“She made me do it.”

Michael Sean Quinn(see below)

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A couple of lawyers in or around Orange County California, that is, two lawyers who were–and perhaps still are–also a couple became distressed about how their 7 year old son was being treated by a volunteer at the boy’s school–a volunteer who was also the PTA president.  All in all, obviously, a very important personage, this Kelli Peters.  

The lawyers, Kent and Jill Easter, took umbrage at the way their son was left unattended and the way Peters had referred to him as “slow.”* The Easters apparently had not had a good morning, since later in the day they decided to plant drugs in Peters car and then call the cops. This happened in 2011. (*Apparently it was just being said that the boy wasn’t moving across the field as quickly as some of the other boys.)

Now, the word “frame” has three distinct meanings: what goes around a picture, creating a context in which something is to be understood or conceived,* and setting up a story in which an innocent person is said to have committed a crime.  Guess which one applies here. (*The second meaning of “to frame” has to do with the creation of a framework, as in a framework for understanding something.**) 

Jill plead guilty in 2013 and completed a 120 day jail sentence long ago.  He license was suspended.  Kent’s case was tried twice.  In the first go round, the jury locked.  In the second trial last year, Kent said he didn’t do the planting and hence not the framing and that only Jill did.  



He seems to have admitted calling the police about the drugs in Kelli’s car and apparently that he used a fake name and a phony accent to report that he saw someone driving that car erratically, and did it all to placate his wife. In the second time, Kent was found guilty.

This case has many questions. First, to how much of this is Kent lying, if any. Second, was there some sort of H-W arrangement to preserve the law license of one of them.  If so, they could have done better. Third, what  impact has this had on the heart and mind of their son. Fourth, how have the dimensions of the intimate H-W life of the Easters changed. Fifth, where did Jill get the drugs? Sixth, was tossing them into Kelli’s car somehow an improper distribution of an illegal substance? And seventh, can the life of the Easter family be resurrected? 
“Oops,” in nearly the words of the once famous and now infamous  (since criminally charged) Texas governor, “I nearly forgot.” Kelli is suing Kent and Jill for intentional infliction of emotion distress and false imprisonment. (I guess the second one has to do with when cops stopped and/or grabbed Kelli.) I doubt the second one will yield much.  The first cause of action, however, has real promise, especially if  Kelli got impeached and/or removed as PTA president. 


**See Charles Taylor, SOURCES OF THE SELF Chapter One “Inescapable Frameworks” (1989).



Michael Sean Quinn
Law Office of Michael Sean Quinn

Quinn and Quinn

1300 West Lynn #208

Austin, Texas 78703

(Resumes Attached to Website)

(o) 512-296-2594

(c) 512-656-0503

Originally posted on 03/31/2015 @ 10:37 pm

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc. (530)

One of Texas's leading insurance scholars, Michael Sean Quinn is a past chair of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has a broad legal practice.

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