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Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth Partner Disbarred
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Kent Easter

Summary: A former partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth was disbarred by the California bar for scheming to plant drugs in a fellow parent’s car.

Kent Easter was once an associate for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth. He has now been disbarred from practicing law in California for scheming to plant drugs on the mother of a student his son went to school with. Easter was caught plotting with his now ex-wife to put drugs in the woman’s car.

  
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This disciplinary action against Easter comes after he was already convicted and spent time in prison for the scheme. The disbarment took effect on July 23. He was found guilty in September 2014 of felony false imprisonment. He had been sentenced to 180 days behind bars but reportedly served only 87 days before being released.

His former wife, Jill Easter, pled guilty before his conviction to the same charge and served only 60 days behind bars. She was disbarred immediately after the incident in 2014. She has since changed her name to Ava Everheart, according to The American Lawyer. She earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She was also an associate at Wilson Sonsini.

Easter has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and went to the University of California, Los Angeles for his law degree. He likely met his wife while they were both working as associates at Wilson Sonsini. His LinkedIn profile describes him as a consultant for early-stage technology companies.

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The issue involving the woman started in 2010. The woman, Kelli Peters was a parent volunteer at the elementary school in Irvine, California that the Easters’ son attended. According to Kent Easter’s disbarment order, Peters was responsible for helping the kids move from after-school activities to the area where their parents would be to pick them up. One day in February of that year, Jill Easter arrived to pick up her 6-year-old son but he was not at the pick-up spot. Apparently, he had also been temporarily locked out of the school when the after-school tennis program he attended ended.

This one-time incident caused the Easters to start a campaign to ruin Peters. They did not want her to be allowed to volunteer at the school and filed a police report and civil suit against her. The school did not remove her.



A year later in February 2011, Kent Easter posed as an Indian man during a phone call to Irvine police. He claimed to be a concerned parent who had witnessed Peters driving erratically by the school with drugs in her car. Police arrived and stopped Peters to search her car. The police found marijuana, a pipe, Percocet, and Vicodin in her car. She denied knowing anything about the drugs and submitted to a DNA test.

The police began to question the tip they had received and believed she had been framed. An investigation found that Kent Easter was the person that had called in the tip and DNA from both of the Easters’ was found on the drugs and paraphernalia. These findings led to the criminal charges where Jill Easter gave into a plea deal and Kent Easter tried for a trial the ended in a conviction against him.

Peters lodged a civil complaint against the couple in February 2016, ending up in a $5.7 million verdict.

The California State Bar has used Kent Easter’s conviction and disbarment as an example of what not to do and what can happen. The online California Bar Journal wrote, “His disbarment—and earlier, that of his attorney wife for the same offense—demonstrate that a felony conviction, the fact and circumstances of which involve moral turpitude, can lead to an attorney’s ouster from the profession even where unrelated to the practice of law.”

Would you trust someone like Kent Easter, who clearly lacks self-control or a cool thought process, to advise your start-up company? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about more about the case, read these articles:

Photo: abcnews.go.com



 

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