Celebrated as one of the top securities attorneys, with a history of wins for his investors and stockbroker clientele, Robert Wayne Pearce is the epitome of determination. The renowned investment fraud attorney across the nation, and the master at arbitrating Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proceedings, Pearce has quadriplegia, yet, his passion for litigation never lets his disability get in his way. In fact, Pearce considers it his strength, empowering him to do his thing.
However, Pearce never had the foggiest of the idea; he would embark on the journey to excellence in his legal career. It was in 1976 that a dental school student suffered a disastrous fall from a horse, leaving him vulnerable to quadriplegia for the rest of his life. Yet, that very dental student later got known as the best attorney, serving as a classic inspiration for all those struggling.
“The major reason I have excelled this far is that I work for justice, unlike others who are in this field to make money and earn a living,” says Pearce, 70, who moved to South Florida in 1982, with a desire to practice law. Talking about his struggle as a person with quadriplegia, Robert Pearce reveals that his major trouble each morning is to put on socks rather than his professional work.
Working legitimately to ensure the provision of justice, Robert Pearce remains at the forefront to win the courtroom battles and defying organizations who commit abuses yet, are reluctant to offer settlements. Reminiscing about his eminent wins, Pearce revealed that in all his best-publicized cases, the broker-dealers were not willing to offer anything. “Honestly, that made those victories sweeter,” he says.
Over a three-decade-long career, Robert Pearce has emerged as one of the top attorneys in Florida, who specializes in handling a wide range of securities cases. Alongside earning repute as the best attorney, Pearce is also regarded as one truthful lawyer who always supports honesty, for that is the sole purpose of proffering justice. “If he files a case, you can be pretty sure the case has got something to it. And you can have confidence that he’s being truthful,” says a partner at Akerman LLP in West Palm Beach and representative attorney of brokerage firms Kathy Klock, who has litigated against Pearce.
Robert Pearce has won plenitude accolades against major brokerage houses, including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo Advisors, in cases involving misrepresentation, allegations of negligence mismanagement, and failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
Pearce’s success remains a matter of astonishment for his colleagues, given that he only has one partly functioning hand, the right one which he utilizes in wheeling his chair, driving his vans to proceedings, and carrying his files. In fact, many of the state and federal are not at all accessible, with distant parking lots, unpaved sidewalks, and steep ramps, yet Pearce’s grit to practice law remains uninterrupted. Pearce opened up about how he ended up with a broken leg after losing control descending the ramp at the Miami-Dade Circuit Courthouse. He then had to wear a cast for the next two years, yet that too could not keep him at bay from courts, proceedings, and arbitrations.
Gary Alan Freidman, the medical malpractice attorney from Coral Gables, whom Pearce managed to Pearce, won a $1 million-plus award, counting $300,000 in punitive damages, against Merrill Lynch, claiming the company did not reveal that its analysts had conflicts of interest in recommending stocks, praises the spirits of Pearce as unmatched: “His spirits and perseverance outrides his disability. He was as mobile as an Olympian in presenting my case.”
Pearce’s clients will always find him driving his custom-made gray van to the courts, steering with his mere functioning right hand, and braking and accelerating with a lever he pushed with his frail left arm. Though the skilled attorney makes it look like a piece of cake, it surely is not. Robert Pearce praises his teenage buddies, who went swimming, surfing, and lifeguarding with him. “Honestly, my legal career would not have existed if those friends would not have pushed me out of depression, post-accident, persuading me to pursue joint law and business degree program at Hofstra University,” he says.
After reaching the pinnacle of his career, Robert Pearce emphasizes the worth of right intent while taking cases. He now only desires to take good cases where he supports the right side, no matter if it is small-dollar cases representing investors with limited resources.
Serving an inspiration for millions like him, Robert Pearce is truly the epitome of staying true to your dreams and never letting your disabilities get in your way.