Famed former lawyer Michael Avenatti is due in court this week to face a lawsuit from his former client Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels in her adult work. As of Tuesday, the trial has not gone as well as he might have hoped it would.
According to United Kingdom Daily mail, Clifford is suing his former attorney for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. She accused Avenatti of embezzling $300,000 which Clifford said was hers legitimately from a book advance.
During testing, Avenatti clearly had some sort of disagreement with his legal team. As a result, he was forced to make a request on Tuesday to represent himself in court.
In her petition with U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, Avenatti said there was a “rift in the relationship between me and my attorney, which deepened into my ability to defend.” New York Post reported.
Avenatti added in comments outside the courtroom that he feels he has given himself the best chance to win.
“It’s my arena,” he said Tuesday, according to the Post. “That is where I am most at home. And I think it gives me the best chance to win. “
The Mail reported that one of Avenatti’s lawyers told court The aforementioned “problem” stems from the “difference of opinion” regarding the cross-checking strategy.
While Avenatti may sincerely believe he is giving himself the best chance of winning, the defendant’s change of legal counsel mid-trial is usually not a sign of great success.
Also, Tuesday’s witness testimony sounded pretty disgusting to Avenatti. According to the Mail, his former chief of staff, Judy Regnier, testified that she overheard Avenatti discussing a lawsuit to “take down” President Donald Trump in 2018.
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In February 2018, Clifford signed a contract for Avenatti to be her attorney in the case against Trump.
Regnier said Avenatti bragged about representing Clifford in litigation and told colleagues that he would “monetize the lawsuits against Donald Trump.”
She told the court that Avenatti’s legitimate business was short on rent at the time because it was too tight on cash, which could provide further insight into Avenatti’s desperate condition. .
Clifford’s case, however, was unclear from the start. Based on ForbesClifford alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and then accepted $130,000 from him to keep quiet during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Clifford admitted she took the money and signed a non-disclosure agreement. While the allegation is not a great look for Trump, it does not lead to any criminal charges.
Ultimately, Clifford’s lawsuit to rescind the NDA failed in 2019, Forbes reported. The US Supreme Court also refused to hear a further defamation case brought against Clifford trumpet in February 2021.
Any attorney worth his salt would understand how shaken Clifford’s case was, but Avenatti accepted it anyway. If Regnier’s testimony is true, he may be doing it out of love for money rather than justice.
Less than four years later, Avenatti has gone from an alleged self-proclaimed Trump killer to an alleged embezzler defending himself in court. As the old adage goes, life comes to you quickly.
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