned that contempt was to be ordered. In Thorne v Municipal Court, (1965) 237 Cal.App.2nd 249, the court found the attorney to be in direct contempt based on his referring to atrocities occurring in southern state, that he was warned to desist from reference to these occurrences, and that he was admonished not to dwell on any isolated violent acts occurring in two southern cities or to refer to particular person's slaying or any occurrence of that nature, though attorney, in his argument to jury, quoted from history details of gruesome lynching some 50 years ago in third southern city. The appellate court said this could not be said he was adequately warned against argument and he could not be held guilty of direct contempt.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

3. The apology. Courts are instructed to give great deference to counsel who make inappropriate remarks in the heat of battle and then apologize, as happened here. (Ryans v. Superior Court, (1955) 43 Cal.2nd 755; People v. Turner, (1850) 1 Cal. 152, 153.)
Contempt cannot rest upon implication or conjecture but rather on order expressing in clear specified and irrevocable language the act required. (Foust v Foust (1956) 47 Cal.2nd 121; Little v Superior Court (1968) 260 Cal.App.2nd 311.)
An attorney has a duty to protect the interest of his client and thus has a right to press legitimate arguments, to protest an erroneous court ruling, without being chargeable with contempt. (Gallagher v Municipal Court (1948) 31 Cal.2nd 784.)
Thus in Chula v Superior Court, (1952) 109 Cal.App.2nd 24, the court held that an attorney's remark, after a trying eight week long criminal trial, indicating that he thought there was "enough in the record already" in response to the court's statement that the attorney wanted "to get all the errors in the record possible," would not justify a judgment holding the attorney in contempt and imposing a five day jail sentence.
In In re Carrow, (1974) 40 Cal.App 3rd 924, an order finding an attorney guilty of contempt of court committed during a criminal trial could not be sustained on the basis of the attorney's having stated "Your Honor, I submit this trial is becoming a joke," where the trial judge did not declare in his order that the statement made an accusation against him and did not specify the basis for his conclusion that the utterance held the court up to ridicule and scorn, where the remark was made in the course of a runaway narrative answer by a witness, whose cross examination testimony the attorney had previously attempted to limit, where the situation was such that any dignity the court had lost could have been restored by an announcement or explanation in the presence of the jury, where no obstruction of justice appeared from the record, and none was described, save in conclusionary terms, in the order, and where, though the order recited that the words were spoken in an insolent, rude, and disrespectful manner, there had been no prior warning.
Here, petitioner did nothing contemptuous before the court and nothing contemptuous toward the court. All petitioner did was protest the sophomoric behavior of the prosecutor and ask that she act more professional and less childish. What petitioner did here cannot sustain a contempt order, nor can the proceedings justify it procedurally.
The Little Case (Not to be confused with the comment 'Little Girl) contempt order also recited that while he was being removed by the deputy sheriff, following the contempt adjudication, the contemnor "called the undersigned presiding judge a M_____ F_____."

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

CONCLUSION
For all of the reasons articulated herein, Petitioner contends that the court improperly and without cause employed the use of a summary contempt proceeding. Petitioner contends that the procedures utilized during the hearing improperly violated Petitioner’s various constitutional rights. Petitioner further alleges that he has demonstrated that the conclusions of the court are unsupported.
Petitioner finally contends that the defects are not only procedural but sound in Constitutional Protections that were violated, and as such constitutes an unreasonable and illegal abuse of the court’s contempt powers, and that said illegally conducted and issued contempt citation must be Annulled.
DATED: June 25, 2013
Respectfully submitted,

DARRYL W. GENIS Petitioner In Pro Se

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As you will see from the actual facts of the case, it was the Prosecutor Hannah Lucy who was acting unprofessional while court was actually in session and the Judge turned a blind eye to it and also a deaf ear.
Nevertheless, I posit the following quesitons:
If Ms. Lucy had called me a "little boy", would Judge Dandona have held her in contempt?
Would Judge Dandona have fined her $1,000 so as to require her to self report to the State Bar?

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Darryl - drop it already! Save your petition for the court, no one here can do anything about it so why are you posting it?

Really now....

sacjon (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

And Bliss, if you read and understand the proceedings, you will have to agree that Ms. Lucy was not being professional while appearing before the court. There are many who can attest to her antics.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

And Nick's article is also factually incorrect. I anticipate a retraction/correction in part.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Things are looking a bit spammy here.
Am waiting for the " Can't believe my sister-in-law makes $70.00 an hour" posting next.

