On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia suspended Attorney W. McCall Calhoun, Jr. for felony and misdemeanor convictions linked to a riot.

The case is titled ‘In the Matter of W. McCall Calhoun, Jr.,’ with case number S23Y1160.

According to the filing, Attorney Calhoun’s convictions violated Rules 8.4(a)(2) and 8.4(a)(3) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits:

Attorneys from being convicted of a felony;

Convictions for misdemeanors involving moral turpitude related to law practice.

The Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The disciplinary matter stemmed from Attorney Calhoun’s involvement in the riot that broke out on January 6, 2021, in the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. as Congress was meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Attorney W. McCall Calhoun Jr., was in Washington that day and went inside the Capitol building during the riot.

On March 20, 2023, Calhoun was put on trial in federal court for various criminal charges related to his participation in the events. After a bench trial, the judge found Attorney Calhoun guilty of five criminal offenses: obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, a felony; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, a misdemeanor; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor.

Following his conviction, the State Bar of Georgia began disciplinary proceedings against Calhoun. On November 7, 2023, a hearing was held before a Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia. At the hearing, Attorney Calhoun admitted he was present in the Capitol building on January 6 but maintained he did not break any laws or engage in violence. He said he entered the building to exercise his First Amendment rights and thought any offenses he may commit would only be misdemeanors.

The Special Master issued a report finding that Attorney Calhoun’s felony obstruction conviction violated Rules 8.4(a)(2) and 8.4(a)(3) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.  The Special Master recommended Calhoun be suspended from practicing law pending the outcome of his appeal of the convictions.

Attorney Calhoun objected to the Special Master’s findings. He argued he could not have been “convicted” under the rules because there was no jury verdict in his bench trial. He also claimed the obstruction charge should only be a misdemeanor under Georgia law. However, on November 7, 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia rejected Attorney Calhoun’s arguments and agreed with the Special Master that suspension was appropriate given his felony conviction.

The court found that “verdict” in the disciplinary rules includes judicial findings of guilt. It suspended Attorney Calhoun’s law license, pending resolution of his appeal, in order to protect the public and maintain the integrity of the legal profession. Attorney Calhoun will remain suspended from practicing law until the criminal convictions from his actions on January 6, 2021, are fully resolved through the appeals process.

The disposition reads:

“For these reasons, it is hereby ordered that McCall Calhoun, Jr. be suspended from the practice of law in this State until the final disposition of his direct appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and until further order of this Court. “

According to Avvo, Attorney W. McCall Calhoun, Jr. is a criminal defense attorney based in Americus, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating in 1990. He acquired his law license in Georgia the same year.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.