Search Results for ‘"mark geragos"’

Jury finds Avenatti guilty in $20 million Nike extortion attempt

A jury has found celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti guilty of two counts of extortion and one of honest services fraud related to his hold-up of apparel company Nike [earlier here, see also]

“And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me. I’m just being really frank with you … I’ll go take $10 billion off your client’s market cap. But I’m not f—ing around.”

Avenatti demanded more than $20 million from Nike while keeping his client in the dark, testimony revealed. He said the company should hire him and another prominent attorney representing Franklin, Mark Geragos, to conduct an internal investigation.

A lawyer trying to extort a fortune from a deep pocket target. The things that go on in this world. [Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News;

Crime and punishment roundup

  • In order to stick it to President Trump and any associates he may pardon, New York legislature moves to chip away at what had been strong protections against double jeopardy. Not good [Sam Bieler via Scott Greenfield, Jacob Sullum]
  • Judge rules that New Jersey may not automatically suspend driving privileges over unpaid child support without a hearing to establish willfulness, lest it violate due process and fundamental fairness [New Jersey Law Journal; Kavadas v. Martinez on David Perry Davis website]
  • Different views of the institution of cash bail [Alex Tabarrok at Brookings conference, Cato podcast with Daniel Dew of the Buckeye Institute, Scott Shackford]
  • “To Seek Justice: Defining the Power of the Prosecutor,” Federalist Society short documentary video featuring Jessie K. Liu, Mark Geragos, Steven H. Cook, John Malcolm, Zac Bolitho, Bennett L. Gershman, and Clark Neily;
  • “Florida lawmakers just voted to create a public registry of people caught paying or attempting to pay for sex….it will certainly transfer private money to the state, give bureaucrats something to do, and provide the public with people to gawk at and judge” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason]
  • Wisconsin: “County Pays $90,000 Settlement To Man After Seizing $80,000 Judgment From Him Using 24 Deputies And An Armored Vehicle” [Tim Cushing in December]

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti charged with extortion

Federal prosecutors in New York have charged celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti with trying to extort $20 million from Nike by threatening to vent allegations that he threatened would knock billions off its market capitalization. A simultaneous federal indictment in California charges Avenatti with embezzling from a client and defrauding a bank. [Chris Dolmetsch and Erik Larson, Bloomberg]

Two tweets 47 minutes apart tell quite a story [Joe Weisenthal] The complaint filed in New York also describes an unnamed co-cpnspirator, who is not charged with any wrongdoing; Wall Street Journal reporting says that figure is California-based celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, a longtime Overlawyered favorite who has lately represented Jussie Smollett and Colin Kaepernick and until this week was billed as a legal commentator at CNN, where Avenatti too has made frequent guest appearances.

As in many other situations, the question arises: what would the legal difference be between extortion and ordinary lawyer behavior in settlement negotiations? Part of the answer is that Avenatti was alleged to be angling for his own, rather than the client’s advantage. From p. 9 of the New York complaint:

Comments Jeb Kinnison on Twitter: “Must observe the forms. If only he’d started a nonprofit to take the payoffs and pay him a salary…” And another reader is reminded of the 2013 Paula Deen episode [American Thinker, earlier]

Lawsuit: Porsche carrying Paul Walker was going 55, not 94

After the spectacular crash of a Porsche Carrera GT killed driver Roger Rodas and his passenger, Hollywood actor Paul Walker, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol investigated and concluded that the crash was due not to mechanical problems but to unsafe speeds of up to 94 mph; the vehicle crashed into three trees. Longtime Overlawyered favorite attorney Mark Geragos “said he hired the top experts in the country” for an unbiased evaluation. The resulting wrongful death lawsuit by Kristine M. Rodas against automaker Porsche “says her husband was driving at 55 mph” contrary to the official version. [New York Post]

November 4 roundup

The Nataline Sarkisyan case: I’m just shocked, shocked, to learn Edwards has lied again

To the surprise of no one sensible, it turns out that John Edwards’s and Daily Kos’s claims about Nataline Sarkisyan, the 17-year-old California woman who recently died awaiting a liver transplant, are false:

  • Independent reviewing doctors unanimously recommended against the liver transplant as too risky, which is why CIGNA refused to grant approval.
  • CIGNA changed its mind in response to political pressure and publicity, but their delay in approval probably would not have affected Sarkisyan, as several reports indicate her treating medical institution, UCLA, would not have waited for insurance approval if a donor organ became available. (For example, Forbes.)
  • And, of course, US patients are far more likely to get organ transplants (and survive organ transplants) than patients in single-payer health care systems—so Edwards has absolutely no solution for the problem of people getting sick and dying in a world of scarcity.

Scott Gottlieb has details in the Wall Street Journal. Attorney Mark Geragos has been retained to sue CIGNA, though CIGNA was only administering Sarkisyan’s health insurance plan, and would have suffered no financial repercussions from approving the transplant.

(Disclosure: I own between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in CIGNA.)

Tiger victims in ambulance: “Don’t tell them what we did”

The Dhaliwal brothers prefer to have attorney Mark Geragos do the talking, greatly frustrating investigators trying to reconstruct what happened in the zoo mauling. (Jaxon Van Derbeken, “In ambulance, survivors of S.F. tiger attack made pact of silence”, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 5; “San Francisco Authorities Seek to Inspect Tiger Attack Victims’ Cell Phones”, AP/, Jan. 5; Patricia Yollin, Tanya Schevitz, Kevin Fagan, “S.F. Zoo visitor saw 2 victims of tiger attack teasing lions”, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 3; Jacob Sullum, “The Buck Keeps Moving”, syndicated/Reason, Jan. 2). Earlier: Jan. 3.