Michael Avenatti

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Micheal Avenatti
Avenatti in 2018
Michael John Avenatti

(1971-02-16) February 16, 1971 (age 52)
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
Years active2000–present
Lisa Storie Avenatti (m. 2011)
WebsiteOfficial website

Michael John Avenatti (born February 16, 1971)[1] is an American lawyer and businessman.[2][3][4] Avenatti is best known for suing President Donald Trump on behalf of porn star Stormy Daniels in an attempt to prove that Trump paid Daniels to stay silent during their affair.[5][6]

Avenatti said that he would run for president in 2020 if Trump runs for re-election and if no other candidate is good enough to beat Trump.[7][8]

Avenatti was found guilty of wire fraud and identity theft in February 2022.[9] On June 2, 2022, he was sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding Stormy Daniels.[10] On December 5, 2022, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for wire fraud and obstruction against the IRS.

Early life[change | change source]

Born on February 16, 1971 in Sacramento, California, Avenatti spent his early childhood in Colorado and Utah.[11] He moved with his family to Chesterfield, Missouri, near St. Louis, in 1982, where he attended Parkway Central High School.[12] After graduating in 1989, Avenatti attended Saint Louis University for a year before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1996.

He attended George Washington University Law School, where he graduated Order of the Coif and first in his class with a J.D. in 2000.[13] In 2003, George Washington University Law School established the Michael J. Avenatti Award for Excellence in Pre-Trial and Trial Advocacy, an annual award given to the member of the graduating Juris Doctor class who demonstrates excellence in pre-trial and trial advocacy. Avenatti also received George Washington University's prestigious Alumni Recognition Award in 2010.[14]

Career[change | change source]

While in college and later in law school, Avenatti worked at The Research Group, a political opposition research and media firm run by Rahm Emanuel (later White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, and Mayor of Chicago).[15][16] Avenatti worked on over 150 Democratic and Republican campaigns in 42 states while studying at George Washington University.[13]

After law school, Avenatti worked at O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, California, alongside Daniel M. Petrocelli, who previously represented the Ron Goldman family in its case against O.J. Simpson.[17] He assisted Petrocelli on multiple legal matters, including the representation of singer Christina Aguilera[18] and litigation surrounding the movie K-19: The Widowmaker,[19][20] and worked extensively for Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the musical group the Eagles, including in a suit brought by former bandmate Don Felder against the group and Irving Azoff.[13][21]

Avenatti later joined Greene Broillet & Wheeler, a Los Angeles boutique law firm. While there, he handled a number of high-profile cases, including a $10 million defamation case against Paris Hilton,[22] settled an idea-theft lawsuit relating to the show The Apprentice and against producers Mark Burnett and Donald Trump,[23] and a $40 million embezzlement lawsuit involving KPMG.[13][24]

In 2007, Avenatti formed the law firm Eagan Avenatti, LLP (formerly known as Eagan O'Malley & Avenatti, LLP) with offices in Newport Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. He has since appeared on 60 Minutes three times in connection with cases he has handled.[25][26][27] Avenatti has also served as lead counsel on a number of historically large cases, including an April 2017 $454 million verdict after a jury trial in Federal Court in Los Angeles in a fraud case against Kimberly-Clark and Halyard Health,[28] later reduced to a $21.7 million verdict upon appeal,[29] an $80.5 million class-action settlement against Service Corporation International,[30] a $41 million jury verdict against KPMG,[31] and a $39 million malicious prosecution settlement.[32]

In 2013 Avenatti formed a company, Global Baristas, to buy Seattle-based Tully's Coffee out of bankruptcy.[33] Since 2015, Global Baristas has been named in more than 50 lawsuits in state and federal courts for breach of contract, unpaid bills, and unpaid taxes.[34]

In 2015, Avenatti prevailed against the National Football League (NFL) following a jury trial in Dallas.[35] He later pursued a class-action suit on behalf of fans who showed up for Super Bowl XLV with tickets that didn't correspond to actual seats but the courts in Texas declined to certify the class.[36] Later, in 2016, Avenatti filed another class action lawsuit against the NFL, this time on behalf of ticket-holders to the annual Hall of Fame Game, which was cancelled a few hours before kickoff.[36][37]

In 2017, a Florida man named Gerald Tobin alleged Avenatti failed to pay him $28,700 for private investigatory work. As a result, Avenatti's firm was abruptly forced into bankruptcy.[38] The issue was resolved when the pair entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and Avenatti paid Tobin the $28,700.[38]

In 2018, Avenatti's law firm was subjected to a $10 million judgment in U.S. bankruptcy court.[39] In June 2018, a former partner filed a motion in U.S. bankruptcy court asking for a lien on any and all legal fees Avenatti's firm might collect, up to $10 million, from clients in 54 cases including his representation of Stormy Daniels.[40]

