Skip to main content

‘You Are an Embarrassment to the Profession’: Twitter Feud Between Avenatti and Immigration Lawyer Gets Out of Control


When the Trump administration was enforcing their zero tolerance policy for illegal immigration, resulting in thousands of children being separated from their families, Michael Avenatti offered his services to represent people affected by this. Apparently New York immigration attorney Diego Aranda Teixeira isn’t a fan. Also apparently, Avenatti isn’t too thrilled with what Teixeira has had to say about him.

Teixeira has been knocking Avenatti for his immigration law practice for quite some time. Back in August, when information got out about how Avenatti had certain child clients agree to voluntary departure when their parents had already been deported, Teixeira said:

The information that is publicly available raises the question of whether Mr. Avenatti has just set up a voluntary departure conveyor belt that may have long-standing negative consequences for these individuals, as well-meaning as Mr. Avenatti may be.

Avenatti defended this by stating that the children’s parents had already been deported, but Teixeira said that wasn’t a good enough reason.

Jump ahead to February, and apparently Avenatti decided to confront him outside of social media. This lead to a sprawling Twitter thread that was kicked off with this tweet:

Avenatti replied, saying, ” No – I called you a terrible lawyer who thinks Twitter is a forum to attack other lawyers when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”

Teixiera kept tweeting about the phone call, and Avenatti kept firing back.

Teixeira’s tweets made it seem like the call from Avenatti came out of nowhere, and that it was a response to his comments about him from months ago.

Avenatti insisted that Teixeira doesn’t have all the facts and shouldn’t be talking about his cases.

While there’s no recent record of Teixeira tweeting about Avenatti recently before this, one user pointed out that Teixeira apparently deleted at least one tweet in the middle of Monday night’s feud. It looks like Teixeira said something about recording the call, which could be a legal issue given that Avenatti is based in California, where that’s against the law.

Law&Crime reached out to Teixeira, who stated that this whole thing really did spin out of his August comments in The Federalist.

“I had been commenting like other immigration attorneys about how Michael Avenatti may be hurting immigrants in the way he handles (hopefully handled) certain cases,” Teixeira said. “Avenatti then blocked me. Nothing for months.”

He does have an idea of what led the sudden renewal of their feud.

“On Monday evening, a twitter friend of mine was sent a nasty DM by Avenatti and I made a joke, something about Avenatti being engaged in the malpractice of immigration law,” he said. “A few minutes later, Avenatti called me, and he just berated me for 6 minutes and some seconds (I finally looked up the call duration), asking me how I dare criticize him not knowing about his cases and trying to status shame me. He kept asking me how long I’d practiced law, said I looked like I was 14, all rather immature stuff.”

Teixeira said that at first he didn’t even believe it was real.

“Honestly, it was so ridiculous I thought for half the call that it was some kind of prank,” he said.

When asked about Teixeira and the situation by Law&Crime, Avenatti said, “He is a nobody who seems to think he knows about my clients and my cases but in reality knows nothing. He’s not even a decent Twitter lawyer – an embarrassment to the profession.”

As of Tuesday morning, it seems like the fight has died down. At least for now.

Note: This article has been updated with Teixeira’s comments to Law&Crime.

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: