Dan Garner – Embattled Pierce Bainbridge is once more in the news following a stiff judicial rebuke over a “needless” request on behalf of CNN anchor Don Lemon and a Chief Marketing Officer throwing in the towel with the firm and joining the ranks of the PB Departed.
The Don Lemon lawsuit alleges sexual abuse and the departure of Darr who had enthusiastically proclaimed her excitement at joining the firm did not provide an explanation for her departure, but it follows many before her and some reversals for clients.
“Pierce Bainbridge is already delivering market-changing and innovative solutions to clients across the globe and I cannot wait to build upon that momentum and position us as the leading global firm.” ~ Kristin Darr, October 2018.
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP is in the zone. The zone, however, seems more like the one of The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight, than the Ken Jennings on Jeopardy zone.
Bad news continues to ooze out of the firm. Kristin “Krissie” Darr hired in October 2018 as “Chief Marketing Officer & Of Counsel” has joined around 20 attorneys gone from Pierce Bainbridge over the last several months.
In addition to these personnel losses, the firm recently lost an early battle in a lawsuit involving Don Lemon; the internationally recognized CNN anchor joins Rudy Giuliani, Tulsi Gabbard, and the disgraced Michael Avenatti as high-visibility Pierce Bainbridge clients.
Darr previously worked at Linklaters LLP, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Steptoe & Johnson LLP; her arrival was announced in October 2018, along with partners Jeff Newton and Tillman Breckenridge.
Newton quit months later, and at least eight Pierce Bainbridge partners eventually followed him out the door. (A Roster of Recently Departed Pierce Bainbridge Attorneys is below.)
Special Operations Task Force?
The flood of negative news, and apparent inability to keep John Pierce under control, presumably elevated Darr’s degree of difficulty. As a sign of things to come, a few months before Darr joined, Pierce penned a seeming promotional piece for Law.com comparing his lawyers to a “Joint Operations Special Operations Task Force in Iraq,” and distastefully attempted to exploit “9/11” and the “Twin Towers.”
With Darr on board, Pierce’s musings did not get much better. A few “gems” are below:
- “The only lawyers who should join our firm are the ones who . . . can swallow some risk.” ~ John Pierce, October 17, 2019 (In light of former partner Don Lewis’s explosive allegations of corruption at Pierce Bainbridge, this “risk swallowing” requirement raises red flags.)
- “Our people must have not only thick skin, but skin made of kevlar combined with titanium at times.” ~ John Pierce, October 17, 2019
- “As I have said from the day we launched, this firm is the legal industry equivalent of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 or the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. I will accept nothing less. Not everyone is cut out for SEAL training or Ranger school.” ~ John Pierce, February 2, 2020. (Pierce fails to exhibit any accountability, and instead – in typical narcissistic fashion – suggests that the bevy of attorneys who’ve recently quit are somehow too soft for Pierce Bainbridge.)
- “Capital continues to flood to our platform [we are] now undeniably nothing less than a phenomenon.” ~ Pierce on February 4, 2019. (In reality, a month later the firm’s litigation financier Pravati Capital LLC declared a $9.1 million default.)
- “We win almost everything we touch, and within a few to several years we will be the most dominant and profitable global litigation firm.” ~ Pierce, October 21, 2019. (In reality, the firm’s track record is littered with losses.)
Contrary to Pierce’s bloviation, the firm recently lost an early skirmish on behalf of Lemon.
The Lemon lawsuit involves claims by Dustin Hice for alleged sexual misconduct, which the CNN anchor vehemently denies. Pierce Bainbridge partners Christopher N. LaVigne and Caroline Polisi are handling the matter. (LaVigne has been accused of lying under oath; ironically, LaVigne represented George Papadopoulos leading up to his prison stay for, you guessed it, lying under oath.)
Polisi sought to have the lawsuit thrown out for alleged bad service of process by Hice and his counsel Nesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP. United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, Joan M. Azrack, not only rejected the request, but also rebuked the firm.
Judge Azrack admonished the “sharp practices of [Pierce Bainbridge],” and opined that “such conduct wastes judicial resources and needlessly protracts and impedes the litigation process.”
“Sharp,” “wasteful,” and “needless” appear to align with the “honey badger,” “do not give a damn,” and “#sorrynotsorry” approach promoted by Pierce . . .
The “#ferocious,” “#PETA” and “absolutely fearless creatures” exposes a firm mindset which has resulted in two judges (within the last year) finding Pierce Bainbridge to have violated the ethical Rules of Professional Conduct.
Public rebukes by sitting judges, Pierce’s objectively over-the-top public commentary, written messages from firm personnel questioning the managing partner’s sobriety, honesty, financial dealings and mental stability, presumably did not make Darr’s marketing life any easier.
The Lemon case is scheduled to continue, but Krissie Darr’s tenure at Pierce Bainbridge, like the roster of the recently departed below, has come to an end. (LawFuel was unable to get in contact with Darr, but she is off the firm webpage and her LinkedIn page talks of her time at the firm in the past tense.)
THE PIERCE BAINBRIDGE RECENTLY DEPARTED
New firms included where available. This covers only departures in the last year; almost all of them occurred in the last several months.
|PARTNERSEric Creizman (Armstrong Teasedale)Deborah Renner (Renner Law)Melissa Madrigal (Armstrong Teasedale)Michael Winograd (Brown Rudnick)Robert Allen (Glaser Weil)Joan Meyer (Thompson Hine)Jeff Alexander (Wachtell Missry)Susan Winkler (Winkler Law)Jeffrey Newton (Kobre Kim) |
ASSOCIATESClairborne Hane (Kasowitz Benson Torres) Minoti Patel (Grant & Eisenhofer)W. Tyler Perry (Reid Collins & Tsai)Abbye Ognibene (Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro)Elizabeth DeGori (Kirkland & Ellis)Barron Flood (Herbert, Smith & Freehills).Aaron Gold (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe)Cassie Black Matthew Kokot
Recently on LawFuel
- Chapman Tripp Run COVID Test Case Over Business Interruption
- Lawyer Accepts Over 70 Breaches of Rules Around Documents
- Uptime Legal’s JurisPage Brand Launches Comprehensive Marketing Offering for Law Firms: Legal Marketing 360™
- Market for D&O insurance hardest in living memory
- Freshfields Joins Slim Ranks of Big Law Firm Female Leaders As Gender Diversity Moves Slowly Grow