Stormy Daniels Accuses Michael Avenatti Of Unethical Conduct

Michael Avenatti, counsel for Stormy Daniels, is having a seriously bad month.  He was earlier accused of domestic battery by a girlfriend, who secured a restraining order last week.  (The police declined to bring a felony charge in the case).  Now, Daniels has gone public with accusations that Avenatti solicited donations without her approval and did not reveal where the money has gone.  In perhaps the most serious allegation, she alleges that Avenatti sued Donald Trump for defamation in her name but without securing her approval.  (For full disclosure, Avenatti is my former student and I have previously praised his impressive success as a lawyer.

While I acknowledge my bias in having a long association with Michael, much more needs to be known before we can judge whether an ethical violation has occurred.  Avenatti has said that he and his firm have not taken a dime in legal fees and gave an account of expenditures on Daniels.

Much of this depends on the representational agreement.  Some clients can authorize counsel to take actions as deemed necessary in the course of an approved litigation rather than requiring constant conferral and approval for every litigation move.  Ironically, Donald Trump has argued that he gave Michael Cohen essentially such carte blanche to act on his behalf.  We have not seen the agreement or later communications on the scope of the representation and any authority given to Avenatti.  The reason why Avenatti believed that he had authority to file will have to be established through either the original representational agreement and any later communications with the client, including any clear instructions not to file.

This is clearly not an insular part of the original litigation over the nondisclosure agreement with Trump but a new filing.  Any new filing should be made with express consent of a client.  A filing represents that the cause of action and underlying arguments are being made on behalf  and with the knowledge of one’s client.  The California bar rules are similar to those of other states on this point:

Rule 3-500 Communication

“A member shall keep a client reasonably informed about significant developments relating to the employment or representation, including promptly complying with reasonable requests for information and copies of significant documents when necessary to keep the client so informed.”

Daniels told The Daily Beast:

“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.

“I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward. Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice. But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent. Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said. I’m deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally.

“My goal is the same as it has always been—to stand up for myself and take back my voice after being bullied and intimidated by President Trump and his minions. One way or another I’m going to continue in that fight, and I want everyone who has stood by me to know how profoundly grateful I am for their support.”

 

22 thoughts on “Stormy Daniels Accuses Michael Avenatti Of Unethical Conduct”

  1. When I practiced tort law, the retainer agreement spelled out in detail what steps were to be undertaken and what the contingency fee percentage would be for each step. If Avenatti doesn’t have her signature on such a document, he deserves the hot coals his State Bar will eventually subject him to. Further, if he did in fact file a lawsuit on behalf of his client after she expressly stated she did not wish to file a suit, his ticket should be suspended. We represent clients, not ourselves, and are not to be motivated for publicity or television bookings.

  2. I wonder how a legal whale like Avenatti planned on getting his fee??? What is that Latin term, pro boner or something like that??? Oh, I just have to do another Irish Poem!

    Thar She Blows???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    Poor Mike thought he sure had it made!
    A porn star who wasn’t afraid!
    His fee? What the hey!
    If she couldn’t pay,
    He would just take the cost out in trade!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – sadly he would not be the first to work out a sex for work arrangement with his clients. Still, I do not think Stormy is his type. When you see the photos of the gf and ex they are nothing like Stormy.

  3. i’m not going to shame sex workers for sex work, but observe that Stormy is that special kind of sex worker that ONLY works in public. Worse than an erotic dancer who simply, well, dances in the nude; she actually does what is fundamentally a private thing, on film, for all to see.
    It’s a different kind of thing. I suppose there are tens of thousands of hookers who will break the law, by privately having sex for money, but they won’t do that!
    And of course in our screwy system:
    porn aka public sex on film, is legal sex work,
    but private sex for money is illegal!

    So:

    She screws men on film for public consumption.
    She loves the attention, and it’s a habit for her to screw men in public.
    Avenatti wanted to help her screw Cohen and Trump in public.

    Now it’s Avenatti’s turn

  4. During their marriage, the star student’s wife had an Amex card for her personal expenses that was paid in full every month. It ran $60,000-$80,000 per month.
    Amazing.

  5. Tell the bitc* to take a number and siddown.

    I seem to recall you commending this chap a while back. Was in your classes at GW, no?

  6. “Michael Avenatti, counsel for Stormy Daniels, is having a seriously bad month.”
    ***********************
    A Senate criminal referral, a restraining order, a claim of domestic battery times two, an eviction for nonpayment of rent, two multi-million dollar judgments against him by his partners, a poll showing his Presidential chances at 0%, an article in a major publication quoting him as saying the Democrats had better run a white male for POTUS next election, a nasty divorce and now an allegation of unethical behavior coming from his most prominent client, yeah, I’d say Avenatti is having a bad life not just a bad month. He’s circling the drain.

  7. Stormy looks like a hooker sitting out front a brothel in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. If she’s a looker then she’s a hooker. For ten dollars you can book her.

  8. Why do people refer to this person as “Stormy Daniels”? It is not her real name. Get over this. Call her by her real name: Slut Daniels.

  9. Whatever, he deserves an Irish Poem! A big time lawyer like him! And Poor Stormy! Whatever is she going to do if Michael has done spent the money in the collection plate???

    Too Big For His Breaches???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    A Lass! for poor Mike Avenatti!
    Condemned for his records sooo shoddy!
    And Poor Stormy! Alack!
    I guess she’ll go back,
    To making her dough off her body!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    PS: That isn’t the first fifth line that came to mind, but hey, it’s a family place!

    1. Gary Rose – JT support Avenatti because he was a student and I think a research asst. Ann Coulter was also a student but does not get any support except an acknowledgement as former student. 😉

      1. Paul:
        I never know what to make of Ann Coulter. She’s a gifted writer but with a decided mean streak. She’s a sometimes supporter of Trump and a somtime critic but for things he can’t control like border wall funding.

  10. You forgot the Senate investigation of Avenatti was ongoing. I can see him dipping into her fund to pay expenses. He is broke from all accounts.

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