Michael Avenatti's Post-Trial Motions Denied

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I know nothing about the subject, and despite that have no opinion. But I thought I'd pass along Judge Paul Gardephe's decision, handed down yesterday, in case some of you find it interesting. The opening:

Michael Avenatti is charged in the (S1) Indictment with transmitting interstate communications with intent to extort, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(d) (Count One); Hobbs Act extortion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Count Two); and honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346 (Count Three). The Government charges that Avenatti—who is licensed to practice law in California—transmitted in interstate commerce threats "to cause financial harm to Nike and its reputation if Nike did not agree to make multimillion dollar payments to Avenatti"; "used threats of economic and reputational harm in an attempt to obtain multimillion dollar payments from Nike"; and used interstate communications to "engage[ ] in a scheme to obtain payments for himself from Nike based on confidential information provided to Avenatti by [client Gary Franklin] for the purpose of furthering Avenatti's representation of [Franklin], without [Franklin]'s knowledge or approval," thereby depriving Franklin of the "duty of honest services" he was owed.

Avenatti proceeded to trial on January 27, 2020. After a three-week trial, on February 14, 2020, the jury returned a verdict finding Avenatti guilty on all counts.

Avenatti has moved for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial, pursuant to Rules 29 and 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Avenatti argues that (1) the evidence at trial is insufficient to prove that he acted "wrongfully" and with "intent to defraud"; and (2) the statutes under which he was convicted are unconstitutionally vague-as-applied. Avenatti also contends that this Court erred in (1) excluding certain text messages and emails; and (2) responding to a jury note regarding permissible inferences from exhibits admitted to show state of mind.

In a June 4, 2021 letter, Avenatti moves to compel the Government to produce Section 3500 material and alleged Brady/Giglio material concerning Judy Regnier, a Government witness at trial. In a July 5, 2021 letter, Avenatti moves for a new trial on the same basis. In his June 4, 2021 letter, Avenatti also raises concerns regarding press access to voir dire.

For the reasons stated below, Avenatti's post-trial motions will be denied.

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  1. Lathering the rubes
    Lathering the rubes
    UCLA professor
    Lathering his rubes

    1. Poor Rev. I guess he was one of the rubes who was positive that Avenatti would “get Trump”.

      Sucker

      1. Avenatti and Trump seem to be similar characters. The interesting issue here is the Volokh Conspiracy’s treatment of them.

        1. Do I understand this? The fraud, the extortion was in not his representing a plaintiff with proper standing. He tried to get payment from Nike so they could avoid hiThe charges came from lawyer misconduct?

          OK. If he had a client with good standing , the law of torts is extortion and fraud itself. It requires the prediction of a rare event. It attributes no personal responsibility for the dipshit plaintiff’s carelessness. If 100 people walk around a cooking oil spill in the supermarket aisle, and the idiot plaintiff takes a header, too bad. If the plaintiff had a thin skull, the defendant is being made to pay for a pre-existing condition. Every penny of these extortionate settlements comes from the wallet of working people and is stealing. When life is overvalued at $6 million, they are stealing $100 million for brain damage.

          These lawyer scumbags destroyed American manufacturing. If tort liability is so good, why does the scumbag toxic lawyer profession deal itself immunities only?

          Here is one good reason to accept lawyer and judge liability for their carelessness. Tort liability replaces endless cycles of retaliatory violence. The self dealt immunities of the lawyer profession justify violence in formal logic. The contrapositive of a true assertion is always true.

          1. Client gives Avenatti damaging information. Avenatti goes to the defendants and wants a settlement, but without a client. That way he keeps the whole thing, not just a fractional contingency fee. Is this correct?

            1. Avenatti wanted $1.5 million for his client, and $15 – $22.5 million for himself.

              When Nike inquired if they could give more to his client, and nothing to him, Avenatti said that given his client’s criminal actions the client shouldn’t be getting a big payoff

              The Feds have this on tape

              1. Did the client’s criminal activity involve the Nike case itself, or was it just a character flaw with an unrelated crime? It is policy to not reward crime with any legal settlement.

                1. The client had been bullied by Nike officials into helping them slip payoffs to highschool players, and got driven out when he wanted to stop participating in the corruption

                  At least, that’s the client’s side. I don’t care enough to look into it

    2. Are you bitterly clinging to Avenatti Rev? It sure looks that way

      1. It is telling that Prof. Volokh — has he told us yet whether he supported or opposed the Jan. 6 insurrectionists? — chose this development for a comment (mostly, ‘I will just regurgitate because I do not have or do not wish to express an opinion’) while ignoring the silly complaint Donald Trump filed today with respect to important First Amendment issues.

        He’s just lathering a carefully curated collection of right-wing rubes . . .

        Let the Avenatti cracks and partisan sniping begin!

        1. Ah, so you ARE an Avenatti clinger!

          Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the biggest nut on the planet: Someone who in 2021 is STILL bitterly clinging to Avenatti

          1. I don’t know much about Avenatti, except that reports suggest he might be nearly as slimy and reckless as Donald Trump.

            I don’t see many Avenatti fans these days, yet I still see plenty of Trump fans. I blame this disparity on the education, decency, and character of liberals and libertarians, and the relative lack of character among conservatives.

            1. Avenatti was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment today, and it seems — from cursory examination — he was treated leniently.

              Enjoy your ‘owning the libs’ moment, Volokh Conspiracy and VC fans. Me? I’m enjoying clobbering you guys in the culture war.

  2. Tutti sono truffati
    da Michael Avenatti.

  3. Wow!
    “I know nothing about the subject, and despite that have no opinion.”
    Professor I am in awe!

    1. WJ,
      I’m pleased others caught this as well. I was going to post, as it did make me laugh…but you beat me to it. I thought it was a pretty accurate commentary on, well, internet commenting.

    2. Glad you liked it! A very little joke, but my own.

  4. Avenatti still has his license and Rudy has his suspended?

    1. No. I know people feel the need to rush to find some inconsistency so they can wave the grievance flag, but could they at least check their facts first?

      http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/206929

      1. I just read the post above quoting the ruling.

        1. …which I guess is rsteinmetz’s way of saying, “Oops…Sorry, I made a mistake.”

        2. Huh? What in “the post above quoting the ruling” (or anywhere else in the ruling, for that matter) do you think addresses the state of Avenatti’s law license? It says that he’s “licensed to practice law in California,” not that the license is in good standing. Guess what? Rudy is licensed to practice law in New York. His license is just suspended.

          1. You don’t become or remain a Rudy Giuliani fan with good information, sound judgment, adequate education, or good character.

  5. Avenatti is probably who I was thinking about when I used to tell my kids years ago, no matter how smart you are, don’t start thinking you are smarter than everyone else, because you’re going to find out you aren’t.

    I hope he has plenty of time in prison to study up so next time he’ll be more successful.

    What’s surprising is nobody is asserting that Trump organized his downfall in retaliation.

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