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Know When to Stop Promoting Your Firm

By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 30, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Stormy Daniels' lawyer has been riding the publicity from her case all over the place.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has raised his public profile on any major news program that will take him. Whether he wins the case or not, a book deal is sure to follow.

But at some point, Avenatti should stop the promotion. That's because it's not a good idea to advertise when there is a skeleton in your closet.

$4.85 Million Skeleton

Avenatti's law firm, now defunct, has been ordered to pay $10 million to a former partner. Avenatti is personally on the hook for $4.85 million.

According to reports, the law firm also owes $440,000 in back taxes, penalties, and interest. Avenatti blames a payroll company for the unpaid taxes.

"Irrelevant. Overblown. Sensational reporting at its finest," he said. "No judgment against me was issued. Who cares?"

No one, relatively speaking, would have cared if Avenatti were not all over the media. That's the lesson to be learned.

If You Can't Cope, Don't Promote

Of course, there are ethical rules against lawyers advertising and talking to the media. Model Rule 3.6, for example, prohibits a lawyer from making an "extrajudicial statement" they know will prejudice an adjudicative proceeding.

But there is another practical reason lawyers should not draw attention to themselves. If you can't cope, don't promote.

In Avenatti's situation, for example, he has no control of the situation. Over his objections, the media does care about his personal legal woes.

That would not have happened if he had kept a lower profile.

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