- Edelson PC sued Tom and Erika Girardi in December
- The trustee also replaced the special legal adviser
(Reuters) – A Connecticut bankruptcy trustee overseeing the estate of the late Tom Girardi law firm has dropped his opposition to allowing a lawsuit against the ex-wife of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Girardi “, Erika Jayne Girardi, before a key hearing Tuesday.
Chapter 7 administrator Elissa Miller said in a deposit Thursday she has no objection to Chicago law firm Edelson pursuing its own allegations that Erika Girardi used embezzled settlement funds obtained by her husband’s law firm to fund a “glitzy lifestyle” and glamor ”.
U.S. Connecticut bankruptcy judge Barry Russell has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on whether to allow Edelson’s lawsuit in Chicago federal court.
The move is a notable reversal for Miller, who argued last month that allowing Edelson’s trial against Erika Girardi would disrupt his administration of the Girardi Keese estate.
Edelson PC’s lawsuit against the two Girardis, who said they used settlement funds intended for the families of the victims of the Lion Air crash in 2018, sparked a flood of claims from former partners of Girardi and others that forced Girardi and his company out of business. Edelson’s claims against Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese have been stayed due to bankruptcy proceedings.
“The further it moves from a reality TV atmosphere to the courts, the closer we will be to uncovering the truth,” Edelson’s partner J. Eli Wade-Scott said in a statement. “We are delighted to be on this path and we will embark on a real discovery.”
Miller is also replacing the special legal adviser tasked with determining whether Girardi Keese’s assets were fraudulently transferred to the reality TV star. Miller said Thursday it was in the “best interests” of the estate of to exchange Ronald Richards, of Ronald Richards & Associates, for Larry Gabriel, a Los Angeles-based partner at Jenkins, Mulligan and Gabriel.
Miller declined to comment. Richards said he and Miller agreed it was in the best interests of the estate to step down from the role.
Erika Girardi, represented in the bankruptcy by Evan Borges of Greenberg Gross, opposed Edelson’s offer to unfreeze the Chicago lawsuit. Borges said in an email that Edelson’s lawsuit would result in “unnecessary expense for everyone” and should be dismissed.
Lawyers for Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese have admitted in federal court that the settlement funds at issue in the Edelson lawsuit had not been distributed. Erika Girardi did not respond in this case, and lawyers did not appear in her favor.
Jason Rund, the Chapter 7 administrator overseeing Tom Girardi’s personal property, had no objection to the Edelson Company suing Erika Girardi as long as Russell retains “exclusive jurisdiction” to determine whether the assets of Erika Girardi actually belong to her ex-husband.
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