The State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona announced today that since September 2021, his office has been conducting an investigation of John Charles Eastman (State Bar No. 193726), a California licensed attorney. The investigation is focused on whether Eastman engaged in conduct in violation of California law and ethics rules governing attorneys following and in relation to the November 2020 presidential election.
The announcement is made pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6086.1(b)(2) and State Bar Rule of Procedure 2302(d)(1), which authorize the Chief Trial Counsel, when warranted for protection of the public and after notice to the licensee, to issue an announcement confirming the fact of an investigation, clarifying the procedural aspects and current status of the investigation, and defending the right of a licensee to a fair hearing. Details of the investigation must remain confidential to comply with statutory limitations on disclosure and to give the investigation the greatest chance of success. Mr. Eastman has been advised of the Chief Trial Counsel’s announcement.
“A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct,” said Cardona. “We want to thank those who took the time to bring to our attention this information, which serves as the starting point for our investigation. We will be proceeding with a single State Bar investigation in which we will continue to gather and analyze relevant evidence and go wherever it leads us.”
A State Bar investigation seeks to determine whether there is a basis for filing a Notice of Disciplinary Charges. An attorney has a right to a fair hearing and must be presumed to be innocent of any misconduct warranting discipline until any charges have been proven in a proceeding before the State Bar Court.
Attorney discipline matters are investigated and prosecuted by the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC), acting on behalf of the public. The State Bar Court oversees disciplinary proceedings and adjudicates charges filed by OCTC. The State Bar Court rules on whether an attorney has committed professional misconduct and may recommend that an attorney be suspended or disbarred. The State Bar Court’s recommendation is transmitted to the California Supreme Court, which determines whether to impose the recommended discipline. See rule 9.18, California Rules of Court.
The state Bar of California