Michael Avenatti sued over claims he pilfered paraplegic's $4 million

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/13/avenatti-sued-yet-again.html




Why do they always do this? The press doesn’t say “Goldberg, whose real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson” in every single article about her, or that Gene Simmons was named Chaim Witz. The press really seems to like outing Daniels because she’s a porn actress, even though her “real” name doesn’t add anything of value to the story.


Avenatti is looking more and more presidential every day.


I’ll nominate him for douche bag of the year, for a nominal fee.


I saw that the State Bar had requested to put him on involuntary inactive status recently, and I read through the petition (a 573-page document available at that link). My conclusion: this guy is in some epically deep poop.


There’s the outing that you mention as a form of “slut shaming” (“She took a stage name for anonymity? Well we won’t let her have any!”), but I also wonder if there’s a bit of “whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in case you were wondering if she’s that girl you went to high school with…”


“Avenatti’s disabled client Geoffrey Johnson says the $4 million settlement was from the county of Los Angeles in January 2015, for injuries he received trying to commit suicide by jumping off of an elevated floor in a downtown Los Angeles jail.”

Wait what? He… was paralyzed when he tried to commit suicide and sued?

"It was the fall of 2013 when they connected, two years after Johnson jumped off a balcony within the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles and landed headfirst on the concrete floor, according to a federal lawsuit.

As Johnson tried to put his life back together, he hired Avenatti. To the attorney and his law firm, Johnson’s case amounted to civil rights abuse. It was clear that the Twin Towers staff had ignored the warning signs that Johnson was suicidal, Johnson’s lawsuit would soon contend. And it was clear the jail failed to take any reasonable steps to prevent the mentally ill man from jumping off the ledge, even after he had done it once before, the suit argued."


Our world is so fucked up.

Well, in this case, it’s arguably worse since the only reason she is worthy of mention in this story is that she also instructed Avenatti.

Which she did in her ‘real’ name not her stage name.

So, if a press outlet were going to be sensible about it, it would be “Avenatti drew national attention through his representation of DanielsStephanie Clifford, whose real stage name is Stephanie Clifford Stormy Daniels, in lawsuits against Trump and the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, and briefly flirted with a 2020 White House run.”

Her stage name is relevant since that’s part of the capacity in which she got involved with Trump. But it’s not the capacity she sued Trump in.


The race for DBOY is a tight field this year, but he seems to really want it.


I honestly resent the unquestioned assumption that only a birth name is “real” in discourse anyway.


In this case, anti-Trump = same thing with the spin reversed.


It’s difficult to know the merits of this case based on news reports. It may well be nonsense. But it’s not hard to envision a case that has merit.

If someone is in jail, shows repeated signs and symptoms of diabetes, is ignored, becomes comatose, and dies, surely someone should be held responsible. Should jailers ignoring depression resulting in a suicide attempt be treated differently? Suicide, too, is the end result of a disease.

The depression case would be more difficult to prove than the diabetic’s, but that does not make it universally without merit.


Well yes.

From the article you linked:

Sounds pretty negligent to me. Duty of care? Check. Departure from the standard of conduct a reasonable person would expect? Check. Harm to the plaintiff? Check. Harm caused by the defendant’s failure to act in accordance with the standard a reasonable person would expect? Yup.

You might say this is a case for contributory negligence and a court might agree with you.

How liable should a mentally ill person whose housing and bodily autonomy, etc. are entirely in his jailers hands be considered to be?


yes… i quoted that article…

And yet you appeared to miss the features that made the claim viable.

So I thought I’d highlight them for you.

The issue in Avenatti’s case is not that he took this perfectly reasonable case. It’s that he appears to have stolen his clients’ money.

Here’s the indictment itself by the way for those interested:


There are also wider issues about a system that considers that the right way to deal with the state’s failure to keep those in its care safe is to impose monetary penalties rather than changing the safekeeping regime but those are O/T.


Seems to me how he got the settlement is irrelevant; the county decided it was a valid claim. Avanti stealing the money is the issue.


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