The law firm that represents CNN’s Don Lemon – Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP – is being accused of running a “racially charged sham” investigation and “lying in sworn affidavits” to smear Don Lewis, a former partner who is African American. Lewis says he learned about shady financial dealings, said something to the boss, and was retaliated against through a nationwide smear campaign. Putney Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP (Michael Yim) and Littler Mendelson PC (Sylvia Jeanine Conley) allegedly assisted with the vicious attack and are also being sued by Lewis. In this classic David v. Goliath battle, Lewis says the three law firms engaged in a conspiratorial cover-up.
According to Lewis, John Mark Pierce, the head of Pierce Bainbridge, is a “natural born liar.” Pierce’s partners apparently follow his lead. Lewis notes: “Christopher LaVigne and Denver Edwards lied in sworn affidavits to obliterate my reputation and destroy my career.”
The fallout for LaVigne and Edwards could be devastating. In addition to the New York State Bar potentially meting out discipline, if the affidavits are in the required form, and if the Pierce Bainbridge partners did lie, then the New York Penal law on perjury, a felony, could come into play.
The entire situation has a repulsive stench. Lewis says the affidavits were secretly filed in May, but Pierce Bainbridge said nothing. Instead, the firm and its counsel S. Jeanine Conley (Littler Mendelson) appear to have engaged in a deceitful charade of negotiations while scheming in the dark. The alleged diversionary tactics included Conley claiming she “misread” a one-page letter one day, and had a “Gala to attend,” the next. Lewis learned of the affidavits over three months later through a phone call from a reporter. Lewis secured copies and says: “What I found was alarming. Chris and Denver swore to tell the truth, but they both lied; I have ironclad proof.”
LaVigne is no stranger to dishonesty. He represented Donald Trump ally, George Papadopoulos, who went to prison for lying in the Mueller investigation.
LaVigne smearing Lewis, his long-time hockey teammate, is particularly troubling. Lewis notes: “LaVigne said he ‘almost got fired’ when the firm received my draft Complaint.” It appears that Pierce Bainbridge put pressure on LaVigne who chose to cave and ‘sell out’ his former partner.
As for the sexual misconduct allegations, Lewis has said all along they are “entirely false, never happened, made up of whole cloth.” Pierce Bainbridge General Counsel, Carolynn K. Beck and, her friend, investigator Michael Yim (Putney Twombly) buried evidence, including texts Beck had on her personal phone. Lewis says: “It will be entertaining to see Beck and Yim try to defend their actions; highly entertaining.”
His sworn submission in Los Angeles, bolsters Lewis’ position that the allegations against him are bogus; he declared: “Putney’s own counsel has hinted that the [Putney investigation] report does not say what Pierce Bainbridge claims it says. This is consistent with LaVigne’s comments to me that the Putney report is inconclusive and that nobody at the firm believes the False Accuser.” Lewis has yet to see the report because Yim broke his word and reneged on a promise to provide a copy.