The best way to describe Michael Avenatti would be with the phrase “legal mercenary”. The California native is an attorney who always seems to be embroiled in some of the hottest legal squabbles of the past decade or so. The controversial attorney has lent his services to clients bringing cases against heavyweights from Fortune 100 companies and A-list celebrities to the NFL and top 1 percent of business executives.
Avenatti has frequently shown up on international broadcasts, magazines, and newspapers offering his expertise on various legal issues. The lawyer cum entrepreneur who is also a professional racer will perhaps be most remembered for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump.
Michael Avenatti’s Biography, Education
The attorney was born in Sacramento, California on February 16, 1971. Before Michael John Avenatti ‘s high school education, his early life story had recorded stopovers at Colorado and Utah. In the early 80s, young Michael and his family eventually relocated to St. Louis where he attended Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. The young lad subsequently bagged a degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania after which he went to George Washington University Law School. In 2000, he graduated top of his class with a Juris Doctor (J.D.). For his exemplary contributions while at George Washington, the institution created the Michael J. Avenatti Award for Excellence in Pre-Trial and Trial Advocacy in 2003. Ten years on from graduation, the attorney would receive an Alumni Recognition Award from the school.
Michael Avenatti has had a long career as both an attorney and a businessman. While at the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington, he worked for Rahm Emanuel at a firm dedicated to researching political opposition. By the time he was done with law school, the budding attorney had put his knowledge to use on hundreds of political campaigns across party and State lines.
After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked at O’Melveny & Myers, representing the likes of Christina Aguilera as well as Frey and Henley of The Eagles. While employed at Green Broillet & Wheeler, a boutique law firm, he handled cases surrounding names like Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, and the professional services firm KPMG.
Since establishing his own law firm in 2007, Michael has worked as lead counsel on a series of high profile cases. These included humongous $454 million verdicts against Kimberly-Clark and Hayward Health in early 2017.
Five years after founding his law firm, Avenatti stepped into entrepreneurship with the establishment of Global Baristas. His first order of business was to buy Tully’s Coffee, a small chain of coffee shops spread across Seattle. He partnered with Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey to purchase Tully’s but both men had a falling out a little while after their purchase which resulted in Avenatti settling Dempsey. The company has been embroiled in the legal shuffle since 2015, however, the daring attorney would go on to win one of the biggest cases of his career by jury decision against the NFL in the same year.
In 2017, Michael Avenatti’s law firm filed for bankruptcy, owing to a case brought against them by an ex-con named Gerald Tobin who claimed private investigator status. This trend carried into the following year with different bankruptcy cases against the firm to the tune of over $10 million.
Since 2018, Michael Avenatti has represented cases that have garnered extensive international coverage. In March 2018, the attorney was the adult actress, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer for her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, who she claimed to have had an affair with in 2006. Six months on, he represented Julie Swetnick, the third woman who had brought a sexual misconduct allegation against Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.
Michael also makes time out of court to pursue his love for all things racing. Between 2010 and 2018, he had participated in over 30 race car competitions at the professional level like – the American Le Mans Series, Unites SportsCar Championship, on some of the greatest race tracks across America and Europe.
Family, Parents, And Wife
Avenatti thrives on pressure and danger. This trait can be traced back to his early childhood when his father used to take him to race tracks. The speed, the crashes, the fear and the ever-present danger of the entire experience appealed to young Michael and formed the basis for his drive in life.
As a child, his family moved around a lot due to his father’s position as an executive at Anheuser-Busch. A few years after settling for good at Chesterfield, his father was laid off. Nothing much is known about Michael’s parents besides the fact that none of them graduated from college. Also, Michael has two step-siblings from his mother’s previous marriage.
Michael Avenatti met his first wife Christine Avenatti-Carlin when he was 21 years old. They were together during his time at the University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University and his first after-school job as a junior associate at O’Melveny & Myers.
After he separated from Christine, he married Lisa Storie, a businesswoman in her own right. She has an MBA and owns apparel company, Ikaria Resort Wear Company. Michael and Lisa lived a lavish lifestyle and had some enviable properties including a swanky $14,000 a month Los Angeles apartment.
In 2017, Lisa first filed for divorce but had it dismissed. A few months later, Michael filed for divorce and this ended their union. They still remain friends.
Michael is assumed to be sitting on a big pile of cash and given his job and reputation to always go for the biggest of the cases, it is not all that surprising.
In his legal career, the attorney has won over $1 billion in judgments for his clients. Many records put his net worth at $20 million. Given the fact that contingency fees from any judgment usually amounts to one-third of the settlement fee, it is little wonder that others think the lawyer is worth more.