New York University law professor Stephen Gillers believes Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti has “catapulted himself to be the story” through his “multiple television appearances.”
“Nothing [Avenatti] has been doing in the last four to six weeks with his multiple television appearances advances the interests of his client in the California action,” Gillers told The Washington Post. “He’s catapulted himself to be the story. There are dangers when a lawyer becomes so publicly vocal.”
The Washington Post story by Emma Brown and Beth Reinhard, published Monday night, is entitled “Michael Avenatti is using Trump tactics to battle Trump, a strategy that comes with risks.”
It describes how Avenatti went from class-action lawsuit success to a nationally known figure “through an extraordinarily aggressive media campaign” based on his lawsuit against President Trump on behalf of Stormy Daniels.
In his path to becoming “a darling of the political left,” Avenatti has taken what the authors see as “a Trumpian path.”
“He taunts his opponents. He uses Twitter to make explosive accusations. And he is omnipresent on cable news.”
But it’s not a strategy without risk.
Yet Avenatti’s tactics and visibility may carry risks that could undermine his ability to represent his client, who is suing longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen and the president to be released from a non-disclosure agreement. Scrutiny of his business record and of his motives has provided grist for distracting headlines in recent days. And his publication last week of Cohen’s banking history — hard-to-get information touching on some of the most sensitive issues before the White House — could jeopardize his ability to represent Daniels in court, some experts say.
Gillers told the Post that he “cannot think of an equivalent” to Avenatti’s high profile as a lawyer, both for his many appearances on television and the fact that the arguments he makes are, according to the Post, “more sweeping than his client’s narrow complaint.”
The attention has drawn scrutiny to Avenatti’s past, particularly in a story published Sunday by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
While Avenatti threatened to sue reporters at The Daily Caller News Foundation for publishing the piece, he also downplayed the questions about his past by appealing to his position as a lawyer.
“I’m not a candidate for public office or a party to the lawsuits against Mr. Trump,” Avenatti told the Post. “Who cares?”