Where is John Pierce?
The big-talking Pierce Bainbridge lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse was a no-show at today’s hearing. In a separate development, Pierce’s permission to practice law in Wisconsin may be in jeopardy.
“Given [Pierce’s] own substantial personal debts, his involvement with an unregulated and opaque ‘slush fund’ provides ample opportunity for self-dealing and fraud.” — Wisconsin prosecutor’s filing, as covered in the Journal Times. (The filing itself is an incredible read.)
Attorney John Pierce was absent from a hearing today for his client Kyle Rittenhouse. The embattled lawyer’s no-show adds to ongoing concerns about Pierce’s competency to handle the case. Exacerbating issues is a scathing motion filed this morning by the prosecutor’s office challenging the Los Angeles-based Pierce’s application to practice law in Wisconsin. The “ample opportunity for self-dealing and fraud” statement is telling. In addition to Pierce’s financial issues, Attorney Robert Barnes — who has been a treasure trove of solid information on the Rittenhouse matter — has referred to Pierce as an “incompetent joke.”
Today’s absence, and the prosecutor’s opposition to Pierce’s efforts to practice in Wisconsin, are supplemented by another new wrinkle. Pierce filed a sworn declaration in a Los Angeles state court matter two months ago which flew under the radar. The filing essentially consists of Pierce whining to a court that he was short-staffed and overwhelmed, while noting that apparently one of just three lawyers at Pierce’s firm had quit. The money paragraphs are below.
Pierce’s representation, under penalty of perjury, that he and one other lawyer at Pierce Bainbridge P.C. are allegedly handling “more than two dozen complex cases” is interesting.
With respect to the Rittenhouse case, almost as soon as word spread of Pierce’s involvement in fundraising efforts through the #FightBack Foundation, the Hill Reporter, Daily Beast, USA Today and Daily Mail penned pieces exposing Pierce’s personal and professional financial mess. Pierce stepped down from the #FightBack board; yet perhaps problematically, remains involved in soliciting donations.
This #FightBack embarrassment out of the gate appears to have been a sign of things to come. The next stop involved Pierce badly botching the Rittenhouse extradition, just as Robert Barnes said Pierce would.
(A 10-minute video video featuring Barnes, which covers extradition prior to the hearing, and Pierce generally, is informative and entertaining viewing.)
Pierce coming up short is perhaps unsurprising. Indeed, over the last two years, Pierce has disappointed individual after individual, and entity after entity. The group includes: Around sixty lawyers who worked at his firm, litigation funder Virage Capital Management, several clients, four cash advance lenders, five legal vendors, one landlord, and apparently Pierce’s ex-wife, as well as his three children; the list seems endless.
In our view, it appears John Pierce has proven one thing definitively over the last few years; and that one thing is that John Mark Pierce is apparently an expert in letting people down.
Where is John Pierce?
Time will tell.
Time will also tell whether Kyle Rittenhouse, and his mother Wendy Rittenhouse, are next up in the long line of disappointments flowing from relationships with John Pierce.
Addendum: Rudy Giuliani hired Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP for Ukraine. The firm was corrupt and splintered months later. The conduct of Pierce and certain of his former partners is the subject of “Gangland Tactics or Aggressive Lawyering?” It is a fascinating read.