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UH Law Center Ethics Expert Jefferson Available to Discuss Eastman and Clark Disciplinary Cases 

Renee Knake Jefferson
Professor of Law and the Joanne and Larry Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics
Director, Law Center Outcomes and Assessments

Renee Knake Jefferson
Professor of Law and the Joanne and Larry Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics
Director, Law Center Outcomes and Assessments

March 28, 2024 — Renee Knake Jefferson, a leading authority on legal ethics and professor at the University of Houston Law Center, is available for commentary on the recent John Charles Eastman disbarment opinion from the California State Bar Court and the Jeffrey Clark disciplinary trial before the D.C. Bar. Click here for bio.

Professor Jefferson’s initial reactions to the decision in the Eastman case issued by California State Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland:

“In a world increasingly filled with alternative facts, deep fakes, and fake news, lawyers have a heightened obligation to convey fact-based evidence to separate reality from fiction. Judge Roland’s decision makes clear that when a lawyer’s zealous advocacy crosses the line into obviously false information held out as the truth, discipline is warranted.”

“As Judge Roland explained in her opinion: ‘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.’”

“The purpose of the legal ethics rules that hold lawyers accountable for certain lies is to protect the public and to uphold the integrity of the judicial system.”

For additional context and resources, please see Jefferson’s essay on “Lawyer Lies and Political Speech” and recent blog post on the Eastman decision.

Additional materials:

If you are interested in interviewing Professor Jefferson, please contact Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, cacriado@central.uh.edu or Bonnie Buffaloe, Communications Manager, 713-743-9137, blbuffaloe@uh.edu.

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