A lawyer who is trying to collect on a $10 million judgement against Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti’s law firm wants to claw back funds from $578,000 raised through crowd-funding for Daniels’ defense.
Avenatti set up the crowdfunding site on crowdjustice.com to help bankroll the defense of the porn star who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and wants relief from a nondisclosure agreement.
But those funds are among an array of incoming legal fees that another lawyer, Jason Frank, is seeking to tap in his suit to enforce the judgement against Avenatti’s prior firm, Eagan Avenatti.
Pop artist Sham Ibrahim (R) presents adult film star Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti with artwork of Donald Trump at a ceremony as Stormy Daniels receives a key to the city of West Hollywood at Chi Chi LaRue’s on May 23, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. A lawyer suing his firm is seeking to tap funds raised for Stormy Daniels’ defense
Frank won a $10 million judgement against the law firm last month, in an arrangement guaranteed by Avenatti.
Frank claims he is owed millions for past legal work, and filed legal papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in California seeking to force the the return of up to $10 million, using funds from 54 cases, the LA Times reported.
Porn Star Stormy Daniels is paying for her legal defense through a crowd-funded site
Avenatti’s old firm emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and pledged to pay funds owed to the lawyer
Avenatti pushed back at the report, saying under no circumstances could the court order the crowdsourced Stormy funds to be handed over to the lawyer.
He says Eagan Avenatti doesn’t represent Daniels – but his current firm, Avenatti Associates, does.
He pushed back when the California paper noted that he has recently sent emails from an Eagan Avenatti address.
‘A signature block means nothing,’ Avenatti responded, ‘and you have no evidence the firm ever represented Ms. Clifford.’
Nearly 17,000 people have given to porn star Stormy Daniels’ legal defense – but a California lawyer wants the funds to be among legal fees subject to a clawback in a financial dispute with Daniels’ lawyer
Stormy Daniels has been using crowdsourced funds in order to get relief from a nondisclosure agreement she reached with Michael Cohen that prohibits her from discussing her the affair she claims she had with Trump
If a judge overseeing the case gave approval to the proposal, it could undercut Avenatti as he seeks to represent his client, often tormenting President Trump and associates including lawyer Michael Cohen on TV in the process.
Avenatti made the opposite argument when he put forward evidence that longtime Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had used a Trump Organization email address when negotiating a non-disclosure agreement that got Daniels a $130,000 ‘hush’ payment.
Avenatti provided an email to NBC News at the time that showed Cohen communicating with First Republic bank to arrange the payment – using his Trump Organization address.
‘I think this document seriously calls into question the prior representation of Mr. Cohen and the White House relating to the source of the monies paid to Ms. Clifford in an effort to silence her,’ Avenatti said. At the time, Cohen was maintaining he paid Daniels using personal funds.
Trump since has revealed that he reimbursed Cohen.
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