If carnival barker Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for aging porn star Stormy Daniels, shows up to court in Orange County tomorrow without a lawyer, prosecutors want the judge to appoint one for him.
Or, as attorney and legal analyst Ken White puts it:
Defendant MICHAEL JOHN AVENATTI (“defendant”) is charged in a 36-count indictment with wire fraud; willful failure to pay over withheld payroll taxes; endeavoring to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code; willful failure to file tax returns; bank fraud; aggravated identity theft; and making false declarations and providing false testimony in bankruptcy proceedings. . . . After defendant appeared for his post-indictment arraignment (“PIA”) without counsel, this Court scheduled a status conference for May 7, 2019, to address defendant’s representation issues. As of the date of the instant filing, the government has received no notice or other information indicating that defendant has retained counsel or otherwise resolved his representation issues.
If defendant appears at the status conference without counsel, the Court will undoubtedly inquire as to how defendant intends to proceed. The government, however, does not believe that there is any valid reason why defendant has yet to resolve his representation issues and is concerned that defendant will seek to use such issues to unnecessarily delay this prosecution.
Thus, if defendant appears without counsel, regardless of defendant’s explanation as to why he has yet to obtain counsel, the government believes the appropriate course of action would be for the Court to immediately appoint counsel to represent defendant going forward.
[T]he government submits that if defendant has not yet retained counsel to represent him in this matter, the Court should order defendant to fill out a financial affidavit, immediately appoint counsel to represent defendant, and, if appropriate, order defendant to contribute some or all of the costs of his representation.
The hyper-aggressive Avenatti is facing numerous federal charges of fraud and extortion in both New York and California.
If convicted of all charges, he faces 335 in prison.
A federal judge in Santa Ana Tuesday gave Avenatti about a week to either find a new attorney to represent him in his Orange County criminal case or to decide if he needs a public defender or wishes to represent himself.