LOS ANGELES — Disgraced Los Angeles superstar lawyer Tom Girardi has been discovered competent to face trial on prices that he stole greater than $15 million from his purchasers.
A federal choose filed a discover of the transient order Tuesday below seal. Legal professionals for each side got 5 days to determine any info in it that they want the choose to maintain confidential.
Girardi, 84, is the estranged husband of “The Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne.
Girardi pleaded not responsible in Los Angeles final yr to wire fraud on prices that he embezzled from purchasers, together with an Arizona widow whose husband was killed in a ship accident; a Los Angeles couple injured in a automotive wreck that paralyzed their son; and a person who was severely burned within the 2010 San Bruno gasoline pipeline explosion.
If convicted, he may very well be sentenced to many years in federal jail.
The Related Press despatched messages to his public defenders searching for remark.
At challenge within the competency listening to was whether or not Girardi understood the fees and proceedings in opposition to him and will assist along with his personal protection. His legal professionals argued that he was unable to participate within the trial as a result of he has been identified with Alzheimer’s illness, which they mentioned has left him confused and with reminiscence issues. He presently is staying within the reminiscence care unit of a nursing house.
Prosecutors contended that Girardi was exaggerating his signs.
As one of many nation’s most distinguished plaintiff’s attorneys, Girardi took on highly effective firms, film studios and Pacific Fuel and Electrical in a case that led to a $333 million settlement, which was portrayed within the 2000 Julia Roberts movie “Erin Brockovich.”
However his legislation empire collapsed, he was disbarred in California in 2022 over shopper thefts, and he faces mounting authorized issues.
Girardi additionally faces federal wire fraud prices in Chicago, the place he’s accused of stealing about $3 million from relations of victims of a 2018 Lion Air crash that killed 189 folks.
The Chicago court docket is anticipated to comply with the competency choice in California.