For Michael Avenatti, 2019 continues to be a no good, awful, very bad year. Just last summer the Creepy Porn Lawyer was the darling of CNN, MSNBC, and their ilk and eyeing a run for the Presidency. Now, in addition to facing numerous federal indictments for wire fraud, extortion, and identity theft, Avenatti faces the prospect of having his law license being placed in “involuntary inactive status.”
The California State Bar filed a 573-page petition with the State Bar Court, citing California Business and Professions Code 6007(c)(1)-(3) as their authority (emphasis added).
This section of statute, amended by the Legislature on January 1, 2019, authorizes the Office of Chief Trial Counsel to file a petition for involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney when there is sufficient evidence to show that the attorney caused or is causing substantial harm to the attorney’s clients or the public and there is a reasonable probability both that the Chief Trial Counsel will prevail on a related disciplinary matter and that the attorney will be disbarred.
Judging by the laundry list of unprofessional and illegal behaviors Avenatti has exhibited, it would be more surprising if Avenatti did not lose his law license. When he gets to the federal penitentiary, he will have to play “jailhouse lawyer” like the rest of the inmates.