Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Professional Sanction

While attorneys have a duty to advocate zealously for their clients, they must do so within the bounds of ethical and legal constraints.  Eastman's actions transgressed those ethical limits by advocating, participating in and pursuing a strategy to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election that lacked evidentiary or legal support.  Vigorous advocacy does not absolve Eastman of his professional responsibilities around honesty and upholding the rule of law.  While his actions are mitigated by his many years of discipline-free practice, cooperation, and prior good character, his wrongdoing is substantially aggravated by his multiple offenses, lack of candor and indifference.  Given the serious and extensive nature of Eastman's unethical actions, the most severe available professional sanction is warranted to protect the public and preserve the public confidence in the legal system.

Eastman has exhibited an unwillingness to acknowledge any ethical lapses regarding his actions, demonstrating an apparent inability to accept responsibility.  This lack of remorse and accountability presents a significant risk that Eastman may engage in further unethical conduct, compounding the threat to the public.

Guided by the standards, case law, and the purposes of attorney discipline, the court recommends that Eastman be disbarred.

John Charles Eastman is ordered transferred to involuntary inactive status pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6007, subdivision (c)(4).

-- Yvette D. Roland, Judge of the State Bar Court of California, ruling on 11 counts of misconduct arising from Eastman's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election (27 March 2024)

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