Boalt Hall, California, Drugs, Kids, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Partner Issues

A Law Firm Partner and His Boalt Hall Wife Stand Accused of Planting Drugs on an Elementary School Volunteer

Parenting can be an extremely difficult task, but an even more difficult task is proper helicopter parenting. It’s got to be an intense job to keep an eye on your child’s every move, day and night, wherever he may roam. In fact, some people have started to call these people lawnmower parents — after all, why choose to hover overhead when you can destructively mow down all obstacles that you perceive to be in your child’s way on the road to success?

Today, we’ve got a story about an attractive California couple who stand accused of being textbook examples of the worst kind of lawnmower parents, and they just so happen to both be lawyers. Daddy is (or was) a securities litigation partner at a midsize firm, and Mommy is a graduate of top law school. Trust us when we say that you do not want to mess with their kid, because you may wind up facing drug charges….

Please note the UPDATE at the end of this post.

Kent and Jill Easter, parents of an elementary-school student, allegedly conspired to get Kelli Peters, a parent volunteer at their son’s school, arrested in order to “teach her a lesson.” The couple stands accused of planting drugs on the volunteer whom mommy dearest asserts was guilty of failing to “properly supervis[e]” their child. That definitely had to be the worst Easter basket ever.

UPDATE (2:42 p.m.): Kent Easter apparently sued Peters in 2010 on behalf of his son, alleging false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress on Peters’s part. Easter alleged that Peters locked his son out of the school building after a tennis class in an “intentional and malicious” fashion. The case was ultimately dismissed, but you can access the full complaint here.

The prestigious couple: Jillianne B. Easter and Kent W. Easter

Kent W. Easter, a 1998 graduate of UCLA Law and former associate at Wilson Sonsini, is a securities litigation partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, a midsize California firm, where he serves as the chairman of the firm’s Recruiting and Summer Associates Committee. But as we noted in Morning Docket, the only thing that Easter seems to be straddling now is jail time.

Have the allegations against Kent Easter resulted in his departure from the firm? Stradley Yocca has made every effort to wipe its website clean of his now-sullied name (Google cache can only do so much; see what’s left of his former bio here). We’ve provided Easter’s full LinkedIn profile on the following page.

His wife, Jillianne B. Easter, is a 1998 graduate of Boalt Hall, but she allowed her bar membership to lapse. (And with an email address like “licensetojill,” perhaps her husband should have known he was in for some trouble.) According to her bio on her former firm’s website, Easter & DeLeon, L.L.P., she also served as an associate at Wilson Sonsini, where she presumably met her husband.

The Orange County Register has the scoop on this alleged Bonnie-and-Clyde duo:

A husband and wife were arrested Tuesday and charged with planting drugs in the car of an unsuspecting school volunteer who the wife thought was not properly supervising their son, according to prosecutors.

Kent Wycliffe Easter, 38, and Jill Bjorkholm Easter, 38, were arrested by Irvine police and are charged with conspiracy to procure the false arrest of the elementary-school parent volunteer, false imprisonment and conspiracy to falsely report a crime.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Kent Easter allegedly drove to Peters’s home on February 16, 2011, and placed a potpourri of drugs and drug paraphernalia — including Vicodin, Percocet, and marijuana — behind the driver’s seat of her unlocked vehicle. He then called the police and used a fake name to report Peters, claiming that he had seen her stash a bag of drugs in the car.

After detaining Peters for two hours and conducting an investigation that yielded no no evidence to support drug use or possession, detectives began to search for other leads:

Irvine detectives investigated the possibility that someone planted the drugs in the woman’s car and discovered that the call that alerted them was placed by Kent Easter from a phone in a business center of a Newport Beach hotel, according to prosecutors. The hotel’s surveillance cameras captured images of him at the time the call was placed, prosecutors said.

Ahh, the things a man will allegedly do for a lovely and intelligent trophy wife. The Easters are free on $20,000 bail each, and they’re scheduled to be arraigned on July 17 in Orange County. Talk about some bad eggs.

Flip to the next page to see Kent Easter’s LinkedIn profile, various news clippings on the couple’s arrest, and some video coverage….

UPDATE (06/25/13): The criminal charges against the Easters are ongoing, with a trial scheduled for October 28, 2013, but they are now suing several parties for defamation. Click here for additional coverage.

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