Thursday, January 16, 2020

Four partners exit Balch Bingham Law Firm as Superfund bribery scandal and related $75-million lawsuit from ex-Drummond exec keep waters swirling

Jesse S. Vogtle Jr.

Four partners have left the embattled Birmingham law firm of Balch Bingham, apparent fallout from the North Birmingham Superfund bribery scandal and a related $75-million lawsuit that is pending. One of the exiting partners, Jesse S. Vogtle Jr., has particularly deep ties to Balch's primary corporate partners -- Southern Company and Alabama Power -- according to a report at Writes Publisher K.B. Forbes:

A crippling blow: Jesse S. Vogtle, Jr., the long-time Balch and Bingham partner, and three of his fellow partners have left the embattled firm, according to a report . . .  in the Birmingham Business Journal.

Vogtle symbolized the longtime relationship between Alabama Power and Balch Bingham.

Vogtle was at Balch for over 31 years and has now joined Nashville-based Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis LLP along with his colleagues Randolph H. Lanier, Eric T. Ray, and Paul H. Greenwood.

Vogtle’s grandfather, Alvin W. Vogtle, had been the Chairman and President of Southern Company, Alabama Power’s parent company, before retiring in 1983. A nuclear power plant currently under construction in Georgia is named after his grandfather who also had served as a fighter-pilot during World War II.

Vogtle’s father, Jesse S. Vogtle Sr., was a partner at Balch Bingham decades ago before assuming an executive position at Alabama Power.

How dramatic is the Balch Bingham breakup? Forbes compares it, perhaps with tongue and cheek, to the friction between Meghan, Harry, and the British Royal Family:

Southern Tradition includes cronyism and nepotism, but this breakup, exodus appears to symbolize something worse than Megxit in the UK.

The elite enclave of Mountain Brook looks like they, too, have had enough of Balch Bingham (Vogtle, Jr. had served on the city council there), especially after Mountain Brook residents David and Anna Roberson had to sell their home and personal possessions allegedly because of Balch’s failure to tell the truth.

What about the present and the future for Balch Bingham? Both appear to be murky, Forbes reports:

And who is left holding the fort?

The illustrious Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr. another Brookie who has refused to settle the Newsome Conspiracy Case or work with us, the CDLU (Consejo de Latinos Unidos), to bring necessary change to Balch and end the unsavory if not criminal conduct at the firm.

And there are three more controversies coming:

(1) The Newsome Conspiracy Case is still active and new discoveries in the past week could expose Balch’s alleged perjury and unethical conduct wide open. (Ironically, before becoming an attorney, Burt Newsome used to refer work to Vogtle, Jr. when Newsome worked at AmSouth Bank in their Special Assets Division. Newsome had no issues with Balch Bingham until they allegedly targeted him, had him wrongly arrested in a “staged arrest,” and defamed him.)

(2) The alleged unethical, immoral, and possibly corrupt meeting and secret deal between U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, Mike Cole, and Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite may become a deadly stake in the heart.

(3)A new documentary on Balch Bingham will outline the matters that Balch has refused to apologize for or acknowledge.


Anonymous said...

That's a pretty major exodus from one law firm, in a short period of time.

Anonymous said...

These guys sound like rainmakers. That's a lot of money walking out the door.

Anonymous said...

This is Jeff Sessions' law firm, so we should not be surprised they are racist and unethical.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is another article about two more clients dumping the firm:

What a terrible way to start 2020.

Balch & Bingham, which tried to rehabilitate their Washington D.C. lobbying practice last November, saw two lobbying clients dump the firm in recent days.

According to a January 9th report in, Northern Star Generation, one of two major clients left in D.C., terminated the firm.

The writing was on the wall. We reported in September that “Northern Star Generation has paid Balch only $30,000 [in 2019], compared to $160,000 [in 2018]. . . . ”

Balch, which had lost 17 of 18 major clients between 2015 and 2018, picked up Northern Generation as a new client in 2017.

On January 10th, reported a smaller lobbying client, Transcendence, dumped Balch. Balch had been paid $40,000 by the company in 2018.

Anonymous said...

How long before Balch pulls a Haskell Slaughter and goes belly up.

Anonymous said...

Would love to be a bug on shoulders of Bham lawyers at various lunch spots and watering holes. I'm sure this is being much discussed.

Anonymous said...

Could Jeff Sessions be running for his old Senate seat mainly to be in a position to protect and save Balch and Bingham -- perhaps keeping the full scandal under wraps?

Robby Scott Hill said...

What a shame. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks! When a bar applicant has trouble paying his bills he is denied admission to the exam. So, I guess it’s fitting that when a law firm has trouble paying its bills, the firm must go belly up & the former partners must be content working as associates or minority shareholders at a firm where they must resocialize and spend months & years learning who they may be able to trust. Not very good for the blood pressure. Get a hobby and a good doctor folks. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

What's happened to Bill Pecker, I mean Pryor? No news in such a long time.