*Don Lewis is a double Harvard graduate and a former partner at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP. Lewis blew the whistle on financial misconduct, and Pierce Bainbridge allegedly set on a path to destroy his reputation and career with the support Putney Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP (Michael D. Yim) and Littler Mendelson PC (Sylvia Jeanine Conley).
Lewis says Pierce Bainbridge General Counsel Carolynn K. Beck, and her personal friend, Michael D. Yim ran a “racially charged sham investigation” to demonize and discredit him. Their alleged objective was to cover-up for the financial misdeeds of John Pierce, the Pierce Bainbridge boss. The firm’s bookkeeper reported that Pierce allegedly pilfered firm accounts, failed to pay debts as they became due, manipulated clients with unethical financial gifts, mishandled funds in the sacred client trust account and inflated case values to improperly receive underserved funding from an investor.
The signs of a racial double-standard at Pierce Bainbridge are clear.
Black partner kicked out; white outsider invited in. Lewis was banned forever and told it was due to the “nature of the [sexual misconduct] allegations.” To the contrary, a white partner candidate accused of being a “creepy sexual harasser” was invited by the firm for interviews shortly after Lewis was
Black partner fired with no vote; white employee fired with a vote. Lewis was terminated without a vote of his partners, as required by law. Earlier, a white employee, was afforded a vote prior to termination, not required by law or
Black partner candidate subjected to extra scrutiny; white partner candidates are not. Patrick Bradford, who is black, was recommended for partnership by Lewis. General Counsel Beck demanded a list of potential No white candidates, even those with far lesser qualifications than Bradford, were asked to do so.
Bradford was informed by Lewis, and Bradford responded by e-mail:
“Now look. I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE your trying to get me in. But we both know that when White boys start moving the goal-posts things may not work out.”
Bradford’s candidacy was placed on hold. Lewis and partner Douglas Curran pushed again months later; Bradford e-mailed:
“The fact that I was being asked to submit a business plan (when my understanding was no other potential partner was) . . . when my objective qualifications exceed some of your partners – – that is if I were White. Folks come up with all sorts of justifications for their. . .shortcomings let’s say.”
Lewis’ claims that he was victimized by fabricated and bogus charges to silence, demonize and discredit him. He alleged in May 2018 that the Pierce Bainbridge made a $1 BILLION misrepresentation to the firm’s primary investor. A federal court in Pennsylvania appears to have validated this shocking claim.
Specifically, Lewis alleged in May that Pierce provided the firm’s investor – Pravati Capital LLC – with a prospective case valuation $999,600,000 greater than the amount at which the prior lawyer (after 16
months) advised the plaintiff to settle the case. Lewis says Pierce shared the purported prospective valuation during his recruitment to the firm and notes Pierce “told the same to anyone who would listen”; the prior lawyer’s proposed settlement amount is part of the public record.
Lewis has said that Pierce Bainbridge is a “financial house of cards” and the product of “smoke and mirrors.”
He notes that Managing Partner Pierce, according to public records, has amassed almost $1,500,000 in tax liens and Pierce himself has reportedly said he is “broke.” Pierce was a partner for almost seven years at international leading law firms K&L Gates, Latham & Watkins and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where partners routinely make annual salaries in the millions.
Lewis has also provided texts, e-mails and other messages where firm personnel opine – in writing – on Pierce’s issues with substance abuse. For example, Pierce’s long-time personal assistant, Lauren Schaefer- Green has referred – in writing – to Pierce as a “SAD FU*KIN ALCOHOLIC”; and partner Christopher N. LaVigne has said – in writing – that Pierce was absent because “John is probably deep in the sauce and coke.
LaVigne, along with Pierce Bainbridge partner Denver G. Edwards, has also been accused of potentially committing a felony, by lying in a sworn affidavit to smear Lewis, his long-time hockey teammate. (LaVigne represented Donald Trump ally, George Papadopoulos leading up this his prison sentence for lying in the Mueller-Russia probe; LaVigne also currently represents CNN’s Don Lemon, a well-known advocate for minority rights.)
Lewis continues to fight to see that justice is served.
*** The Pierce Bainbridge Defendants include: Amman Khan, Andrew Lorin, Caroline Polisi, Carolynn
Beck, Christopher N. LaVigne, Conor McDonough, Craig Bolton, David L. Hecht, Doug Curran, Eric
Creizman, James D. Bainbridge, John Mark Pierce, Jonathan Sorkowitz, Maxim Price, Melissa Madrigal, Mike Pomerantz and Patrick Bradford ***