Hecht Partners, Pierce Bainbridge, The #Fightback Foundation & Kyle Rittenhouse: What’s Going On?
Ex-name partner David L. Hecht claimed to have resigned from Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP in March 2020. Yet, Hecht’s own post-“resignation” conduct is perplexing. First, Hecht scrubbed Pierce Bainbridge from his LinkedIn, then Hecht was “Counsel” for Pierce Bainbridge, and now the entry says Hecht was “Partner” at Pierce Bainbridge. Given the firm’s massive reported debt, the bevy of lawsuits against Pierce Bainbridge, the track record of questionable conduct, the controversy surrounding the #Fightback Foundation and “affiliated” law firms, Hecht’s behavior begs the question: What’s Going On?
(The screenshots below are from the “Experience” section of David L. Hecht’s LinkedIn page; the latter three were/are each below the representation that Hecht is the “Full-time” “Founding Partner” of Hecht Partners LLP.)
- April 2020. Hecht’s LinkedIn after he claimed to have resigned Pierce Bainbridge. “Litigation Boutique” is inserted in place of “Pierce Bainbridge .”
- July 9, 2020. “Litigation Boutique” is replaced with “Counsel (Former Partner)” for “Pierce Bainbridge.” (This change may have been made earlier.)
- August 12, 2020. The #Fightback Foundation is formed in Texas. John Pierce — who is immersed in personal and professional debt — has been actively soliciting donations for the fund; donations which can flow to his law firm as well as “affiliated” law firms, which presumably includes Hecht Partners LLP.
- September 17, 2020. “Counsel (Former Partner)” is replaced with “Partner.” (This change may have been made earlier.)
Not only did Hecht initially scrub Pierce Bainbridge from his LinkedIn, but the landing page for the firm he founded makes no mention of his former firm. This is despite the fact that all six partners at Hecht Partners LLP were partners at Pierce Bainbridge.
A reasonable question to ask: Did the Hecht Partners crew hope to be absolved from the massive obligations and potential liabilities facing Pierce Bainbridge?
A chronological timeline, primarily featuring David L. Hecht’s post-resignation on-goings, is interesting.
March 20, 2020. Hecht Partners LLP is formed.
April 9, 2020. The New York Law Journal reports on Hecht’s purported resignation from Pierce Bainbridge.
April 22, 2020. Law360 reports that Pierce Bainbridge has an estimated $65 million debt.
April 2020. As noted above, Hecht scrubbed “Pierce Bainbridge” from his LinkedIn and replaced it with “Litigation Boutique.”
May 4, 2020. A withdrawal filing signed by Hecht references his “departure” from Pierce Bainbridge.
May 13, 2020. In light of the above, Hecht makes curious statements during a hearing in the Southwest Airlines & Boeing Co. case venued in in a Texas federal court.
- “Mr. Lorin and myself have not left PB. We are still officed at PB. And when I say PB, I mean Pierce Bainbridge.”
- “Mr. Lorin and I withdrew from the partnership but we remain affiliated in connection with certain cases, including this one. We have access to all the Pierce Bainbridge systems.”
May 22, 2020. An ex-Pierce Bainbridge associate accuses David L. Hecht of lying to the Southwest & Boeing federal court; the associate had made a filing withdrawing Pierce Bainbridge from the case, Hecht later said it was filed in error. Hecht has denied the accusation.
Notably, in April 2019, Hecht was accused of violating the ethical Rule of Professional conduct on “dishonesty and misrepresentation;” a federal judge held that Hecht acted “inconsistent” with the honesty rule.
June 11, 2020. A filing by Hecht Partners in the Southwest & Boeing case says that the firm is a “successor” for Pierce Bainbridge. Pierce Bainbridge has not dissolved.
July 2, 2020. Hecht signs a filing in a patent case on behalf of Pierce Bainbridge.
July 9, 2020. As noted, “Litigation Boutique” is replaced with “Counsel (Former Partner)” on Hecht’s LinkedIn. (This change may have been made earlier.)
August 12, 2020. The #Fightback Foundation is formed in Texas. An early version of the #Fightback web page said donations were permitted to flow to “affiliated” law firms. After much scrutiny, this disclosure on the #Fightback web page appears to have been removed.
September 13, 2020. A lawyer who co-founded the #Fightback Foundation says that “John Pierce’s extremely competent partner” will be involved with the Kyle Rittenhouse defense.
The request for names appears to have been ignored.
This “extremely competent partner” is puzzling. One in particular reason, is that, as far as we know, the current iteration of “Pierce Bainbridge P.C.”, the fourth name of Pierce’s firm in less than four years, does not have any other partners. In fact, the recently launched “Pierce Bainbridge P.C.” website does not list any lawyers at all.
What To Make of This?
Some may say this is waffling. Some flip-flopping. Some may say it’s a shell game. Some something else altogether.
At the end of the day, however, it’s safe to say that breaking up for Hecht Partners and Pierce Bainbridge apparently seems hard to do.