With its reliance on the media and its light-on-the-law ad hominem attacks, Mr. Avenatti’s style of lawyering seems, ironically, to share much with the one employed by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s chief lawyer. Mr. Giuliani has also gone on television frequently to defend his client — though perhaps not as successfully as Mr. Avenatti.
“My impression is that Avenatti has acquitted himself well on television, especially in contrast to Rudy Giuliani,” said Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University Law School who teaches legal ethics. Ms. Clark suggested that Mr. Avenatti, who is raising money to defend Ms. Clifford on a crowdsourcing website has made himself ubiquitous in the media on purpose.
“Avenatti’s use of Twitter and his television appearances are unusual, but his omnipresence seems like a strategy,” she said. “He may well be doing all of this to keep his client in the news for public relations purposes and to make money to represent her. To the degree that helps him serve his client’s needs, it’s completely defensible.”
Oddly enough, despite Mr. Cohen’s reputation as a legal pit bull and massager of the media, his own team of lawyers has largely avoided talking with reporters, preferring to let their filings in the case speak for them. It is, of course, possible that they have not lashed out as vocally — or as visibly — as Mr. Avenatti has because others have waged their battles for them.
On Sunday, for example, the Daily Caller, a conservative website, published an article attacking Mr. Avenatti for having a past “littered with lawsuits, jilted business partners and bankruptcy filings.” A few days earlier, Mr. Giuliani gave an interview to Business Insider, explaining that he had declined Mr. Avenatti’s invitation to debate because, as he put it, “I don’t get involved with pimps.”
In typical fashion, Mr. Avenatti immediately struck back, threatening to sue the Daily Caller in an off-the-record email to one of its reporters, Peter J. Hasson, who promptly posted the missive onto Twitter.
To Mr. Giuliani, he responded in a tweet that said, “I’m not the only ‘pimp’ you have experience with.”
The message was linked to an 18-year-old video of Mr. Giuliani wearing women’s clothing and performing a comedy routine — with Mr. Trump.