Legislation company sues Erika Girardi, some others in excess of alleged theft of consumer resources

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

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  • The lawsuit seeks additional than $50 million in damages above the alleged misuse of settlement resources awarded to Tom Girardi’s clients
  • Legal professional Jay Edelson explained he is “confident in our skill to verify to a jury that the Girardi Keese business was acting as a legal company.”

(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ law company Edelson has sued attorney Tom Girardi’s estranged spouse and former users of Girardi’s legislation company, searching for damages soon after Edelson coated settlement payments owed to Girardi’s former consumers in litigation in excess of the 2018 Lion Air crash.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in San Francisco federal courtroom right after a choose in Illinois in April accredited a prepare for Edelson to shell out five family members in the Lion Air case at minimum $2 million.

The new lawsuit against truth Television set star Erika Jayne Girardi, her business EJ World-wide and former Girardi Keese attorneys David Lira and Keith Griffin says the Girardis took settlement cash meant for customers and utilized them to bankroll their lavish lifestyle. It phone calls Erika Girardi the “frontwoman” of the scheme, “advertising to the world (together with unsuspecting consumers) that Girardi Keese was effective.”

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A lawyer for Girardi referred to as the lawsuit “a further misguided endeavor to blame Erika for steps of Tom Girardi and other folks of which she had no expertise and in which she had no involvement.”

The lawsuit also names as defendants authorized guide George Hatcher, former Girardi Keese chief economical officer Chris Kamon and the litigation funder California Legal professional Lending II. Kamon could not be reached, and a number of other defendants or their attorneys did not right away reply to requests for remark.

William F. Savino, a attorney for California Attorney Lending II, said his consumer “vigorously” denies Edelson’s statements, including that its founder ensured the corporation acquired a “very first cut” of settlement funds in the Lion Air case.

Edelson founder Jay Edelson said in an email that the regulation company feels “confident in our potential to prove to a jury that the Girardi Keese organization was acting as a criminal company.”

“We hope this situation allows remedy some larger concerns: How did the agency get away with it for so quite a few many years? Why has the California bar been absent? And how many other people were being involved?” he mentioned.

The grievance seeks $55 million in punitive or exemplary damages, as very well as additional dollars damages that are redacted from the court docket submitting.

Less than the offer approved in Illinois federal court docket, the Lion Air crash victims’ family members formerly represented by Tom Girardi reassigned their promises to the Edelson agency. Any damages recovered by means of the new lawsuit will first cover legal professional expenses for Wisner Regulation Company, a Chicago organization that is now symbolizing the five households and recoup the expenditures for Edelson and its insurer. Any remaining cash will be divided concerning Edelson and the households.

Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese are not named in the complaint, and both equally are in personal bankruptcy proceedings. Tom Girardi has not responded to allegations about the misuse of the Lion Air settlement funds but his attorneys have acknowledged the money was not distributed. Tom Girardi could not straight away be achieved for remark.

The California Supreme Court very last thirty day period disbarred Girardi and ordered him to pay out more than $2 million in restitution, such as to the kids of 4 of the Lion Air plaintiffs.

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

(This story has been up-to-date with feedback from attorneys symbolizing defendants in the lawsuit.)

Study extra:

Girardi regulation agency unethically recruited purchasers in Lion Air crash scheme, lawsuit alleges

Court docket backs regulation firm’s offer with Girardi plaintiffs, paving way for lawsuit

Legislation company asks decide to allow $50 mln lawsuit in opposition to Erika Girardi, other people

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Sherri Crump

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