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Spirit, you're giving Darryl free legal advice? Neat!

sacjon (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes you saw it here first folks,

Darryl and spiritwanker are biological twins. They babble continually hoping to confuse the lemmings listening to them.

LMAO that DG is now trying his cases on blogs. DG, did you get your lawyer ticket from Jack in the Box??

Priceless (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Damn, I forgot to mention one thing.

"As for time outs, sweetheart, I'm old enough to be your father" PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME YOUR OLD ENOUGH TO PROCREATE, EXCUSE ME WHILE I VOMIT.

Priceless (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why do Zappas posts never make any sense? Perhaps she listens to too much Zappa and follows his lifestyles choices.

Sorry - maybe I simply don't share her intellectual capabilities and it's my shortcoming but I just don't get them.

HolaAmigos (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I didn't read any of Genis' spew after the first few sentences, did you? Nutsville.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

kv, i believe it must be a record breaker in s%&t stacking. both in height and volume.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Geeze, if DG's comments are representative of how he appears in court, I would refuse to hear cases as well.

angelgrl (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DarrylGenis...the Gift that Keeps on Giving...

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How come a judge hasn't fine Jaycee Hunter (Mike's brother) for his antics?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 2:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A truly entertaining and informative article. You know, I think one of the best reasons to err on the side of the law-abiding is that you avoid having to deal with lawyers.

houseinfinite (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Guys! It's sunny out no? I mean, I'm actually not there in SB so I can't say for sure - only assume. But seriously, you all need to go outside and get a quick breather.

DG - go grab a beer mate. Seriously. Just don't drive after k?

Spiritwalker - troll is not a nice thing to call someone.

Priceless - chill out.

Happy Wednesday everyone, and remember if you don't get into trouble, you'll never have to face the likes of judges, lawyers, cops, or old guys that can't procreate anyways!

Cheers!

calicaledonia (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

$1000 for the best advertisement, not too bad.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

All I saw from "DG" was vociferous drivel.... And for the record, you ain't all that good of a speller yourself, Jack.

azuresees (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

[Genis stumbles out of The Sportsman]
DG: “I’ll just drive on home.”
[Drives up Chapala, sees co-ed walking on sidewalk, rolls down window]
DG: “Hey little girl! Wanna go for a…”
[Crashes into parked car]
Co-ed: “What an a**hole.”

Bentneckgiraffe (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Easy there, turbo. That was a little weird.

Bentneckgiraffe (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

HolaAmigos:
"Sorry - maybe I simply don't share her intellectual capabilities and it's my shortcoming but I just don't get them."

Yes, Ms./Mr. Genis, ehr, I mean "HolaAmigos ," you hit the nail squarely on the head with that part of your statement, but I feel no need to correct any of your other blathering assumptions.

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 8:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Seems to me to be pretty clear: court was in recess, no matter what Daryl said, or how he said it, it just CAN NOT be considered contempt of court simply because the judge had already ordeted a lunch recess. Seems that the " lady" 'in question was trying to provoke - based on her loud sighing and bored/ irritated demeanour. This comment directed at her behavior was exactly what she needed to provoke even more. Shame that the judge went for it...
I agree that Mr Genis is well-known for bluntly speaking his mind- and for standing behind his remarks. He has never demonstrated a reluctance to apologize if he feels it's warranted; he just does not seem to be the type for a disingenuous apology. He would rather refrain from apologising altogether.

bloodydramaqueen (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis went to Loyola Law School, if that matters. The school has produced several nationally known "high profile" attorneys, not to say that Genis is one of them.

I sat on a jury in a DUI case Genis "won" by hung jury. I thought his defense silly and voted to convict. Having said that, if I ever get a DUI I'm calling him. He is vigorous and effective in defense, on serious cases that merit competent representation - there are profound consequences to a DUI conviction.

I do understand the need to prosecute DUI cases, we continue to see the very grave consequences of DUI in Santa Barbara. Small wonder, in a city that caters and serves alcohol in hundreds of establishments to a car-centric society with 70,000 college age students.

I've participated in many hundreds of hours of jury trial proceedings as a juror, and I've witnessed more buffoonery in the courtroom by jurists, counsel, witnesses, jurors and defendants than you might imagine - none of which resulted in a contempt.

This sounds very much like a "girl thing" to me, with a female DA, female judge, and a baiting female prosecutor. But then, Justice is often portrayed as a woman who is blind, but not deaf.

menchar (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 5:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Brilliant Menchar, I thank you for the compliment and the criticism.

