Law firm sues Erika Girardi, others above alleged theft of customer cash

Erika Jayne attends the Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Awards viewing occasion at West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci

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  • The lawsuit seeks much more than $50 million in damages above the alleged misuse of settlement funds awarded to Tom Girardi’s purchasers
  • Lawyer Jay Edelson said he is “confident in our potential to verify to a jury that the Girardi Keese firm was acting as a criminal organization.”

(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ law company Edelson has sued lawyer Tom Girardi’s estranged wife and former associates of Girardi’s regulation organization, trying to get damages right after Edelson included settlement payments owed to Girardi’s former customers in litigation in excess of the 2018 Lion Air crash.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in San Francisco federal courtroom following a decide in Illinois in April authorized a prepare for Edelson to pay back 5 families in the Lion Air case at minimum $2 million.

The new lawsuit in opposition to reality Television set star Erika Jayne Girardi, her enterprise EJ World-wide and former Girardi Keese attorneys David Lira and Keith Griffin states the Girardis took settlement money supposed for shoppers and utilised them to bankroll their lavish way of life. It calls Erika Girardi the “frontwoman” of the plan, “providing to the globe (together with unsuspecting consumers) that Girardi Keese was prosperous.”

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A lawyer for Girardi termed the lawsuit “a different misguided attempt to blame Erika for steps of Tom Girardi and others of which she experienced no awareness and in which she had no involvement.”

The lawsuit also names as defendants authorized marketing consultant George Hatcher, previous Girardi Keese chief economic officer Chris Kamon and the litigation funder California Attorney Lending II. Kamon could not be achieved, and several other defendants or their lawyers did not immediately answer to requests for comment.

William F. Savino, a attorney for California Lawyer Lending II, reported his shopper “vigorously” denies Edelson’s promises, including that its founder ensured the corporation bought a “1st cut” of settlement money in the Lion Air case.

Edelson founder Jay Edelson reported in an email that the legislation organization feels “confident in our potential to show to a jury that the Girardi Keese agency was performing as a felony company.”

“We hope this case can help answer some much larger issues: How did the agency get away with it for so quite a few yrs? Why has the California bar been absent? And how quite a few other individuals were associated?” he stated.

The criticism seeks $55 million in punitive or exemplary damages, as effectively as extra revenue damages that are redacted from the court submitting.

Less than the deal authorised in Illinois federal courtroom, the Lion Air crash victims’ family members formerly represented by Tom Girardi reassigned their promises to the Edelson business. Any damages recovered by the new lawsuit will first deal with lawyer costs for Wisner Law Organization, a Chicago company that is now representing the 5 households and recoup the expenses for Edelson and its insurance company. Any remaining funds will be divided in between Edelson and the people.

Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese are not named in the grievance, and both equally are in bankruptcy proceedings. Tom Girardi has not responded to allegations about the misuse of the Lion Air settlement resources but his attorneys have acknowledged the revenue was not distributed. Tom Girardi could not immediately be arrived at for comment.

The California Supreme Courtroom final thirty day period disbarred Girardi and requested him to pay back more than $2 million in restitution, like to the children of four of the Lion Air plaintiffs.

The case is Edelson Laptop vs. Lira, et al in the Northern District of California, No. 22-cv-3977.

(This tale has been updated with comments from legal professionals representing defendants in the lawsuit.)

Read through much more:

Girardi legislation agency unethically recruited clientele in Lion Air crash scheme, lawsuit alleges

Court backs legislation firm’s deal with Girardi plaintiffs, paving way for lawsuit

Legislation agency asks judge to let $50 mln lawsuit from Erika Girardi, others

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