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Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP founder John M. Pierce, as well as individuals who hired the firm, Rudy Giuliani, George Papadopoulos, Michael Avenatti, Tulsi Gabbard and Carter Page.
  • Long-time name Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP partners and their new firms: John M. Pierce (Pierce Bainbridge P.C.) James D. Bainbridge (Bainbridge Law APC), Carolynn K. Beck (Goldstein & McClintock LLP), Maxim Price (Hecht Partners) and David L. Hecht (Hecht Partners)

In March 2018, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP became the third name of a law firm founded by John M. Pierce in January 2017. Pierce has recently been in the national spotlight as he is “lead counsel” for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. Pierce is representing Rittenhouse through “Pierce Bainbridge P.C.,” the fourth firm moniker in less than four years.

An Ominous Warning

In September 2018, a lawyer for Oscar De La Hoya named Judd Burstein, rejected advances to join the firm and warned Pierce about following in the path of disgraced lawyer Marc Dreier and potentially “ending up in jail.” An excerpt from Burstein’s e-mail is below. (Per a United States District Attorneys’ Office release: Marc Dreier Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Fraud.”)

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This is an excerpt from a September 2018 e-mail from Judd Burstein to John Pierce.

One would imagine that Burstein may not be surprised at the way the operations at Pierce Bainbridge played out.

Timeline

A sample of issues are the firm is below.

March 7, 2019. Declared Default of $9.1 Million.

Litigation funder, or lender, Pravati Capital LLC fueled the firm’s litigation efforts for two years and eventually declared a $9.1 million default. While Pierce Bainbridge claimed it had the “most elite litigators on the planet,” the firm won only 1 trial (with a net verdict of $500,000) during those two years, the only trial the firm ever won. (The Pravati debt was eventually cleared, it appears by taking on more debt from litigation funder Virage Capital Management.)

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This is an excerpt from an April 22, 2020 article in Law360 by Ryan Boysen titled: Pierce Bainbridge Funder Targets Ex-Partners In Debt Chase.”

A UCC filing names Douglas S. Curran (BraunHagey & Borden LLP), ex-PB United States Office Managing Partner, as an “individual” debtor related to the declared default. (Similar UCC filings are in the names of a multitude of Pierce Bainbridge former partners, in addition to Pierce.)

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This is an excerpt from the March 8, 2019 UCC filing listing Curran as an “individual” debtor.

April 11, 2019. “Inconsistency” with Ethical Rule on “Misrepresentation.”

A federal court found David L. Hecht’s involvement in an undisclosed recording of an adversary at a social event was “inconsistent” with the ethical Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 covering attorney “dishonesty and misrepresentation.”

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David L. Hecht and Max Price. Both are ex-name Pierce Bainbridge partners and founders of spin-off firm Hecht Partners LLP, along with Kathryn Lee Boyd. The six partners at Hecht Partners were all partners at Pierce Bainbridge. Photo is from Fordham Law News.

May 1, 2019. “100% Failure Rate in Fortnite Lawsuits.”

An article in Techdirt.com about a string of “copyright infringement” lawsuits filed by Pierce Bainbridge and led by David L. Hecht concludes:Despite its 100% failure rate in Fortnite lawsuits, Pierce Bainbridge is still finding plaintiffs willing to ensure its partners keep collecting paychecks. And isn’t that the greatest victory of all?” (A suit against Fortnite recently had one claim survive an early stage motion to dismiss.)

May 15, 2019. Lies Under Oath.

Two ex-partners, Christopher N. LaVigne (Withersworldwide / Withers Bergman) and Denver G. Edwards (Bradford Edwards & Varlack LLP) lied under oath in sworn affidavits filed in New York State Supreme Court. Edwards is also on the Board of Trustees at Middlebury College. The lies were filed in an effort to keep allegations about financial misconduct at the firm from becoming public.

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Denver G. Edwards (left) and Christopher N. LaVigne (right). A sworn affidavit accused both Pierce Bainbridge partners of lying under oath. Neither submitted a denial affidavit. LaVigne’s photo is from Global Legal Post; Edwards’ photo from Twitter.

October 24, 2019. Accusation of Assisting in “Stonewalling” a Subpoena Related to Proceedings Involving Alleged Domestic Violence.

John Pierce’s ex-wife secured a domestic violence restraining order against him in late July 2019; she also secured one in 2016 and declared under the penalty of perjury that she received a warning that Pierce “expressed an intense desire to kill” her; Pierce denies the accusation.

