Michael Avenatti can best be described with the expression “legal mercenary”. A native Californian, he is a lawyer who always seems to be involved in some of the hottest legal squabbles of the last ten years. The controversial attorney has provided his services to clients who have filed lawsuits against heavyweights of Fortune 100 companies and A-list NFL celebrities, as well as against the top 1 percent of business leaders.
Avenatti has appeared frequently in international broadcasts, magazines, and newspapers and has offered his expertise on a variety of legal issues. The lawyer and entrepreneur, who is also a professional racing driver, will perhaps be remembered most for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump.
Michael Avenatti Biography, Education
The attorney was born on February 16, 1971, in Sacramento, California. Prior to Michael John Avenatti’s high school education, his early life story had recorded stopovers in Colorado and Utah. In the early 1980s, young Michael finally moved with his family to St. Louis, where he attended Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. The young boy then earned a degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to attend George Washington University Law School. In 2000, he graduated at the top of his class with a Juris Doctor (J.D.). For his exemplary contributions during his time at George Washington University, the institution created the Michael J. Avenatti Award for Excellence in Pre-Trial and Trial Advocacy in 2003. Ten years after graduation, the attorney would receive an alumni recognition award from the school.
Michael Avenatti has had a long career both as an attorney and as a businessman. During his studies at the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington, he worked for Rahm Emanuel in a firm dedicated to researching political opposition. By the time he finished law school, the budding lawyer had applied his knowledge to hundreds of political campaigns across party and state lines.
After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked at O’Melveny & Myers, representing Christina Aguilera and Frey and Henley of the Eagles, among others. During his employment at Green Broillet & Wheeler, a boutique law firm, he handled cases around names such as 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 number of high profile cases. These included huge verdicts of $454 million against Kimberly-Clark and Hayward Health in early 2017.
Five years after founding his law firm, Avenatti entered the entrepreneurial arena by founding Global Baristas. His first assignment was to buy Tully’s Coffee, a small chain of coffee stores spread throughout Seattle. He teamed up with Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy to buy Tully’s, but the two men had an argument shortly after the purchase that led to Avenatti settling Dempsey. The company has been involved in the legal mudslinging since 2015, but that same year the daring lawyer would win one of the biggest cases of his career by a jury decision against the NFL.
In 2017, the law firm of Michael Avenatti filed for bankruptcy because an ex-con named Gerald Tobin, who claimed private investigator status, had filed suit against it. This trend continued the following year with various bankruptcy proceedings against the firm for over $10 million.
Since 2018, Michael Avenatti has been representing cases that have received considerable international attention. In March 2018, the attorney was the adult actress, attorney to Stormy Daniels for her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, with whom she allegedly had an affair in 2006. Six months later, he represented Julie Swetnick, the third woman to bring sexual misconduct charges against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Michael also takes time out of court to pursue his love for all things racing. Between 2010 and 2018, he has participated in over 30 professional-level race car competitions, such as – the American Le Mans Series, Unites SportsCar Championship, on some of the largest race tracks in America and Europe.
Family, Parents, And Wife
Avenatti lives from pressure and danger. This trait can be traced back to his early childhood when his father took him to race tracks. The speed, the falls, the fear, and the omnipresent danger of the whole 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 he finally settled in Chesterfield, his father was released. Not much is known about Michael’s parents except that none of them graduated from college. Michael also has two stepbrothers and stepsisters from his mother’s previous marriage.
Michael Avenatti met his first wife Christine Avenatti-Carlin when he was 21 years old. They met during his time at the University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University, and his first post-graduate position as a junior associate at O’Melveny & Myers.
After separating from Christine, he married Lisa Storie, an independent businesswoman. She has an MBA and owns the clothing company Ikaria Resort Wear Company. Michael and Lisa lived a lavish lifestyle and owned some enviable properties, including a swanky apartment in Los Angeles for $14,000 a month.
In 2017 Lisa filed for divorce for the first time, but it was rejected. A few months later Michael filed for divorce and this ended their relationship. They are still friends.
It is assumed that Michael is sitting on a big pile of money, and given his job and his reputation for always going for the biggest cases, this is not too surprising.
In his legal career, the lawyer has won over $1 billion in judgments for his clients. Many records put his net worth at $20 million. Given that the contingency fees from each judgment are usually one-third of the settlement fees, it is no wonder that others think the lawyer is worth more.