(Photo by Jennifer S. Altman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
It’s a testament to how much legal industry news got crammed into the last week that we’ve not even talked about the Michael Avenatti trial yet.
The attorney who absolutely dominated the headlines back in 2018 is now representing himself in a dispute with his former client, star Stormy Daniels, over allegedly misappropriating her book advance to cover his own expenses. This is on top of the 30-month prison sentence he’s yet to serve over crossing the fine line between hard ball negotiations and extortion and another criminal trial in California alleging a whole swath of shady financial actions.
But the lawyer quick to seize any microphone available a few years ago decided discretion was the better part of valor today, resting his defense without calling any witnesses. Apparently, Avenatti feels that his cross-examination of Daniels will prove thorough enough to win. How did that turn out?
Avenatti: Wasn’t it true I was typically nice and respectful to you?
Stormy Daniels: No. You lied to me.
Avenatti: Didn’t you tell the government I was nice and respectful?
Stormy Daniels: I was wrong.
Yeah, don’t ask questions you don’t know the answer to. Or in this case where you know the answer and it’s not going to be good for you.
Still, he did manage to lock down some useful testimony:
Avenatti: How do you speak with the dead?
Daniels: It just happens sometimes.
Avenatti: Are you able to have conversations with them?
Daniels: Sometimes. I record them. Like remote viewing, into people homes.
Avenatti: How does it work?
Daniels: I don’t know. That’s the premise of the show.
Avenatti: Let me ask you about the doll Susan who calls you ‘Mommy, Mommy’?
Daniels: We don’t know it was her. We assume.
The jury probably isn’t going to let Stormy being a loon convince them that she just misplaced her book advance, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Avenatti decides not to testify at trial vs. Stormy Daniels [ABC News]
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.