How Avenatti Law Firm Was Forced Into Bankruptcy By an Ex con
Michael Avenatti had coined a remarkable career for himself over the years. Even before he led the sexually-charged lawsuit of Pornstar Stormy Daniels against President trump, he had amassed a plethora of notoriety and enviable success.
Eagan Avenatti LLP, his law firm had made over $400 million in settlements as well as verdicts.
But early 2017 marked the beginning of trouble.
A Florida man name Gerald Tobin abruptly forced the firm into bankruptcy by claiming he was owed a small fee of $28,700
The judge who was in charge of the case expressed shock that such a meager sum could threaten a well-established financial law firm.
She questioned the timing of filing as it was done just two days before the ultimatum given to Avenatti to settle an arbitration with a previous part who claimed Eagan Avenatti owed up him to $18 million.
The whole thing as the judge put it "had a shade of impropriety". She questioned if Tobin had "Any dealings with the firm that would have led to a collusive filing" or if "luck just shun on Avenatti's firm prompting Tobin to file just before arbitration"
In the papers presented to the court, Tobin was described by Avenatti's Lawyers as "a private investigator" that performed unspecified services for the firm. But Avenatti later claimed that his firm "didn't hire Tobin to carry out any private investor services. He worked as an independent contractor for a brief period of time and that's what led to the payment dispute that has now been resolved" he said.
It still remains a mystery as to why Avenatti's firm involved Tobin
"The firm is clean and didn't do anything wrong. No court has found any wrongdoings in our part" Avenatti said.
The Eagan Avenatti bankruptcy was short-lived in the end. The bankruptcy only lasted a year. The firm also ironed out the lawsuit it had with the former partner as a settlement was approved by the bankruptcy judge when she dismissed the case. Tobin claims he got paid the money he was owed.
Going through Tobin police records, it paints a picture of the kind of person he is. He has had several convictions spanning from drugs charges to assault and battery. He even served two years in 1990 for burglary and the possession of cocaine. The list frankly, is endless.
Tobin said that the only reason he filed for the involuntary bankruptcy claim was the last attempt he had to make in order to get paid. He claimed he oblivious to the involuntary bankruptcy claim until he did some legal research on the subject a couple of days before filing.
In his paperwork, Tobin placed himself as his own attorney. Interestingly, Tobin doesn't have any law degree. In an interview, he even referred to his filing as "my lawsuit, or whatever"
He wasn't even sure that his filing would carry enough weight to push a firm like Eagan Avenatti into Bankruptcy.
In his words, Tobin said, "Well this doesn't make no sense, I am nobody"
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