News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Michael Avenatti is accused of bail violations; Virginia is 38th state to ratify ERA

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Michael Avenatti in May 2018

Michael Avenatti in May 2018. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Michael Avenatti is arrested for alleged bail violations

The lawyer who once represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels has been arrested for alleged bail violations. The federal government contends that, while out on bail, Michael Avenatti tried to hide money from creditors, including a former law partner. Avenatti has been charged in California with stealing millions of dollars from former clients. In New York, he was accused of stealing money from Daniels and trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike. He was arrested Tuesday at an ethics hearing in California where the state bar accuses him of stealing about $840,000 from a former client. (The Daily Beast, the Washington Post, the New York Times)

Virginia becomes the 38th state to ratify the ERA

Virginia became the 38th state Wednesday to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Although 38 states are the required number for ratification, there is no certainty that the amendment will be added to the Constitution. The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel said in a legal opinion issued earlier this month that the deadline for ratification has expired, and Congress can’t extend it. In addition, five of the 38 states that ratified the amendment have since rescinded their approval. (The New York Times)

Wiley Rein rebrands, says it is first BigLaw firm to use ‘.law’ domain

Wiley Rein has shortened its name to Wiley, adopted a new logo and revamped its website. The website is at; Wiley says it is the first among the nation’s top 200 law firms to use the “.law” domain. (Wiley press release)

Michael Flynn seeks to withdraw guilty plea

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea to charges of lying to the FBI in the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn hired a new defense lawyer last summer and has sparred with prosecutors since then. A week ago, prosecutors recommended a six-month sentence for Flynn, a switch from their earlier recommendation for probation. According to the New York Times, Flynn’s change of heart “raises questions about whether he and his lawyers were making a play for a presidential pardon.” (The New York Times, the Washington Post,

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