Dan Garner* The epic debacle of Pierce Bainbridge has been covered in detail by LawFuel. It would appear that a lack of leadership and serious ethical issues have been root causes of the firm’s problems. In that vein, former New York Office Managing Partner and named-partner David L. Hecht about whom United States Court District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein found had overstepped the mark when he had recorded a conversation with an employee for a Chinese company that is being sued for patent infringement by a company the firm represents, yet said the firm could still stay on as counsel in the suit.
An accomplished attorney (see below) characterized Hecht’s post as “childish,” said it “makes lawyers look bad,” and advised Hecht to “Grow up.” Then-firm “leaders” John Mark Pierce and Amman Khan “liked” Hecht’s disconcerting post.
Hecht reportedly made statements during a federal court hearing last week concerning alleged litigation funding, and the ex-partner’s purported current relationship with Pierce Bainbridge. He represented to a federal court last week in a withdrawal motion recently filed by Pierce Bainbridge in the Southwest Boeing matter, that the firm filed its withdrawal in error. Legal analyst Jack Newsham covered the hearing and reported:
“David Hecht, whose LinkedIn says he left PB in March and started his own firm, Hecht Partners, said today that while he’s no longer a PB partner, he’s still affiliated with the firm and working the case.” Hecht reportedly stated: “last night there was a fairly large development with respect to funding.”
Hecht’s claim of an ongoing affiliation with Pierce Bainbridge was the first surprise considering that Hecht had replaced “Pierce Bainbridge” with “Litigation Boutique” on his LinkedIn page.
Why the secrecy?
The second surprise was Hecht’s claim of funding received by Pierce Bainbridge. Indeed, it would be an odd development given the events covered in a recent LawFuel piece titled: “Pierce Bainbridge Litigation Finance Plays: The $1 Billion Lie and The $65 Million Debt.” The article covers the negative consequences for litigation funders Pravati Capital LLC and Virage Capital Management as a result of doing business with the firm and its partners.
Even prior to our coverage, in January 2020 Leaders League opined: “Pierce Bainbridge . . . appears to have been in very public meltdown for over half a year. . . Any funder that takes a bet on the firm now would be very brave to do so.” This appears to have been prescient; similar to the warning of a NYC lawyer who warned Pierce about growing to fast and potentially “ending up in jail.”
Another funding entity, named Legalist, appears to have provided funding for a Pierce Bainbridge case, involving ex-major league baseball star, and convicted felon, Lenny Dykstra. (Eye-popping details about the firm’s “convicted felon” clients Michael Avenatti and George Papadopoulos, as well as the controversial Rudy Giuliani, can be found at LegalDesire.com.) (Dykstra is pictured below with his New York Mets phenom teammates Dwight “Doc” Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, the three led the Mets to their last World Series victory in 1986.)
In line with what Lewis has called the “cesspool” nature of the firm, a court filing by Pierce Bainbridge’s adversary in the Dykstra case contains even more troubling information; a screenshot is below:
Nothing good comes from lawyers reportedly billing “over 24 hours of time on a single date.”
Lewis remains engaged in ferocious litigation with Pierce Bainbridge, as well Littler Mendelson (S. Jeanine Conley) and Putney Twombly (Michael D. Yim), who provided legal services for the firm in connection with removing, discrediting and deceiving Lewis.
As LawFuel previously reported, Mark Mukasey of Mukasey Frenchman & Sklaroff LLP, withdrew from representing Pierce Bainbridge and its partners citing Rules of Professional Conduct related to (i) ethical concerns with continued representation, and (ii) payment for services, among other items. A new lawyer and firm, Edward D. Altabet of Cohen & Seglias, notified the Court yesterday that Altabet will now represent the firm only, not the individuals.
The issues at Pierce Bainbridge seem surreal: reported $65 million debt; one trial victory in 3+ years netting a mere $500,000; partners accused by Lewis of “lying under oath” – Christopher N. LaVigne (Withers Bergman) and Denver G. Edwards; 6 lawsuits against the firm involving allegations of financial foul play — 3 of which were recently filed by cash advance lenders; firm founder John Pierce entering rehab for “substance abuse and other addictive behavior;” Pierce being placed on forced leave for securing a payday loan at a residential address; a $9.1 million declared default by Pravati Capital LLC; three convicted felon clients; mass exodus of attorneys; and mounting questions about what Lewis’s ex-partners knew and when they knew it.
Lewis’s ex-partners are Andrew Lorin (unknown), Amman Khan (Khan Law Office), Caroline Polisi (Armstrong Teasedale), Carolynn K. Beck (Goldstein & McClintock), Conor McDonough (unknown), Partners), David Hecht (Hecht Partners), Douglas Curran (BraunHagey & Borden), Eric Creizman (Armstrong Teasedale), James D. Bainbridge, John Pierce, Jonathan Sorkowitz (The Law Offices of Jonathan Sorkowitz), Maxim Price ( unknown), Melissa Madrigal (Armstrong Teasedale), Michael Pomerantz (unknown) and Patrick Bradford (unknown).
The saga of the Pierce Bainbridge firm is the bizarre on top of the bizarre on top of the more bizarre.
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