A sampling of the “over sixty” disturbing texts from Pierce on July 27, 2019, which led to the request, was tweeted by a reporter from the Business Insider. One of the Pierce texts, appears to invoke Tulsi Gabbard as a threat; Pierce Bainbridge had filed a lawsuit for Gabbard two days earlier.

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One of John Pierce’s over sixty texts to his ex-wife on July 27, 2019; his former spouse subsequently sought a domestic violence restraining order.

In connection with the proceedings, Pierce’s former spouse subpoenaed Pierce Bainbridge for financial information. The firm was accused of assisting in “stonewalling” the request.

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This is an excerpt from an October 24, 2019 letter from the counsel for John Pierce’s former spouse. The letter is included with a court filing dated March 4, 2020. The filing was made in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. BD 639 740.

(It appears that, at the time, Carolynn K. Beck was the Pierce Bainbridge General Counsel, Camille Varlack the Deputy General Counsel and Douglas S. Curran the United States Office Managing Partner.)

October 25, 2019. Violation of Ethical Rules of Professional Conduct.

The next day, a Los Angeles judge found that ex-partner Thomas D. Warren (Warren Terzian LLP) violated the ethical Rules of Professional Conduct.

January 14, 2020. Client Arrested for Money Laundering.

While attending a California State Bar hearing, with the same Thomas D. Warren, then Pierce Bainbridge client Michael Avenatti was arrested and accused of money laundering.

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February 19, 2020. $2.5 Million Upfront Cash Seemingly Vanishes.

John Pierce signed a “merchant cash advance” agreement on February 19, 2020 for $2.5 million upfront cash with an entity reportedly at a “residential address” in Queens, New York, described by the New York Law Journal as “essentially a payday lender.

The agreement called for daily repayments of $37,500 until $3.75 million was paid. By July 2020, several months later, Pierce and his firm had paid nothing and an approximate $4 million money judgment was entered against the firm and related entities. (This Medium article contains supporting documentation.)

March 12, 2020. Mark Mukasey Quits as Counsel Citing Ethical Concerns.

The lawyer integral to the successful defense of Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, Marc Mukasey, the son of Michael Mukasey, United States Attorney General as appointed by former United States President Ronald Reagan, files to withdraw as counsel for Pierce Bainbridge and a multitude of partners. The Mukasey filing cites, among other items, ethical concerns with continued representation.

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This is an excerpt from a March 13, 2020 Law360 article by Emma Cueto titled, “Mukasey Eyes Exit In Pierce Case As Firm Faces New Suit

May 18, 2020. Accusation of Lying to a Federal Court and Related Intimidation.

An ex-firm associate comes forward and accuses David L. Hecht of lying to a federal court, and Pierce Bainbridge outside counsel Ed Altabet of Cohen Seglias PC of engaging in intimidation tactics to stop the ex-associate from coming forward. The accusations have been denied.

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This is an excerpt from the ex-associate’s filing in the Eastern District of Texas (Sherman Division).

June 5, 2020. Fraud on the Court Accusation.

Based on the sworn affidavit of a different ex-firm associate, former Pierce Bainbridge General Counsel Carolynn K. Beck is accused of spearheading a fraud on the New York State Supreme Court. Two sworn affidavits were submitted in support of the fraud on the court motion. While a response was filed, Beck did not submit an affidavit of denial in response; the motion is pending.

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This is an excerpt from the fraud on the court motion which seeks monetary sanctions.
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Ex-Pierce Bainbridge name-partners Carolynn K. Beck and David L. Hecht. Beck was the General Counsel, Hecht the New York Office Managing Partner. Both are accused of dishonesty to courts based on filings of two separate ex-Pierce Bainbridge associates. The photo is from an interview with Proactive Investors.

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The timeline is merely a representative list; for example, it does not cover:

  • The reported estimated $65 million debt (and related default) the firm racked up to litigation funder Virage Capital Management in around one year while not winning a single trial. It also does not include the additional around $5 million owed to cash advance lenders, and the four related lawsuits from lenders filed against the firm this year.

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All of this transpired in just a little more than a year, which leads to the question:

Is this a Corrupt Law Firm?

Written by

Whistleblower retaliated against by the Rudy Giuliani hired corrupt Pierce Bainbridge law firm. Harvard Law graduate. Sunlight needed. @DonLew87 on Twitter.

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