The hits keep coming for famed former plaintiff's attorney Thomas V. Girardi. Several weeks ago, Chief U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez has ensured that famed former plaintiff’s attorney Girardi will no longer be appearing on the record in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, officially disbarring him.
Girardi did not contest the federal court disbarment. In March, Girardi was placed under a permanent conservatorship after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. His younger brother, Robert Girardi, now acts as permanent conservator.
Judge Gutierrez’s disbarment decision likely comes as no surprise to Girardi or his representatives. Girardi and his former firm, Girardi Keese, are now embroiled in chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings after a cascade of allegations that he embezzled millions of dollars from former clients, including families of a major commercial airline crash.
The U.S. District Court’s decision may be a harbinger of things to come in state court. While Girardi has been suspended from state court practice, he has not yet been disbarred.
Girardi’s representatives have clarified that Girardi has no future intentions of practicing law and will not contest any disbarment actions against him. The disbarment proceedings mark a sordid close to Girardi’s once-lauded legal career in high profile mass tort representation.
Meanwhile, in the chapter 7 matter, Girardi Keese’s bankruptcy trustee recently estimated that the firm owes over $101 million to its creditors, including former clients, but it remains unclear to what extent the firm will be able to repay those debts. While the firm claims an interest in a suite of potentially lucrative class actions, recent filings cast doubt on creditors’ ability to recoup their losses.