“Michael has been a great advocate in many ways,” Stormy Daniels told the Daily Beast Wednesday. “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.”
The Daily Beast reached out to professor and legal expert Stephen Gillers of New York University Law School about the implications of Daniels’ claim that Avenatti filed the defamation lawsuit against Trump, which ultimately backfired, against her express wishes. While Avenatti likely wouldn’t be disbarred for such an egregious violation, said Gillers, he could certainly be facing a malpractice lawsuit.
“If he filed the case with her name when it was clear that she told him not to, then he could be sued for that,” Gillers told the Daily Beast. “He could be sued for malpractice. If true, she has a malpractice case against him. I emphasize if true. And if true, he would be subject to discipline but not as serious as disbarment.”
This is not the only potential legal trouble Avenatti faces. The Senate Judiciary Committee has referred Avenatti and another of his high-profile clients, Julie Swetnick, to the Justice Department for “providing false statements, obstructing congressional investigations, and conspiracy” to violate federal law in their allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The committee also referred Avenatti for investigation for potentially manipulating the claims of another Kavanaugh accuser.- READ MORE