In my many years of working with high profile cases and trial publicity, I have come across only a handful of lawyers who are exceptional at using the court of public opinion to influence the outcome of matters in the court of law. Like it or not, Michael Avenatti is one of them.

Avenatti represents Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit seeking dissolution of a nondisclosure agreement and in a defamation lawsuit against Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney. Eleven days before Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair with Trump, requiring her to sign an NDA. Daniels’ defamation lawsuit alleges that Cohen defamed her when he issued a statement in February regarding the payment he made to her, allegedly in exchange for her silence. The lawsuit also claims that Cohen’s statement caused “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame, and discouraged others from associating or dealing with [Daniels]” and that it caused her to suffer harm to her reputation as well as emotional distress and more.

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