Ex-Clients Say Hecht Partners Founder Deceived them in the Boeing 737 Max Case
Hecht Partners founder David L. Hecht accused in sworn testimony by former clients of deceiving them into signing paperwork hiring his law firm.
Hecht Partners is a spin-off of the “scandal-plagued” Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht law firm. David L. Hecht had his name-on-the-door at Pierce Bainbridge and formed Hecht Partners with his prior firm facing tens of millions in debt. Both firms were involved in the Boeing 737 Max class action, now both are relegated to the sidelines. On the heels of the Hecht Partners exit, sworn deposition testimony has surfaced with three former clients saying that David L. Hecht deceived them into hiring his firm. In one instance, the testimony suggests the Hecht Partners founder pretended to be a partner at another law firm.
It appears that some of the issues Hecht had at Pierce Bainbridge may have followed him to Hecht Partners.
While at Pierce Bainbridge, Hecht was involved in a number of loser lawsuits. The civil litigation firm won only one trial (with a net verdict of $500K) in three-plus years, yet had three convicted felon clients, and a reported $65 million debt racked up to litigation financier Virage Capital Management in just one year.
Perhaps most notably, Hecht signed a complaint for Tulsi Gabbard against Hillary Clinton. An article in Techdirt.com said the complaint was “laughable” and Hecht should be “embarrassed.” As it turned out, Gabbard simply dropped the lawsuit months later.
In addition, a federal judge in another case penned an opinion finding Hecht acted “inconsistent” with the ethical Rule of Professional conduct on “dishonesty and misrepresentation.” Hecht then oddly boasted about the decision on LinkedIn, apparently proud that he was not disqualified from continuing in the case; a case which was thrown out months later.
“Embarrassment” and “dishonesty” are perhaps appropriate segues into recent revelations from the Boeing 737 Max case. The public deposition testimony of three former Hecht Partners clients is enlightening. The former clients — Damonie Earl, Alesa Beck and Valerie Mortz-Rogers — are each named in a court filing showing Hecht Partners Co-Founder Kathryn Lee Boyd appearing as their counsel. Boyd was also a partner at Pierce Bainbridge.
- Ex-Client # 1 — A section of the Damonie Earl transcript illustrates that Earl believed Hecht “deceived [him] to get [him] as a client.”
- Ex-Client #2 — A section from the Alesa Beck transcript shows she felt Hecht was “untruthful.” The testimony includes details on the apparent bill of goods David Hecht is accused of selling the former client.
- Ex-Client #3 — A little background is necessary for Valerie Mortz-Rogers. The testimony shows that Hecht apparently acted like he was a partner at a law firm with which he had no affiliation. “Yavar Bathaee” is an attorney who used to work with Hecht at Pierce Bainbridge, he now runs a law firm “Bathaee Dunne.” The exchanges below show that Hecht apparently acted as if he was a partner at Bathaee Dunne, which is not true.
- With that background, the exchange should make sense, it is something. The references to “Hechtman,” are references to David Hecht.
Mortz-Rogers then confirmed her belief that the Hecht Partners founder engaged in deceptive conduct.
A related Bathaee Dunne filing contains yet another illuminating passage.
The conduct outlined above is objectively unflattering. All of the partners at Hecht Partners were partners at Pierce Bainbridge. Perhaps these events may be viewed as similar to an apparent lack of candor and ethics that expedited the “dramatic disintegration” of the “scandal-plagued” Pierce Bainbridge law firm.
The deposition testimony is also interesting in light of an earlier accusation, by an ex-Pierce Bainbridge associate, that Hecht lied to the federal Boeing court. Hecht has denied the accusation, however, the testimony of these former clients, as well as the likelihood that the ex-associate had no financial interest in the outcome of the case are notable points in considering whether or not Hecht was untruthful.
In only eight months since his new firm was formed, Hecht has hired outside lawyers to represent him or Hecht Partners on at least three continents — Europe, Australia and North America. The suggestion that Hecht has a vaunted international reputation is a curious one; made even more curious in light of David Hecht’s own former clients testifying under oath that he deceitfully induced them into hiring his law firm.
The Boeing 737 Max case continues, Hecht Partners, as well as Pierce Bainbridge, are no longer participants.