A Seal Team of Hacks?
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht founder John Pierce denigrates his former attorneys.
- “I never grew up.” ~ John Mark Pierce, August 8, 2016
The former lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, and current lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, has had a rough few weeks. First, after the Wisconsin prosecutor highlighted the “ample opportunity” for John Pierce to be engaged in “self dealing and fraud,” Pierce stepped off the Rittenhouse defense team. Next, an attorney Pierce had aligned with for Rittenhouse, and who he has called “The Great Lin Wood,” appears to have abruptly ended his #FightBack Foundation relationship with Pierce. And how did the almost 50-year old attorney respond to criticism related to the setbacks? Pierce (i) attacked long-time former Pierce Bainbridge attorneys, (ii) shirked personal accountability, and (iii) tossed in some misogyny.
The embattled Harvard Law School graduate — whose issues with drugs, debt, taxes, domestic violence restraining orders, child support have surfaced— was challenged on Twitter. The individual threatened to sue Pierce related to Rittenhouse donations, called Pierce a “con,” and highlighted his “over 1 million in debt,” among other musings. Pierce’s response aligns with the attorney’s often times petulant behavior.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pierce shirked responsibility for his own poor behavior, and with a few strokes of his keyboard suggested his long-time ex-partners were useless or, in Pierce’s words, “incredibly unproductive lawyers.”
(One wonders if the Pierce Bainbridge founder shared this view when inducing Virage Capital Management to commit $65 million in capital to the firm.)
Each of these partners was with Pierce Bainbridge when Rudy Giuliani hired the firm for his issues with Ukraine. The photo includes partners who were already at Pierce Bainbridge before around 40 other attorneys joined up, and remained with firm after around 40 attorneys quit — a first in, last out type of deal. These attorneys perhaps are reasonably characterized as having been loyal John Pierce acolytes. Pierce appears to have repaid the loyalty by publicly tossing them under the bus.
What Happened to the “Army of Killers” and “Most Elite Litigators on the Planet”?
Pierce denigrating his former attorneys is at odds with his prior declarations about Pierce Bainbridge lawyers, including this gem from August 2018:
In addition, on January 3, 2019, Pierce told the American Lawyer that Pierce Bainbridge was “building an army of killers” and would “take over Boston in short order.” The firm’s Boston office shuttered 16 months later.
Then, on March 25, 2019 Pierce sent a now ex-client an e-mail stating Pierce Bainbridge consisted of “60, 65, 70 of the most elite litigators on the planet.” The client had requested information, which Pierce Bainbridge had apparently not provided.
Pierce’s publicly filed e-mail — which is *must-read* material — is a response to the request; all of his partners were copied.
Juvenile, Hypersensitive & Immature
This client e-mail from Pierce displays a similar juvenile and petulant tone the University of Notre Dame graduate has repeatedly displayed on Twitter in defending himself and his client Kyle Rittenhouse.
This behavior appears to conflict with the healthy dose of military and other machismo which also emanates from Pierce’s keyboard. It perhaps results in a perception that the alleged former “tank platoon leader” in the United States Army is hypersensitive, conflicted, as well as immature.
On the last point, immaturity, Pierce himself said in a publicly filed 2016 e-mail to his ex-wife: “I never grew up.”
The Pierce Misogyny
Denigrating his ex-partners was apparently not enough, Pierce also threw in some misogyny. Pierce, the subject of two domestic violence restraining orders, who allegedly expressed an intense desire to kill the mother of his children, insulted the female tweeter and “chalked up” up the criticism to the individual being “overly emotional.”
Such offensive discourse is not out of character for Pierce. For example, in a publicly filed firm-wide communication, Pierce championed a judge accused of mistreating female attorneys.
The Pierce Bainbridge & John Pierce “Dossier”
Substance abuse, domestic violence restraining orders, hypersensitivity, immaturity; yet, according to Pierce, his former “army of killers,” and “most elite litigators on the planet” apparently deserve blame for the underlying events related to the issues below.
- $90,000 personally owed to Citibank as of November 2019, per a public filing
- $1 million+ in personal taxes owed as of November 2019, per a public filing
- $27,000 personally owed to his ex-wife’s mother as of November 2019, per a public filing
- $2.5 million essentially pilfered by Pierce from a cash advance lender in Queens, New York in February 2020
- $65 million reported debt to litigation funder Virage Capital Management, and the funder subsequently saying that Pierce Bainbridge defaulted on the debt.
- Two loan brokers recently obtained a $3.5 million arbitration award against the firm for alleged failure to pay for services rendered.
- $9.1 million default declared by litigation funder Pravati Capital LLC
- Repeatedly pledging the same collateral in exchange for millions in cash — purported future firm receivables
- Lawsuits by four cash advance lenders
- Lawsuits by five vendors of legal services
- $4 million money judgment against Pierce related entities entered in June
- Ex-client accused Pierce Bainbridge of running a Ponzi Scheme
(A focus on the firm’s financial activity in and around February 2020, reveals particularly odd activity.)
Personal accountability does not appear to be a strong suit for Rudy Giuliani’s “close friend” John Pierce. Be that as it may, we leave it to you to decide: Were these long-time Pierce Bainbridge partners a “Seal Team of Elite Litigators” or a “Bunch of Hacks?”
Addendum. Rudy Giuliani hired Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP in November 2019 for the Ukraine fiasco. The conduct of those affiliated with the law firm, including former Pierce Bainbridge attorneys, is covered in an eye-opening piece titled: “Gangland Tactics or Aggressive Lawyering?”
Update: This article was updated on December 27, 2020 to include a link to a Daily Mail article covering the two domestic violence restraining orders Pierce’s ex-wife obtained against him and a host of other disturbing issues.