Brother of prominent L.A. attorney Tom Girardi asks to be named guardian as law firm heads for Chapter 7

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Thomas Girardi is seen at an undated court hearing. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Thomas Girardi is seen at an undated court hearing. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The brother of prominent Los Angeles attorney Tom Girardi has asked a judge to appoint him as a guardian over his sibling, asserting that the elderly lawyer “is incompetent and unable to act for himself.”

Robert Girardi, a dentist in Seal Beach, told a bankruptcy judge in a petition Wednesday that his 81-year-old brother, famed for the case depicted in the movie “Erin Brockovich,” did not understand the gravity of the legal and financial peril that he currently faces. His venerable law firm, Girardi Keese, has collapsed amid numerous allegations that he misappropriated millions of dollars of money belonging to his law firm clients and otherwise failed to pay creditors. He’s also embroiled in a divorce from his much younger wife, “Real Housewives” cast member Erika Jayne.

In a sworn declaration, Robert Girardi said his older brother has short-term memory loss, and that attempts to discuss how to respond to the pending bankruptcy case were unsuccessful.

“My brother is incapable of realizing and understanding the repercussions of the bankruptcy filings pending against him and his law firm Girardi Keese notwithstanding having [it] explained to him over and over and by various people,” Robert Girardi said. “Furthermore, my brother is not capable of making rational decisions with respect to his financial responsibilities and offers solutions and opinions that are factually impossible.”

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