The brother of popular Los Angeles lawyer Tom Girardi has questioned a judge to appoint him as a guardian more than his sibling, asserting that the aged lawyer “is incompetent and not able to act for himself.”
Robert Girardi, a dentist in Seal Beach, instructed a bankruptcy choose in a petition Wednesday that his 81-12 months-aged brother, famed for the situation depicted in the movie “Erin Brockovich,” did not fully grasp the gravity of the legal and financial peril that he currently faces. His venerable regulation agency, Girardi Keese, has collapsed amid quite a few allegations that he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of money belonging to his law business consumers and in any other case failed to spend collectors. He’s also embroiled in a divorce from his substantially more youthful spouse, “Real Housewives” cast member Erika Jayne.
In a sworn declaration, Robert Girardi explained his more mature brother has short-phrase memory loss, and that makes an attempt to talk about how to answer to the pending bankruptcy case were unsuccessful.
“My brother is incapable of acknowledging and being familiar with the repercussions of the personal bankruptcy filings pending towards him and his legislation agency Girardi Keese notwithstanding acquiring [it] stated to him more than and over and by numerous individuals,” Robert Girardi explained. “Furthermore, my brother is not able of creating rational selections with respect to his economical obligations and presents methods and views that are factually extremely hard.”
In December, a coalition of creditors moved to force Tom Girardi and his law organization into involuntary personal bankruptcy, but the lawyer under no circumstances filed a reaction by the Tuesday deadline. Robert Girardi’s petition provided an rationalization for the missed deadline and he pleaded with the choose for more time to mount a defense for his brother.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court docket Choose Barry Russell appeared not to have been swayed. The decide entered an get Wednesday afternoon that amounted to an implicit denial of Robert Girardi’s initiatives and he directed the scenario to commence to Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, wherever remaining property will be liquidated to spend Tom Girardi’s and the firm’s lenders.
Robert Girardi, 77, said he prepared to file a separate petition in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom, asking to be appointed as his brother’s conservator, and said that the method would acquire a few weeks.
The transfer by Girardi’s brother to take about as guardian comes months just after a criminal defense lawyer for the legal legend to start with lifted considerations about his cognition. Protection attorney Evan Jenness instructed a federal judge in Chicago in December that Girardi “has experienced issues of his mental competence” and experienced not been equipped to assist her strategize a response to allegations that he misappropriated far more than $2 million from the family members of aircraft crash victims.
Girardi’s organization, which operated in many iterations considering the fact that the 1960s, appeared to cease functions late last yr. Its web site shut down and cell phone phone calls went unanswered. A pair of trustees set in position by the Individual bankruptcy Court docket visited the Wilshire Boulevard legislation exercise last week to commence evaluating the circumstance.
They located Girardi in his place of work though much of the relaxation of the business was deserted, a testament to the mass departure of lawyers in modern decades, stated Elissa Miller, the interim trustee for the firm. She said there had been packing containers and boxes of paperwork, evidence apparently of “active conditions that need to have illustration,” she claimed.
“I never imagine he seriously has a deal with on the working day to working day of these cases,” reported Miller, an legal professional with SulmeyerKupetz. She added, “He appeared a bit puzzled.”
Miller explained her immediate intention was to pair the 1000’s of clientele with skilled attorneys so that the firm’s remaining assets — its lawful situations — could be shielded.
“The line is lengthy of counsel that have contacted me now about getting conditions above,” Miller included.
This tale initially appeared in Los Angeles Situations.