Plaintiffs lawyer Tom Girardi, estranged husband of 'Real Housewives' star, is disbarred
Image from Shutterstock.
The California Supreme Court has disbarred plaintiffs lawyer Tom Girardi, whose firm was portrayed in the movie Erin Brockovich as helping to obtain a $333 million pollution judgment.
Girardi was disbarred in a June 1 order and ordered to pay more than $2 million plus interest in restitution to clients who never received settlement funds, report Bloomberg Law and Law.com.
The bulk of the money is designated for the children of four victims killed in October 2018 crash of Indonesia’s Lion Air Flight 610.
Girardi was also known for his marriage to Erika Girardi, who appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality TV show.
Erika Girardi has filed for divorce, Girardi and his former firm are in bankruptcy, Girardi has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and he reportedly lives in a care facility, the articles report.
The publications published a statement by George Cardona, the State Bar of California’s chief trial counsel.
“Thomas Girardi has done significant and profound harm to many, and while his disbarment does not minimize those impacts, it is an acknowledgement of the people he victimized,” Cardona said. “As an agency, public protection is at the core of our mission, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure what occurred does not happen again.”
A California bar court judge recommended disbarment in January. Girardi never faced earlier disciplinary charges, even though he and his law firm were sued at least 45 times for alleged legal malpractice or misappropriation of client money, according to an investigation published in March 2021 by the Los Angeles Times.
A bankruptcy trustee has asked Erika Girardi to turn over a $750,000 set of diamond earrings allegedly purchased with money from a law firm trust account, according to a January story by People magazine. She doesn’t expect any quick resolution of her divorce, according to a May 11 People magazine article.