There can be nothing more dangerous than a law-partner or associate scorned and for star lawyer Michael Avenatti a former colleague has slapped his firm with a $10 million judgment.
The claim is against Avenatti’s old firm and has brought the anticipated swift denial from Stormy Daniel’s lawyer and the man tasked with taking on Donald Trump and his fixer lawyer Michael Cohen.
Avenatti has long held the spotlight for some of his successes in court but the Stormy Daniels fight has truly brought him to the wider public’s attention through his almost constant media appearances.
Former partner Jason Frank claimed the former firm owed him several million dollars in both profits and fees, which wound up in a bankruptcy court after a creditor filed an involuntary petition against the firm.
Although the claim between Frank and Avenatti were settled in December for $4.9 million, according to the court papers, the money was also guaranteed by Avenatti and the first settlement payment of $2 million failed to hit its May 14 deadline, Frank alleges.
The resultant ‘default’ purportedly permitted Frank to pursue the full $10 million claim.
Avenatti founded Eagen Avenatti LLP in 2007 and ran out of three offices in California, scoring some major victories, including a $454 million verdict in 2017 against Kimberly-Clark Corp’s Halyard Health Inc over the safety in surgical gowns.
Aggressive and effective in court and out of court, including his media persona, Avenatti claims to have secured recoveries in excess of $1 billion for clients and now faces his major league standoff with the President of the United States and his legal minders.