Law Stormy Daniels' Crowdfunding Cash Could be Seized in Avenatti Firm Bankruptcy -

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
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An Orange County lawyer has asked a bankruptcy judge to seize much of the $577,000 donated to porn star Stormy Daniels to pay legal bills in her suit against President Trump.

The lawyer, Jason Frank, is trying to collect on a $10-million judgment he won last month against Eagan Avenatti, the Newport Beach firm of Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti.

The firm’s debt to Frank was among the biggest it promised to pay when it emerged early this year from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Frank, who worked at Eagan Avenatti from 2009 to 2016, says the firm cheated him out of millions of dollars in pay.

He won the judgment after the firm broke its promise, personally guaranteed by Avenatti, to pay Frank $4.85 million.

In papers filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, Frank asked Judge Catherine Bauer to order Eagan Avenatti to give him all legal fees, up to $10 million, that the firm might collect from clients in 54 cases.

One of them is the lawsuit filed by Daniels to void the nondisclosure agreement that bars her from talking publicly about what she says was a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump at a Lake Tahoe resort. She received $130,000 to keep quiet.

Daniels set up an online crowdfunding collection in March to cover her legal bills, security costs and any damages she might be ordered to pay Trump for breaching the confidentiality pact.

By Tuesday, more than 16,500 people had donated just over $577,000, according to the CrowdJustice website that oversees the fund.

Frank, who declined to comment, asked the bankruptcy court for a restraining order to keep Eagan Avenatti from diverting potential legal fees away from the firm to dodge the $10-million judgment.

Avenatti, the firm’s managing partner, dismissed Frank’s request as baseless.

Under no circumstances could the court order any money collected by Daniels to be turned over to Frank, Avenatti told The Times via email Tuesday. Eagan Avenatti does not represent Daniels and has no right to the crowdfunded money, he said.

Jason Frank at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana on May 22. (Michael Finnegan / Los Angeles Times)
In correspondence with Trump’s lawyers, however, Avenatti has identified himself as an attorney at Eagan Avenatti in the signature line, used an Eagan Avenatti email address and copied Eagan Avenatti office manager Judy Regnier, court records show.

Eagan Avenatti lawyer Ahmed Ibrahim has done the same in his emails with Trump attorneys.

“A signature block means nothing,” Avenatti said by email, “and you have no evidence the firm ever represented Ms. Clifford.”

Avenatti has said that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is represented by a “completely different law firm,” Avenatti & Associates.

In corporate papers filed with California’s secretary of state, Avenatti & Associates, wholly owned by Avenatti, lists its type of business simply as “Eagan Avenatti.” Avenatti & Associates owns 75% of Eagan Avenatti; San Francisco lawyer Michael Eagan owns the rest.

Last week, the bankruptcy court clerk directed the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce Frank’s judgment, a move that could soon lead to seizure of Eagan Avenatti’s assets.
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TowinKarz

Actually WILL Call Somebody.....
kiwifarms.net
Surely this is the end of Trump.... because.... well....... money... and prostitutes...and court... and something.... look, I don't have a coherent story, but the PIECES of a big scandal are ALL THERE!!!! JUST IMPEACH HIM ALREADYYYYYYYYYYY
 

LocalFireDept

kiwifarms.net
While it sounds like she wouldn't get to keep it anyway since it was to cover her legal fees, the fact that they don't get it either for sticking their finger in the poop is incredibly funny. They were probably hoping to drain her with fees and maybe get some PR whichever way it went and now they get nothing.
 

Goofy Logic

Is this thing working right?
True & Honest Fan
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“A signature block means nothing,” Avenatti said by email, “and you have no evidence the firm ever represented Ms. Clifford.”

Avenatti has said that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is represented by a “completely different law firm,” Avenatti & Associates.
This sounds like the excuses a police officer might hear upon finding something incriminating.

"That isn't my email"
 

Bassomatic

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
You know if the POTUS was doing the things claimed, there's gotta be at least one law firm willing to pro bono it. Name alone on that would be worth millions to a firm with ease.

It's almost like, this was about something else other than justice.
 

AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
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No fucking wonder this piece of shit lawyer just refuses to give up this lawsuit against Trump.

He desperately needs the fucking money to payback everyone else.
He doesn’t personally owe anything. He only owns 75% of this corporation, and is liable for nothing personally. Any client funds are in a segregated account and do not belong to him. He also doesn’t even directly own the other company. His corporation is Avenatti & Associates. That corporation apparently owns 75% of Eagan Avenatti. It is Avenatti & Associates that is representing Stormy Daniels, not Eagan Avenatti.

Even if Michael Avenatti specifically were the bankrupt, those funds would still be off-limits. This is just attention whoring by the creditor to a different professional corporation. A nothingburger, if you will.
 

RodgerDodger

kiwifarms.net
Lot's of interesting and juicy questions in there. I am going to speculate that the crowdfunding campaign was actually setup and administered by Avenatti. That would seemingly be the only way that it would be drawn into this would it not? Even if it was for the purpose of Stormy Daniel's legal bills and obligations, it is likely he set things up and his name as the Power of Attorney is on the crowdfunding account. Which begs a few questions that I honestly don't know the answer to, and am curious about.

- Would a crowdfunding account setup and administered by a lawyer for a client be considered a Client Escrow Account?
- Are Client Escrow Accounts attachable by the court in a Bankruptcy or a Judgement?
- If not did Avenatti just screw himself by declaring miss Daniels not a client?
- How has this bloody lawyer not been disbarred by now?

Edit and An0n just answered most of my questions
 

AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
kiwifarms.net
- Would a crowdfunding account setup and administered by a lawyer for a client be considered a Client Escrow Account?
- Are Client Escrow Accounts attachable by the court in a Bankruptcy or a Judgement?
- If not did Avenatti just screw himself by declaring miss Daniels not a client?
- How has this bloody lawyer not been disbarred by now?
I can’t see that any of it would belong to him until he actually disbursed it to himself to pay ongoing legal fees. Anything that he’s actually taken as fees might be attachable, if he’s somehow responsible for the Eagan Avenatti debts despite having two layers of corporation between himself and that judgment.

Things like this are held in trust in a segregated escrow account, and not disbursed without specific cause. Even if a lawyer doesn’t outright steal from such a fund, merely commingling the money in an account with his own personal money can be enough to get disbarred. If a lawyer actually steals or even borrows such money, though, disbarment is practically guaranteed. It’s one of the few death penalty offenses.

- If not did Avenatti just screw himself by declaring miss Daniels not a client?
He didn’t do that. He said Daniels is not a client of the Eagan Avenatti firm. She isn’t. She is a client of the Avenatti & Associates firm, and of Avenatti personally.

Incidentally, I don’t know anything about this Eagan dude, other than he apparently really stepped in it, but it’s interesting Avenatti chose not to partner with him directly, but to have his own corporation partner with a corporation Eagan owns 25% of. It almost seems like he didn’t entirely trust this guy, and that mistrust doesn’t seem to have been a mistake.
 
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