Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
The Lawsuit Matryoshka
The Lawsuit Matryoshka
Rudy Giuliani's ex-lawyer is suing him for non-payment; Hunter Biden is suing the IRS for airing his dirty laundry; the FTX bankruptcy estate is suing SBF's parents for being morons.

Dear listeners,

We’re getting a little meta: most of the legal proceedings we’re discussing this week are about other legal proceedings.

  • Rudy Giuliani’s former lawyers are suing him, saying he’s barely paid $200,000 of the more than $1.5 million in legal bills he ran up related to three criminal investigations and more than ten civil lawsuits. It’s expensive to get sued that much! Ken and I talk about whether this bill sounds reasonable (it does) and what a law firm is to do when a client hasn’t been paying his bills.

  • Hunter Biden is suing the IRS, saying the agency violated his rights as a taxpayer by publicly disclosing his tax return information. He says the IRS whistleblowers did more than blow the whistle — they may have had a legal right to talk to Congress, but they weren’t allowed to release information to the media. Hunter isn’t asking for that much in the way of damages, but as Ken says, this lawsuit is a good strategy for complicating the government’s (likely impending) prosecution of him for tax charges, including by forcing the disclosure of information about the investigation that a defendant usually wouldn’t be able to get.

  • The FTX bankruptcy estate is suing Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents. When a man-child is running a large corporation, you might assume some supervision from his parents would be desirable, especially if they are professors at Stanford Law School. Not so, according to the bankruptcy trustee: He says Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, in addition to failing to parent their son, used their influence with FTX to direct tens of millions of dollars to themselves and causes they support, despite having knowledge of the company’s difficulties and likely insolvency. The bankruptcy estate would like the money back. And Ken would like you to know that he did not go to Yale or Stanford Law School.

  • And Ray Epps, already suing Fox News and Tucker Carlson for defamation, has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at the Capitol Riot — a prosecution that should help convince conspiracy theorists he’s really not a Fed, but probably won’t.

Oh, and there’s Donald Trump news. Jack Smith wants a gag order in the January 6 case — on top of the protective order that’s already been issued — but Trump will have strong First Amendment arguments against the broad order the government has requested. Meanwhile, Trump told Kirsten Welker that seeking to overturn the 2020 election was his idea — undermining a possible advice-of-counsel defense — and one of his attorneys, Alina Habba, said on Fox News that preparing for these cases is easy because Trump didn’t do anything wrong. That will be awkward in the inevitable future instances when Trump’s other lawyers ask for extensions of time because they need to prepare. Oops!

Paid subscribers get all those conversations. Free subscribers will hear about Giuliani and Hunter Biden — or, by smashing the button below, can get the whole shebang and every future full episode of Serious Trouble.

We hope you enjoy the episode,


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Serious Trouble

Serious Trouble

An irreverent podcast about the law from Josh Barro and Ken White.

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Josh Barro