Stormy Daniels' Attorney Tested Legal Boundaries in Bankruptcy

Michael Avenatti was caught in a downward spiral of financial trouble last year when Jerry Tobin, a private detective sometimes used by his law firm, filed a court petition to force the firm into bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bankruptcy triggered the end to an arbitration between the firm Eagen Avenatti and a lawyer who used to work there who claims to be owed more than $14 million.
 
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Jennemann immediately questioned whether Eagan Avenatti was colluding with Tobin in order to stall the arbitration — or “just got plain lucky.” The judge dismissed Tobin as a “screwy small creditor” who couldn’t, on his own, figure out how to initiate the rarely used involuntary bankruptcy process. “We have an involuntary case that has a stench of impropriety,” said Jennemann.
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