Dennis Baranowski is a Partner at Geraci LLP and a supervising attorney in the Banking and Finance group. He has extensive experience in helping banks, credit unions, mortgage funds, private lenders, brokers, developers, and loan servicers navigate through complex transactions, including negotiation of terms, transaction review, and drafting of documents. He developed and manages Geraci’s cannabis lending and compliance practice and has regularly presented on cannabis lending, as well as had articles on the topic published in national trade publications. Mr. Baranowski believes in dedicated, constant communication, and providing swift, custom, effective, and efficient solutions to client problems. He understands that his role is not to stand in the way of a transaction, but to be a trusted guide in all lending matters.
Most prized possession
While I do not really “possess” them, what I value most is my family.
When not working
Spending time with my family
I have many, but right now this is the one that I am feeling: “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” ― Buddha
If you had one wish
I would give it away. We all know from books, TV and movies how wishes always backfire.
Who or what helps you to stay motivated at Geraci?
It is not difficult to stay motivated at Geraci. I have never been surrounded by such a driven and dynamic group of individuals in my life. Everybody is so focused on excelling and helping others to succeed, I think it would be impossible for me to not be motivated
If you could go back and change any aspect of your life, which would it be?
While I have made some decisions in my life that may not have been the best advised; I would not change any aspect of my life. Everything that has occurred in the past has brought me to this point, which is where I belong. I like to focus on what I can change today, so I am trying to improve now to make things better in the future.
What wisdom could you offer aspiring attorneys?
The best thing that you can do for yourself is to intern or clerk at law firms. Interning and clerking allow you to experience the practice of law firsthand, so you can make a more informed decision as to whether or not you want to pursue a career as an attorney. I recommend interning or clerking in different areas of law in order to learn if one area suits you better than others. Finally, interning and clerking will help provide you with experience and contacts in the legal profession.
What’s it like working at Geraci?
I love working at Geraci Law Firm. Working at Geraci Law Firm is like going to work with your friends and family every day. We all share a common vision from the top down and strive for excellence in all that we do. I am fortunate to work with other individuals who share the same passion and commitment to provide peace of mind to our clients and to each other.
Who has had the most impact on your career?
It is difficult to identify one individual that has had the most impact on my career, as I have been lucky enough to have had several people throughout my development that have helped me grow in the manner to which I was most receptive at the time. In this stage of my career, I can definitely say that it is Anthony Geraci. His vision and perspective is so different from how the majority of law firms have operated throughout my career. Working in the environment created and encouraged by Anthony has helped me to really understand my strengths and how to apply them and I think has made me a better team member, attorney and all-around person.
What’s the toughest business decision you’ve ever made?
Interestingly, I think that the toughest business decision (or at least one of them) was deciding to join Geraci. It was difficult because I was not accustomed to working for others, and the commute to the office was pretty bad (I never worked more than about 15 minutes from home for years). Fortunately, the decision was easy from a values perspective since Anthony and Christina shared my values. I am thankful that Anthony and Christina gave me the opportunity to participate in their vision. It has been several years since I made the decision, and I have no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice.
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- University of La Verne College of Law, La Verne, California
- Juris Doctorate magna cum laude – 1998
- Honors: Valedictorian
- University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1995
- Major: Political Science
Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- California Bar Association
- California Mortgage Bankers Association, Member of Future Leaders Program, 2014
- California Mortgage Association
- American Association of Private Lenders, General Counsel
- Orange County Bar Association: Banking & Lending Section
- United Trustees Association
- Speaker at California Mortgage Bankers Association 2014 Legal Issues Conference, Practical Applications Sessions: Origination
- Speaker at annual meeting for business banking group of large financial institution
- Representation of national banks, local banks and credit unions in drafting custom loan documentation packages and document review.
- Representation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in default related legal matters, including foreclosure, bankruptcy, loss mitigation and bankruptcy.
- Drafted and reviewed documents for warehouse lines, loan purchase and sale transactions, and hypothecations aggregating over $1 billion.
- Drafted custom loan document templates for national mortgage lender.
- Three Things All Lenders Must Consider When Making a Cannabis Loan
- Year in Review: 2020 Court Decisions Impacting Private Lending
- Q3 Recap: Commercial/Multifamily Borrowing
- 3 Strategies to Free up Capital and Fund New Loans
- Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Lending Q2 Recap
- June CMBS Delinquency Rates on the Rise
- Preparing for Bankruptcy Filings
- [COVID-19] Mortgage Delinquency Rate Spikes in April
- [COVID-19] Majority of Tenants Still Making Timely Payments Despite Economic Turmoil
- [COVID-19] CMBS Delinquency Rate Update: COVID-19 Impact Anticipation for May
- [COVID-19] MBA’s Latest Survey Shows Significant Increase in Number of Loans in Forbearance
- [COVID-19] Tenant Payment Delinquencies Spike in April
- [COVID-19] Impacts on Cannabis Reform Across the U.S.
- Shelter in Place/ Stay at Home Order by State
- Federal and State Foreclosure and Evictions Moratoriums
- Responses to COVID-19 from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
- California Recorder Office Closures By County
- Updates from California Secretary of State, Department of Real Estate, and Title Companies
- Laxed Hemp Financial Regulations Have Banks Anticipating Progress in the Marijuana Sector
- Lenders Beginning to Open Up Capital for Cannabis Businesses
- Congress Votes to Bar Federal Government Intervention Into State Cannabis Legislation
- New California Assembly Bill Adds Challenges for California Lenders
- Title Insurance Problematic for Cannabis Businesses
- What Seismic Retrofit Requirements Mean for Lenders and Investors
- 32% of Multifamily Production Expenses Caused by Regulation
- How to Evaluate a Private Money Construction Loan
- Insurance Commissioner Approves Cannabis Property Policies
- Trump Administration Signals End to War on Legal Cannabis
- Citing Scant Resources, Justice Department will not Prosecute Minor Marijuana Offenses
- Is a State-Run Cannabis Bank in California’s Future?
- Attorney General Sessions Ends Obama-era Cannabis Protections. What You Need to Know
- What You Need to Know About Cannabis Lending
- Booker Works to Pass Legislation Descheduling Cannabis
- Affordable Housing Mandates Impose Burdens on Developers
- Freddie Mac Kills 1% Down Payment Program
- Attorney General Urged to Maintain Non-Enforcement Policy Against Legal Cannabis
- Investing In Marijuana: Did the Green Rush Begin?
- Mortgage Delinquency Rates Rise Incrementally from Record-Setting Lows
- What You Need to Know Before Purchasing A Trust Deed Investment
- Challenges Ahead For California After Voters Approve Recreational Marijuana
- Identifying The Right SBA Loan Program