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Michael Avenatti – Former Stormy Daniels Attorney Cruelly Labelled ‘Creepy Porn Lawyer’ – is “Flat Out Broke”

Michael Avenatti - Former Stormy Daniels Attorney Cruelly Labelled 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' - is "Flat Out Broke" 4
Michael Avenatti - Former Stormy Daniels Attorney Cruelly Labelled 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' - is "Flat Out Broke" 8

Michael Avenatti is apparently destitute. In an effort to secure counsel reserved for the “indigent,” Avenatti recently told a California court that he is flat out broke.  In New York, ex-Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP partner Tom Warren, filed to withdraw as Avenatti’s counsel; and disclosed that the disbarred attorney did not pay the firm for legal services, and cannot pay Warren’s new firm Warren Terzian LLP.

The New York Daily News covered Avenatti’s New York filing with the title: “Michael Avenatti is broke, likely will need public defender: documents.”

Michael Avenatti - Former Stormy Daniels Attorney Cruelly Labelled 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' - is "Flat Out Broke" 9

His California filing was published in the USA Today and details the apparent hard times that have befallen the former Donald Trump antagonist; for example, the filing states:

“[Mr. Avenatti] is presently on home confinement, unable to work and pay for his daily living expenses. He sleeps on an air mattress at a friend’s 1,000 square foot apartment. He was convicted in New York in February of multiple felonies and faces two other felony trials in the coming months on two coasts. His law license has been suspended and he will likely never practice law again. . . He is routinely mocked and vilified in the press.  He is defined with the juvenile  moniker the “Creepy  Porn Lawyer”  on social media and on the highest-rated shows on cable  television.   He is publicly attacked by the President and his family, even in the middle of a deadly pandemic. He is photographed by garbage tabloids when he walks on the balcony outside the apartment where he lives. His life and liberty hang in the balance. What exactly does the government maintain Mr. Avenatti is waiting for before he deploys these imaginary millions,  they claim he is hiding?” 

As LawFuel previously covered, Avenatti was arrested in January at a California State Bar Disciplinary hearing, while represented by Warren. The Warren withdrawal filing provides interesting insight into his former firm: 

“I started representing Mr. Avenatti when I was a partner with Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, a law firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., among other places. The firm’s troubles have been well documented. On May 1, 2020, I started a new law firm, Warren Terzian LLP, with three of my colleagues from Pierce Bainbridge. Mr. Avenatti was unable to pay Pierce Bainbridge for the legal services it rendered on his behalf.”

The New York Law Journal reported that Warren “also cited a ‘nonwaivable’ conflict of interest’ that presented his team from continuing. . .[the federal judge] . . did not immediately grant the [unopposed withdrawal] request . . . and ordered [Warren] to further explain the conflict and directed prosecutors to respond to the request.”

Pierce Bainbridge Financial Issues

Like Avenatti, Pierce Bainbridge has had severe financial issues. The firm reportedly owes litigation funder Virage Capital Management $65 million. Millions more is owed to others; and recent Virage filings appear to confirm that Pierce Bainbridge quadruple-pledged collateral in exchange for millions in cash.  

The firm has splintered dramatically with several partners starting new firms.  Warren Terzian LLP formed in March, as did Hecht Partners LLP and Bainbridge Law APC, Bradford Edwards & Varlack LLP was formed sometime thereafter; all are led by ex-Pierce Bainbridge partners.  In the case of Hecht Partners, the Pierce Bainbridge fragmentation has caused issues; two Law360 articles titled: “Pierce Bainbridge Breakup Sparks Rift In Boeing Class Suit” and “Ex-Pierce Atty Says Colleague Lied In Boeing Max 8 Hearing” are related to the high-profile Southwest-Boeing class action.  The issues relate to a clash between Hecht Partners and other ex-Pierce Bainbridge attorneys from Bathaee Dunne concerning their respective roles related to the representation of plaintiffs in that lawsuit.

The lawyer accused of lying by a former Pierce Bainbridge associate is Hecht Partners founder, David Hecht; Hecht was a name-partner at Pierce Bainbridge and the New York Office Managing Partner; Hecht has denied the accusation.  

Warren’s disclosure of Avenatti as a deadbeat is interesting.  George Papadopoulos also hired Pierce Bainbridge and has a “Go Fund Me” for “legal fees,” as indicated in the URL address. 

Michael Avenatti - Former Stormy Daniels Attorney Cruelly Labelled 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' - is "Flat Out Broke" 10

In addition, big-talking firm founder John M. Pierce confirmed that he — or the firm — paid for another client Lenwood “Skip” Hamilton to live in a $1.3 million home — with a $6,600/month rent — for around two years. This arrangement appears odd when juxtaposed with the firm’s reported $70 million debt; an ethics expert suggested it could potentially lead to a license suspension; Pierce maintains it was done by the book.  

Former Pierce Bainbridge client Avenatti says he is broke, Pierce Bainbridge appears to be broke, and the events surrounding both of them, as well as the firm’s spawned from the Pierce Bainbridge break-up, continue to provide considerable intrigue.  

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