I'd love (if you would offer it) to take an hour of your time (lunch maybe) given all you said, and since you sat on a trial of mine and I didn't convince you, yet you have an open mind. My guess is you hold valuable information on how I can spot someone like you in a jury pool, and more importantly what I should know about pursuadimg you as a juror.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 12:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If you're gonna buy lunch for commentators, you should buy lunch for everybody on the thread or take it private.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 12:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've sometimes wondered what counsel was thinking in not challenging me off a jury. I've only been challenged twice, and once was where I effectively asked the defense to do so, by emphasizing that I had just two days prior witnessed a crime of similar nature to the case in question.

I belonged on the jury in the DUI case I mentioned - I answered all of voir dire with complete honesty, and brought an unbiased perspective and hunger for the truth to the trial.

Attorneys and judges often find me fascinating, in that I have more jury trial experience than most lawyers.

But no, I won't be having lunch with Genis. He can subscribe to a juror research service (maybe they don't have these in Santa Barbara?) if he wants to gain insight on prospective jurors. My original comment still stands: I have seen plenty of nonsense in courtrooms, and this is a tempest in a small Santa Barbara teapot.

menchar (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 2:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I spent 2 weeks on a jury in SB once. A high level of decorum is expected of jurors, who get paid peanuts (maybe $10/day, or so, I forget).

Meanwhile all the attorneys (including the judge) and their paid experts get paid as much in a few minutes what the jurors get paid in a day. And the behavior of those attorneys and experts was terrible.

In my jury, there was uniform disgust with the entire proceeding. We did everything we could to craft a decision that penalized both sides and the judge. When the judge got it, he came in the jury room and gave us a lecture. We slightly tweaked the judgement to annoy him even more.

The only pure and good thing in the US legal system is the jury. When either side or the judge misbehaves (and in this case, looks like all 3 misbehaved) they risk negative reaction by the jury, who are volunteers and not at all happy with even one wasted minute.

Not clear a jury was involved here, but reading all this reminded me of my terrible jury experience here in SB.

snugspout (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 7:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I understand snugspout's reaction, and have experienced this same sentiment.

But that's no excuse to pervert the proceeding with a frivolous or insincere verdict as snugspout claims. What did that achieve, other than to demonstrate that the "pure and good" jury was capable of descending to the same level as the allegedly misbehaving court?

I'll agree that county courts are often like a soap opera. In my experience, the only court system that meets the (possibly naive) expectations of the general public is federal court, where everything is "better" - better attorneys, better judges, better testimony, and better treatment of the jury - the court rises for the jury when it enters a federal courtroom.

Being a good juror can be frustrating and exhausting. As a juror, you can always ask the judge a question during the trial, and some courts have allowed direct questions of witnesses by the jury, though this is rare.

But at the end of the day, a good juror focuses on being a good and honest judge of the facts, and is able to ignore the irrelevant. I always imagine how I would feel if I were one of the stakeholders, and what I would want from a juror were I involved, be that as a defendant, a witness, or a victim (and you are always involved as a member of the "people" in a criminal trial).

Jury duty, is, in fact, a duty of citizenship. Being a good juror is being a good citizen and serves the public good. And that means doing a good job regardless of the circumstances of courtroom behavior.

menchar (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 12:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

spiritwanker, precious here fresh off my invented chair at SBSO. I've been working hard trying to convince lemmings like yourself into believing panga's are planted. But you are way to smart for me boy...

3 1/2 years at an MP school and all you have is this constant whining and babble about made up issues?? I would like to extend an offer for you to give a class at SBSO on some of your highly trained skills of flunking out of MP school so we can better serve the public with complete nonsense and witchcraft and all of that wizardly stuff. You are the go to guy on here, we search for your posted thoughts and expert opinions to try to solve are most complex cases.

Heck, I'm not sure why the CIA, FBI or even Seal Team 6 isn't asking for your assistance.

Wow, and you call me "Shrill" even though you are accusing the wrong person. Your just a very small man guided by a head below your waist buried in a very dark spot. Sometimes you need to come up for air dude.......

Priceless (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What Price, Sanity?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 7:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OMG $1000! A mere pittance! I have done almost 3G with some of your wannabe judges that just got moved up because no one else was around. This is a joke. Any press is good press, but when does a judge fully explain the powers of a jury, and let them intervene or is that just and excuse for ramshackle? When does a truly powerful judge say WTF? This is ridiculous. DG rocks. Someone needs to rock the good old boys club in SB.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 2:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

by the way, this entire post was a yawner till menchar jumped in.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 2:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is what's good for the goose, sauce for the gander?
In the 'Contempt' realm, which is worse?:
1. "Little Girl"; or
2. "you're an a-hole"
Should the courts hold prosecutors and defense attorney's to the same standard of 'civility', in all courts?

