Remembering David Pierce

Spirited entertainment lawyer and champion of independent artists

David Pierce, our great supporter and friend, has passed away. Founder of Pierce Law Group in 1996, David represented Slamdance and many independent artists who rose to international acclaim, including the filmmakers of the 2012 Oscar winning film The Artist. But what really made David a hero of independent filmmaking was his service to the emerging artist. His passion and devotion in this regard is surely unparalleled. Many filmmakers careers would not have taken off if it was not for David’s mentorship, guidance as well as his legal counsel. Like Slamdance, David believed in the promise of new filmmakers and fully committed himself to this endeavor. Many times this work was undertaken pro bono, without hesitation and involved countless hours to help launch many a filmmaker’s career. 

Lectures, workshops, clinics and sponsorships (Pierce Law Group sponsored Slamdance for over 20 years) were an integral part of David’s legal service. Whether in front of Academy members of Television Arts and Sciences, UCLA Extension students or over hot chocolate with Slamdance filmmakers in Park City they were all carried out with the same high degree of vigor, generous spirit and love of sharing legal knowledge. They inspired us to overcome legal hurdles in order to create our work and take greater interest in entertainment law. 

David’s output of work is astounding, in part due to a tremendous stamina that allowed him to remain open at all hours and a dedicated legal team that shared and supported his ideals. Just when we thought we might have made one too many legal requests on behalf of another filmmaker who needed to finish their film in time for the festival, he never failed to say “have them call me in the morning”. We’re deeply saddened to think these words will not be heard again. We remember David as a dedicated Slamdancer, a champion of independent artists who was, indeed, a champion himself.

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