Avenatti has on several occasions, including in a post to Twitter, expressed interest in running for president in 2020.[41] In a CBC TV interview published in September 2018, Avenatti said he would run in 2020 only against Trump or Pence.[42]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Michael Avenatti on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  2. Michael Avenatti (October 3, 2014). "Michael Avenatti on CNN MJA Live" – via YouTube.
  3. "Cemeteries draw complaints". CBS News.
  4. Browning, Lynnley (April 27, 2006). "KPMG Reports Some Progress On Shelters". The New York Times.
  5. Atkinson, Claire. "Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti is ready for his star turn". NBC News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  6. "Who is Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing Stormy Daniels?". CBS News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  7. "Michael Avenatti floats possibility of 2020 presidential run against Trump". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  8. "Stormy Daniels' lawyer: If Trump seeks reelection, 'I will run'". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  9. "Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti found guilty". ABC News ABC News. Archived from the original on February 5, 2022. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  10. "Michael Avenatti sentenced to 4 years in prison for defrauding Stormy Daniels". cnbc.com. June 2, 2022.
  11. Roig-Franzia, Manuel (March 25, 2018). "Michael Avenatti, the adrenaline-fueled lawyer taking on President Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  12. Holleman, Joe (March 8, 2018). "Porn star Stormy Daniels' lawyer graduated from Parkway Central". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Michael J.Avenatti - California Lawyers - The Scourge of KPMG". Superlawyers.com.
  14. "GW Magazine". George Washington University.
  15. Jannot, Mark (August 3, 1992). "A Rahm for the Money". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  16. Roig-Franzia, Manuel (March 26, 2018). "Stormy Daniels' lawyer saw 'soft underbelly of politics' while working for Rahm Emanuel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  17. "Man behind Simpson guilty verdict". NBC News. June 14, 2004.
  18. Farache, Emily (October 18, 2000). "Christina's Court Fight". E! Online. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  19. Grossberg, Josh (February 17, 2001). "Harrison Ford Sub Drama Draws Fire". E! Online. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  20. Hagan, Joe (March 23, 2018). "The President May Be Able to Fire Mueller, but He Can't Fire Me". The Hive. Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  21. Leeds, Jeff (December 8, 2002). "Reborn Eagles Lose Peaceful, Easy Feeling". Los Angeles Times.
  22. "Paris Hilton Settles $10 Million Defamation Suit". People. August 23, 2007.
  23. Niemietz, Brian (March 7, 2018). "Stormy Daniels' lawyer has negotiated settlements with Donald Trump and Paris Hilton - NY Daily News". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  24. Reilly, David (March 29, 2006). "KPMG Settles Targus Audit Case". The Wall Street Journal.
  25. Cooper, Anderson (May 1, 2016). "60 Minutes investigates medical gear sold during Ebola crisis". CBS News. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  26. Cooper, Anderson (May 21, 2012). "Final resting place: Cemeteries lack oversight". CBS News. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  27. Cooper, Anderson (March 28, 2018). "Stormy Daniels describes her alleged affair with Donald Trump". CBS News. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  28. "Hospital gowns didn't protect as promised, jury says in $454-million fraud verdict". Los Angeles Times. April 10, 2017.
  29. Greene, Jenna (April 11, 2018). "Stormy Daniels Lawyer Avenatti Fights to Save Huge Punitive Award Against Kimberly-Clark | The Recorder". The Recorder. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  30. Sichel, Jared (February 27, 2014). "Eden Memorial Park settles lawsuit in $80.5 million deal". Jewish Journal.
  31. "KPMG Assessed $41 Million for Failing to Divulge Fraud Revealed in Audit". New Jersey Law Journal.
  32. "FLIR to pay $39M to settle lawsuit". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  33. "Report: Tully's Stores Run Out of Coffee as Rebranding Looms". Usnews.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  34. Kamb, Lewis (April 7, 2018). "Before Stormy Daniels, her attorney faced allegations of dubious business dealings at Tully's Coffee". Seattle Times. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  35. "Dallas jury awards $76,000 to Super Bowl seat plaintiffs, finds no fraud by NFL". Dallas News. March 12, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Florio, Mike (August 9, 2016). "Hall of Fame Non-Game lawsuit appears to be looming". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  37. Florio, Mike (August 11, 2016). "Class action filed in Ohio of Hall of Fame Non-Game". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  38. 38.0 38.1 "Exclusive: How a 'nobody' ex-con pushed Avenatti law firm into bankruptcy".
  39. Finnegan, Michael (May 22, 2018). "Law firm of Stormy Daniels' attorney hit with $10-million judgment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  40. "Lawyer moves to seize Stormy Daniels' crowdfunding cash in Avenatti spat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  41. "Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels's Lawyer, Eyes Another Gig: President". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  42. CBC News: The National (2018-09-10), Lawyer for Stormy Daniels considers running for president, retrieved 2018-09-13

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