The annual Above the Law “Lawyer of the Year” competition doesn’t always pick exactly who I would choose, but the readers got it right in 2018. Say what you will about Michael Avenatti, but he was absolutely the attorney who dominated 2018’s headlines.
He was representing a porn star in a high-profile defamation battle against the former president and seemed to be the first figure since election day to genuinely get under Trump’s skin. He was on all the shows. He even started flirting with a presidential run of his own.
The last point was, of course, something of a sideshow but it was all part of watching a lawyer absolutely controlling the narrative.
We spoke with Avenatti back then and he was every bit the engaging, conversation-dominating character people saw on TV. This was a guy built for the specific legal landscape of 2018.
Then came the federal charges. And the arrest. Today, he was sentenced for trying to extort Nike in a settlement hearing, though I’ve said it before and I’ll say again that those allegations seemed way less problematic — more like an obnoxiously overaggressive settlement conference — than the allegations brought on the opposing coast about supposedly embezzling client funds.
Still, it’s earned him 30 months. It was roughly 30 months ago that he won the Lawyer of the Year title.
The history of the last four years will have a lot of chapters and most will be less believable than the last. One of them should really focus on the lawyer who ran roughshod over the news in 2018.
Earlier: Michael Avenatti Charged With… A Whole Bunch Of Stuff Out Of Multiple USAOs
Michael Avenatti Charged With… A Whole Bunch MORE Stuff
Above The Law’s 2018 Lawyer Of The Year Contest: The Winner!
The ATL Michael Avenatti Interview
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.