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Segretti v. State Bar

544 P.2d 929 (1976)

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Segretti v. State Bar

California Supreme Court

544 P.2d 929 (1976)

Facts

After being admitted to the practice of law, Donald Segretti (defendant) served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps for four years and was honorably discharged. At the suggestion of friends on President Richard Nixon’s staff, Segretti met with Nixon’s counsel and accepted employment in connection with Nixon’s reelection campaign. Segretti’s job was to perform pranks to foster a split among aspiring Democratic presidential candidates so they would be less likely to unite behind the eventual nominee. Segretti (1) wrote and distributed on the letterhead of the committee for Senator Muskie a letter falsely accusing senators Humphrey and Jackson of sexual improprieties; (2) wrote and distributed on Senator Humphrey’s stationery a news release falsely alleging that Representative Chisholm had once been committed to a mental institution and was under psychiatric care; (3) printed on Senator McCarthy’s letterhead forged letters suggesting that delegates for Senator McCarthy and Representative Chisholm switch their votes to Senator Humphrey; (4) had bogus campaign materials printed and distributed; and (5) committed acts intended to cause confusion in Democratic candidates’ campaigns. Segretti pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate and violation of 18 U.S.C. § 612 for publishing or distributing statements relating to a presidential candidate that did not contain the name of the person responsible for the publication or distribution. After a hearing, the California State Bar (plaintiff) found that Segretti’s conduct involved moral turpitude warranting discipline.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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