Is Michael Avenatti In BIG TROUBLE MISTER? A LOL, No, Lawsplainer!
Pro Hac Vice
Gezundheit! Oh, but we are to kid! The Lawtalkin' Word of the Day is pro hac vice, which means "just this once." Let's say you are a gorgeous lawyer from California, and you represent a buxom blonde porn star in a lawsuit that threatens to take down the president of the United States. Your client would like to participate in litigation in New York, where you are not currently licensed to practice law. You petition the Court to be allowed to represent your client pro hac vice, i.e. just for this one case.
And the court says, "We'll take your petition under advisement, Mr. Avenatti."
Michael Cohen is MAD
As we have mentioned once or twice, Michael Cohen, the greatest legal mind of his generation, is in deep shit. Tuesday night, Michael Avenatti released a report on all the money coming in to Cohen's sexytimes payoff company Essential Consultants, LLC. Does Michael Cohen want to explain why he was hired as a healthcare consultant? Or an accounting consultant? Or a guy who scares up capital for a $2 billion investment fund owned by a Russian oligarch? HE DOES NOT.
Michael Cohen would much rather talk about how unethical Michael Avenatti is for having "unlawfully" obtained his personal financial records. How dare you find out that I was engaged in a massive influence-peddling scheme is kind of a weird argument. But, see Cooley Law School.
Yesterday, Cohen's lawyers asked Judge Kimba Wood to deny Avenatti's petition to represent Daniels pro hac vice unless Avenatti gives up his sources.
If Mr. Avenatti wishes to be admitted pro hac vice before this Court, he should be required to explain to this Court how he came to possess and release this information. The details of when Mr. Cohen was paid by these business clients – whose names had not previously been made public – have no relation to the litigation in which he represents Ms. Clifford or any purported reasons he may have to appear before this Court.
But Does He Have a Point?
No, not really. The judge is highly unlikely to order Avenatti to disclose who leaked Cohen's financial information to him -- that would probably violate the First Amendment and work product privilege. Unless Avenatti hacked Cohen's bank records himself, or paid someone to do it, he hasn't done anything illegal. (It's not like he coordinated with a foreign power to release stolen emails to influence an election, or anything!) Whoever gave those records to Avenatti is in serious legal jeopardy, but that's another story.
Cohen is trying to discredit Avenatti in the eyes of the court, drawing attention to the $20,000 of transactions erroneously attributed to Michael Cohen, and away from the $4 million valid ones. It might succeed in getting Judge Wood to refuse to admit Avenatti pro hac vice. But probably not.
You Mess With the Bull, You Might Get the Horns
Avenatti fired back with his usual YOU TALKIN' TO ME bravado.
Mr. Ryan’s submission on behalf of Mr. Cohen is baseless, improper and sanctionable. They fail to address, let alone contradict, 99% of the statements in what we released. Among other things, they effectively concede the receipt of the $500,000 from those with Russian ties.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 9, 2018
Plus a little something extra, just to make the news cycle exciting.
On April 9, the FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. Within 48 hours, Mr. Cohen sent the below email to Mr. Davidson. Why? They had no ongoing legal matter at the time. Was it part of an attempt by Mr. Cohen to obstruct justice or worse? #bastapic.twitter.com/e7DfLSxG4x— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 10, 2018
WHAAAAA???? Let's see if we can make that email a little bigger.
The day after Cohen's office was raided by the FBI he contacted Keith Davidson, the former attorney for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal?
I lost all my contacts as I had to get a new phone. Please send me all your contact info. Also, why did Anthony back out on ABC to do the story? Let me know how you want to communicate.
I beg your pardon.
WE HAVE QUESTIONS!
First of all, how the hell does Michael Avenatti have access to Cohen's personal emails? Not that we're complaining, but that is seriously WTF!
Second of all, what were Cohen and Davidson cooking up together? We can't help but notice that April 9 is just three days before the WSJ broke the story of Cohen and Davidson's hush agreement to keep Elliott Broidy's affair with a Playboy model quiet. And only 9 days before AMI had a miraculous change of heart and released Karen McDougal from her NDA. UH HUH.
Third of all, who is Anthony?
And last but not least, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, MICHAEL COHEN?!?!? The feds know enough about your bullshit to get a warrant for your office, home, hotel, and safe deposit box. They are all the way up your ass! And you are still using your work email to contact a guy who is most definitely going to be called as a witness against you?
DUMBEST LAWYER IN AMERICA. CASE CLOSED.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.