The story is about to get much more interesting:
On Wednesday July 3, 2013, DDA Hannah Lucy was 2 hours late to appear in Department 11 (Dandona) for two of my cases. She was across the hall in Department 12 (Judge Eskin). I took a seat in the first row of the audience seating on the east (prosecutors) side of the courtroom and sat quietly waiting for the 'young lady'. When she finished her last case with Deputy Public Defender Hogan Ganshaw, she told Eskin she was going to D-11 to do two cases. As she walked past the rail, she stopped in front of me and said: "we're you waiting for me?" I responded: "what was your first clue?" She said nothing (though she did roll her eyes) and continued walking toward the exit. As she approached the doors, she turned her head to her right to look at me and said: "you're an a-hole". There was a man seated in the audience immediately to her right who heard her. He signed a declaration under penalty of perjury to her offensive statement which was made in open court while Judge George Eskin was still sitting on the bench. I filed a pleading in Eskin's court seeking contempt proceedings against DDA Lucy and Eskin ordered them unfiled and refused to take any action. He has been reported to the Commission on Judicial Performance. I will have a meeting with the presiding Judge (Garcia) on Monday. I also sought to file for contempt in Dandona's court, where i first complained of the offensive contempt immediately and presented the citizen witnesses testimony. She has yet to act.
If uttering the words "Little Girl" at opposing counsel while court is in session is contempt, then uttering the words "you're an a$$h0le" must also be a contempt. If uttering the words "Little Girl" at opposing counsel while court is in session is worth a $1,000 fine then uttering the words "you're an a$$h0le" must be worth at least three times that or $3,000.
If the judges of Santa Barbara don't hold the DA in contempt and fine her a minimum of $1,000, what does that tell you?

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 8:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Genis is my hero. Apparently no other attorney is prepared to stand up to the cozy little system our judges, prosecutors, police, and Council have going for them

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 10:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You also like racists so who wants your support.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 11:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I dunno, Darryl, you might want to dial this back a bit and let it settle out. You have to work with these people, albeit in an adversarial scheme. I imagine there must be due process to appeal a contempt no matter how arbitrarily it might have been originally issued? I grew up with three sisters who amused themselves by baiting me, I know what that's like. Common sense will, hopefully, prevail here.

I know of an incident where, just after a court session had ended and as the courtroom was clearing, defense counsel said to the lead plaintiff counsel "F**k you!" in front of the jury. The plaintiff counsel, who later was named California litigator of the year, replied, "no, no, I'm going to f**k you!" and the jury erupted in laughter. No contempt was ever issued and the plaintiffs prevailed in the single largest tort judgement in American history to that point.

I've seen jurors fall asleep and snoring, judges falling asleep, gang members coming into the gallery and intimidating jurors, judges dodging court so they can go to a Dodger game, witnesses comically lying on the stand, attorneys forgetting what case they were on, attorneys forgetting the name of their client, drunk attorneys, and my personal favorite, a front row juror in a federal court using a straw as if to snort some of the 22 kilos of coke on an evidence table in front of us.

Heck, I've misbehaved in court. One federal trial had a Columbian drug case defendant claiming, in Spanish, to have been bitten "en mi culo" by a "horrible animal" (police dog). Understanding the Spanish, I started laughing and the entire court reacted. The judge (the notable Edward Rafeedie) was pissed but nothing came of it.

After this trial (where we found two of three defendants guilty), the jury went back into the federal jury pool, and we showed up a week later in the same courtroom with the same US Attorney, on another drug case. The US attorney saw us coming in and got a big grin on his face, and managed to seat 9 of us from the previous trial. The public defenders didn't have a clue.

I could write a book.

menchar (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And you should!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I may, Ken, when I have the time. Maybe when I retire.

Despite having noted some of the clownish things I've seen, I take jury duty quite seriously. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining to do a good job, and often times I will find my self reflecting on a case months or years afterwards. I often believe I've considered a case more seriously than any of the professional participants. The circumstances are often tragic, and usually there's no real "winner" other than society as a whole, for having established and maintained a system of laws.

I don't regret any of it.

menchar (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

K_V, what the heck are you talking about? I like racists? Huh?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2013 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)