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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
by
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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©2018 All rights reserved.

JUNE 3, 2018

     CNN and the NYT are just as phony as Avenatti. Even before he became famous as the fast-talking, trash-talking, in-your-face attorney representing Stormy Daniels in her sexually-charged lawsuit against the President, Michael J. Avenatti had achieved an enviable degree of success and notoriety.  His cases were featured on CNN, "60 Minutes" and in the pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.  Then, in early 2017, there were suddenly signs of trouble. His law firm was abruptly forced into bankruptcy by a Florida man who claimed he was owed the relatively meager sum of $28,700.

     The Florida bankruptcy judge who handled the case expressed surprise that such a minor debt could threaten to financially topple a multi-million-dollar law firm. She also questioned the timing of the filing -- two days before the deadline set for Avenatti and two other firm employees to be deposed in a long-running arbitration with a former partner, who said he was owed as much as $18 million by Eagan Avenatti.

     The involuntary bankruptcy filing by the Florida man, Gerald Tobin, was a rare and obscure legal maneuver that had the effect of freezing the arbitration proceedings with the former partner. The result was that Avenatti avoided being questioned under oath in the proceeding.  The whole thing, the judge said, "had the stench of impropriety." That didn't have anything to do with Avenatti's firm, necessarily, she said. She referred to Tobin as a "screwy small creditor," and questioned whether he had "some relationship with the firm that would have induced a collusive filing" or if Avenatti's firm "just got plain lucky that somebody filed on the eve of arbitration."

     She also questioned the timing of the filing -- two days before the deadline set for Avenatti and two other firm employees to be deposed in a long-running arbitration with a former partner, who said he was owed as much as $18 million by Eagan Avenatti. The involuntary bankruptcy filing by the Florida man, Gerald Tobin, was a rare and obscure legal maneuver that had the effect of freezing the arbitration proceedings with the former partner. The result was that Avenatti avoided being questioned under oath in the proceeding.
 

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