Michael Avenatti will need judge’s permission to practice law in DC or Maryland, records show

Joe Simonson, DCNF

The attorney representing a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of participating in multiple gang rapes cannot currently practice law in the state where the alleged incidents occurred, necessitating a judge’s order if he is to represent his client in a courtroom.

Kavanaugh and his childhood friend Mark Judge routinely sexually assaulted women at a series of parties in the early 1980s, according to sworn testimony by accuser Julie Swetnick. Her testimony alleges that Kavanaugh and Judge spiked drinks in order to facilitate a “train” of boys raping various women at houses in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Maryland.

Swetnick retained the counsel of Michael Avenatti, the celebrity attorney also currently representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump. If Swetnick wishes to file charges with the police or sue Kavanaugh or Judge in civil court, and retain her current counsel, Avenatti may need to receive special permission from a Maryland or D.C. judge to be admitted “pro hac vice” — only for this special case.

Avenatti currently lacks a license to practice law in Maryland where the alleged assaults took place, according to a search of the Maryland Bar directory. There is also no record of Avenatti holding a law license in D.C., where Swetnick currently resides. Without a law license or special permission from a judge, Avenatti cannot appear in a courtroom on behalf of Swetnick.

Avenatti’s law firm is currently located in Newport Beach, California, where the bulk of his previous cases as a lawyer have been tried.

“I do not nor do I need one for the work I am doing. I am able to associate with Maryland lawyers,” Avenatti told The Daily Caller News Foundation, when asked about his status with the state bar association.

Avenatti has faced previous problems in his work for Daniels. Lawyers for Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a New York judge in March that it was inappropriate for Avenatti to represent Daniels in a state where he did not hold a law license.

Avenatti stopped representing Daniels in her case against Cohen in May.

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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to give greater prominence to a judge’s ability to admit Avenatti “pro hac vice.”
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