“Attorney Michael Avenatti has been placed under arrest on suspicion of felony domestic violence and was booked early Wednesday evening.Los Angeles Police Department officer Jeff Lee said the domestic violence report was taken on Tuesday in West Los Angeles and the arrest was made Wednesday.“We can confirm that today LAPD Detectives arrested Michael Avenatti on suspicion of domestic violence. This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available,” the LAPD Twitter account posted Wednesday. In a statement, Avenatti called the allegations “completely bogus.”
…Avenatti posted $50,000 bail and left police custody Wednesday evening. He told reporters waiting outside the station, “I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman.”
“I am confident I will be fully exonerated,” he added.
…Avenatti emerged this year as a regular antagonist of President Donald Trump, beginning with his legal representation of Stormy Daniels and his frequent media appearances..he has publicly flirted with a potential bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump in 2020. The alleged domestic violence incident could dash Avenatti’s prospects as a potential insurgent Democratic candidate and clash with the image he has presented of himself as an advocate for women, including Daniels in her clash with Trump and an accuser against recently confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The Vermont Democratic Party canceled Avenatti’s appearances for Friday and Saturday following his arrest, and it will refund all ticket sales, said Christopher Di Mezzo, the party’s communications director.
This story is like a great, big, ethics piñata that got hit squarely by a stick and spilled ethics candy all over the floor!
1. Is it unethical to take pleasure in the misfortune of another, even a grandstanding, publicity-obsessed gasbag who makes me want to burn my bar card? Nah, not when the inspiration for mirth is condign justice. Like Michael Cohen, the shenanigans of Avenatti were signature significance for a phony and a charlatan, and his fall was just a matter of time.
We should always take pleasure in the exposure of such public figures, however it occurs.
2. Of course, Avenatti is not guilty of anything. This is an allegation only, at this point. And the fact that he tried to pile on to the politically-generated accusations against Brett Kavanaugh by endorsing the incredible claims by a woman, Juile Swetnick, connecting Kavanaugh to “gang rapes,” claims that she later contradicted and that are now the subject of an FBI investigation into possible felonies by both Swetnick and Avenatti, doesn’t mean he should not have the right to the presumption of innocence that he tried to deny Justice Kavanaugh.
3. By the way, what an idiot! The woman who has charged him was not his wife, and Avenatti, who has said that he would never hit a woman and has never hit a women, initially told police that “she hit me first.” “First” in that statement definitively contradicts his denial. You have made your name and reputation representing women in #MeToo-related cases, and are posing as a feminist champion. How hard is it to avoid getting arrested for domestic abuse? Wouldn’t the nurturing of such a public image dictate nothing within a hundred metaphorical miles of questionable relations with a woman other than one’s wife?
4. The episode should effectively sink whatever minuscule chances Avenatti had to face President Trump in 2020. The theory, I assume, was that since the GOP had won the White House with a fluke candidate who was a narcissist and a blow-hard with no evident qualifications for the Presidency, the Democrats could do the same. (This is akin to Michael Moore’s theory that only a non-politician celebrity can beat Trump.) It was unethical for the Republicans to offer a candidate like Trump, and would be similarly unethical for the Democrats to run an Avenatti because being irresponsible worked for the GOP. This is “everybody does it” thinking of the most dangerous kind.
5. Avenatti had said that only a white male could win back the White House. Again, what an idiot. The Democratic Party’s full-on embrace of “believe all women,” “men are presumed guilty,” “everything is rape, assault or harassment,” “white men are a pox on civilization,” and “a man is guilty until proven innocent” means exactly the opposite. Avenatti’s current plight merely reinforces the obvious. No male nominee for President will be able to avoid a kamikazi attack from one or more accusers from his distant pass who suddenly decided that what they had believed for decades was an innocent gesture, touch, word or flirtation was, in retrospect, sexual misconduct. Even though the likely field is depressingly weak, Democrats have trapped themselves into nominating a woman.
On the bright side, the worst of them would be preferable to Michael Avenatti
6. A legal ethics note: a question raised among legal ethicists arose from this story: Is a lawyer’s felony indictment and arrest a significant development which needs to be promptly disclosed to the lawyer’s clients?
The duty of communication (Rule 1.4) requires lawyers to inform clients of developments that might affect the clients’ decisions regarding the representation. I can see many reasons why a client would prefer not to continue retaining a lawyer who has his own legal problems. Not all the ethicists agree, but I’m right: yes, the lawyer must disclose his arrest to all clients.
Fortunately, since it was headline news, Avenatti doesn’t have to worry about that.