NPR’s Sarah McCammon talks to professor Scott Cumming of UCLA College of Legislation, about John Eastman asking a decide to postpone his disbarment proceedings in case he is indicted with the previous president.


Legal professional John Eastman is asking for the postponement of a disciplinary continuing that might finish along with his disbarment. Eastman is a former regulation professor and legal professional near former President Donald Trump. The California State Bar says he deliberate, promoted and assisted Trump in attempting to overturn the professional outcomes of the 2020 election. In all, Eastman faces 11 costs, most associated to creating false statements and misrepresentations, amongst them statements at a January 6 rally that the state bar says helped provoke the mob that attacked the Capitol.


JOHN EASTMAN: All we’re demanding a Vice President Pence is that this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we resolve it, and the American folks know whether or not we now have management of the route of our authorities or not.

MCCAMMON: Becoming a member of us now’s Scott Cummings. He is a scholar and professor of authorized ethics on the UCLA College of Legislation. Thanks a lot in your time, Professor Cummings.

SCOTT CUMMINGS: Thanks for having me.

MCCAMMON: To begin with, what does it imply for an legal professional to be disbarred, and why would possibly it occur?

CUMMINGS: Disbarment is the final word sanction. It says {that a} lawyer’s completely denied the privilege of training regulation, representing purchasers, full cease. And this occurs for probably the most excessive conduct.

MCCAMMON: And that is what John Eastman is dealing with. His legal professionals say if the proceedings – the disbarment proceedings – will not be delayed, that might create a battle along with his Fifth Modification rights towards self-incrimination. What does that imply on this context, and what would possibly it recommend when it comes to the authorized jeopardy he is dealing with?

CUMMINGS: Effectively, I believe the problem is that he is extensively reputed to be co-conspirator quantity two within the federal indictment that was issued by Jack Smith. And so I believe his concern is that if he makes statements within the bar proceedings, they may be used as proof towards him within the occasion that Jack Smith decides to finally indict John Eastman. I believe there’s numerous hypothesis proper now that Smith has kind of crafted the indictment to singularly targeted on Trump however that he would possibly subsequently resolve to pursue the co-conspirators. John Eastman could possibly be in authorized jeopardy in that regard.

MCCAMMON: Eastman isn’t alone in Trump’s authorized circle in dealing with disciplinary actions associated to efforts to overturn the election. Chief amongst them, New York and D.C. have already suspended Rudy Giuliani’s license to observe. What sort of proof is required to efficiently self-discipline attorneys in these instances?

CUMMINGS: Effectively, the proof that is required should be supplied by clear and convincing proof. So it is a very excessive commonplace. It is attention-grabbing, when you have a look at the costs which were levied towards Eastman within the California proceedings. However the bulk of the claims are actually about misrepresentation within the service of dangerous actions, what the California guidelines name ethical turpitude. And so the proof that the bar is placing out is that there are lies which were used to advance dangerous acts – dangerous acts like advancing a false principle of methods to overturn the election, pressuring Pence to do that, making statements on the Ellipse on January 6 that had been designed to whip up the group.

MCCAMMON: Clearly, a course of like disbarment has large implications for the legal professional himself or herself. However what objective does it serve, say, in, you understand, preserving the integrity of the authorized system?

CUMMINGS: So a part of self-discipline is about taking out dangerous actors and signaling what the authorized occupation stands for. And on this specific case, I believe the results of not disbarring John Eastman, if, in actual fact, the proof stands up within the bar proceedings, are monumental, as a result of if somebody can merely get out of bother, basically due to their purported private perception in a unique set of details, then the regulatory perform, I believe, is is in nice peril.

MCCAMMON: Scott Cummings is a professor of authorized ethics on the UCLA College of Legislation. Thanks a lot in your time.

CUMMINGS: Thanks for having me.


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