Is The Lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse a Deadbeat?
Tens of millions of debt. A *newly-revealed* lawsuit from a fourth vendor for alleged failure to pay. Accusation of breached child support obligations.
Kyle Rittenhouse is still sitting in a jail cell. An extradition hearing is finally happening on Friday. Here is an update on the finances of his lawyer John M. Pierce.
The debt of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP (“Pierce Bainbridge LLP”) has been reported as high as $70 million. On top of the massive borrowing obligations, a new lawsuit — filed in July — surfaced today, which brings the total to four vendors who’ve sued the firm for alleged breach of payment obligations. The amounts allegedly owed, some outstanding before any of the $70 million was secured, total less than $300K.
Vendors aren’t the only ones who’ve had problems. Pierce Bainbridge LLP also repeatedly pledged the same collateral in exchange for millions in cash, much of it remains unpaid, several cash advance lenders have also sued.
To top it off, firm founder John M. Pierce was accused earlier this year of breaching child support obligations.
And now the same John Pierce, steeped in a financial morass, is soliciting money from the general public which can flow to his law firm.
With Pierce Bainbridge LLP facing massive debt, partners left for Hecht Partners, Goldstein & McClintock, Bradford Edwards & Varlack and more. Hecht Partners says it’s a “successor” firm to Pierce Bainbridge LLP in a major case, all the firm’s partners were also partners at the debt-ridden firm.
Pierce formed Pierce Bainbridge P.C. in May.
Virage Capital Management, a company that provides funds to pursue litigation, financially backed Pierce Bainbridge LLP. After just one-year, the firm’s debt to Virage was reported as $65 million. Another $5 million is allegedly owed to several cash lenders. (Pierce Bainbridge LLP, a litigation firm, won zero trials during the year; the firm has only won one trial in three-plus years of existence with a net verdict of $500K.)
John Pierce, however, has declared that Pierce Bainbridge P.C. “has zero debt.”
The Stiffed Vendors
Neoscape Incorporated is the plaintiff in the lawsuit uncovered today. Pierce Bainbridge LLP and John Pierce are defendants. Neoscape is the fourth vendor to sue the firm in the last few months. A list is below.
Neoscape Incorporated — $85,000. Media and advertising services were provided starting in December 2018. A lawsuit was filed in July.
Transperfect Legal — $135,000. Transcription legal services were provided starting in November 2018. A lawsuit was filed in August.
Kiski Legal Services — $8,300. Deposition services were provided in February 2020. A lawsuit was filed in August.
First Legal Network — $36,000. Legal supports services were provided starting in November 2018. A lawsuit was filed in September.
The $4 Million Money Judgment
Incredibly, in February of this year, Pierce essentially absconded with $2.5 million from a “merchant cash advance lender” located at a “residential address” in Queens, New York. A cash transfer of $2.5 million was presumably made to an account controlled by Pierce or the firm. Daily repayments were supposed to be made. Months went by and not a penny was repaid. And in July of this year a related $4 million money judgment was entered in New York State Supreme Court in favor of the lender. (Around thirty days after the initial $2.5 million transaction, spin-off firms Hecht Partners and Bainbridge Law APC were formed.)
The Child Support
Not only were vendors allegedly stiffed, but Pierce’s former spouse says he breached child support obligations.
The Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Pierce’s has also been the subject of two domestic violence restraining orders. He is accused of threatening to kill his ex-wife in 2016, he has denied. She received a domestic violence restraining order then, and another one in July 2019. Pierce threatened her in an over 60 text barrage. A sample is below.
The Personal Debt
Pierce’s personal financial situation also appears a hot mess. He prepared an income and expense statement in November 2019, which said he owed (i) Citibank $90,000, (ii) his ex-wife’s mother $27,000, (iii) over $1,000,000 in taxes and (iv) only had $10,750 in the bank with no investment or real estate income.
The Fightback Foundation
Tens of millions were squandered. Vendors allegedly stiffed. Child support obligations allegedly breached. Yet in August, amid these issues, and with Pierce having claimed he was recently in rehab for “substance abuse and other addictive behaviors,” he started soliciting donations for the Fightback Foundation.
Fightback is fundraising for, among other issues, the legal defense of Rittenhouse. Millions have reportedly been donated, which again, are permitted to flow to Pierce.
Is John Pierce to Be Trusted With Money?
Kyle Rittenhouse remains in jail. Pierce with the17-year old’s life in his hands. The same John Pierce who:
- allegedly breached child support obligations;
- whose kids refused to see him for a time according to his former spouse;
- absconded with $2.5 million in cash earlier this year;
- was dismissed from his job at the K&L Gates law firm in 2016 for physically assaulting another employee; and
- had a recent stint in rehab presumably related to a “history of abusing alcohol and drugs, including cocaine.”
Pierce’s history with money speaks for itself.
Is he to be trusted with monetary donations from the general public?
Is Pierce looking out for John Pierce? For Kyle Rittenhouse? For something else?
And, finally, is John Pierce, the lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, a deadbeat?