A recent decision by a U.S. judge has refused Michael Avenatti’s plea for a postponement of his impending criminal trial, scheduled for January 21, where he faces charges of attempting to extort Nike Inc. This development comes after a telephone conference involving federal prosecutors and Avenatti’s legal team. It highlights the ongoing legal battle surrounding the celebrity lawyer, known for his representation of Stormy Daniels and his public disputes with President Donald Trump.
Avenatti’s Trial Timeline Despite Avenatti’s request for a delay, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan has upheld the trial schedule. During the conference, the judge expressed confidence that prosecutors had not violated any rules by submitting certain evidence late. Additionally, the judge dismissed Avenatti’s motion to prohibit the use of evidence provided by prosecutors since January 3.
Dispute Over New Evidence Avenatti’s legal representatives raised concerns about being inundated with a substantial amount of new materials, which they referred to as a «document dump.» They argued that this influx of materials hindered their ability to adequately prepare for the impending trial. In response, prosecutors refuted these claims, asserting that the materials were not submitted late and suggesting that Avenatti might be attempting to shift the focus to Nike as part of an improper strategy to divert attention from his own guilt.
Background of the Case The criminal case against Avenatti originates from his representation of youth basketball coach Gary Franklin and allegations of improper payments made by Nike to college basketball recruits. Prosecutors filed charges against Avenatti in March, accusing him of threatening to expose these alleged payments at a news conference unless Nike paid him up to $25 million for an internal probe and offered Franklin up to $1.5 million.
Nike’s Response Throughout the case, Nike has consistently denied any wrongdoing, while Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As the trial date approaches, the ongoing legal battle involving Michael Avenatti continues to draw significant attention due to its high-profile nature and the intricacies of the allegations against him.