Dinsmore drops Erika Jayne Girardi as client over ‘damaged’ relationship
- The firm said any “relationship of trust” with a famous client “has ceased to exist”
- Bankruptcy lawyers investigate transfers between Tom Girardi, his former firm and Erika Jayne Girardi
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(Reuters) – Citing a “fundamental and material break” in his relationship with Erika Jayne Girardi, Dinsmore & Shohl said on Tuesday he was ditching the reality star and the ex-wife of troubled lawyer Tom Girardi as a customer.
Peter Mastan, Managing Partner of Dinsmore’s Los Angeles office, informed U.S. bankruptcy judge Barry Russell and Chapter 7 administrators overseeing the estates of Girardi and his closed law firm, Girardi Keese, as his firm is withdrawing from the case.
“The relationship of trust necessary for the proper functioning of an attorney-client relationship has ceased to exist,” Mastan wrote in her documents to Russell, describing her relationship with Erika Jayne Girardi as “irreparably damaged”.
Mastan added that he didn’t think he could clarify the nature of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star’s breakup without violating solicitor-client privilege. However, he said he was prepared to answer Russell’s questions in private.
A spokesperson for Dinsmore declined to comment. Mastan said the company informed Erika Jayne Girardi of its withdrawal on Monday, the same day that a Girardis documentary, “The Housewife & the Hustler,” debuted on Hulu, from ABC News Originals.
The firm’s withdrawal comes as lawyers for the Chapter 7 trustees have begun investigating whether Tom Girardi and his law firm have fraudulently transferred assets to Erika Jayne Girardi. After Russell approved a trustee’s request to retain legal counsel last week, Mastan, on behalf of Erika Jayne Girardi, said: “We look forward to vigorously defending Ms. Girardi in the appropriate forum. We will not be making any further comments at this time.
Mastan in his statement said Girardi had yet to identify his new lawyers.
She did not respond on Twitter to a request for comment.
Tom Girardi and his company were forced into bankruptcy in January by creditors who said the ailing lawyer owed them millions of dollars.
The cases are In re Thomas Vincent Girardi, US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, 2: 20-bk-21020 and In re: Girardi Keese, US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, 2: 20-bk-21022
Judge authorizes lawyer to investigate alleged transfers to Tom Girardi’s wife