Friday, September 10, 2021

Balch & Bingham's "unholy trinity" of racism, child-sex charge, and elder abuse should prompt Southern Company to immediately sever ties with the law firm

Chase T. Espy connects child-sex charge to Balch

Should Southern Company, parent firm of Alabama Power, distance itself from the Balch & Bingham law firm -- given Balch's unsavory stew of PR headaches, which include racism, a child-sex charge, and elder abuse? The answer is "yes, pronto," according to a post at Writes Publisher K.B. Forbes, under the headline "Unholy Trinity: Pedophilia, Elderly Exploitation, and Racism. Southern Company Needs to Terminate Balch Now":

When we met in 2018 with Southern Company’s Jim Kerr, who serves as Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, he flatly told us he does not need to use Balch & Bingham and has plenty of other law firms he can utilize who could do the same work as Balch.

Of course, Kerr’s words were lip service to us.

Even though Southern Company’s CEO Tom Fanning has distanced himself from Balch, subsidiaries like Mississippi Power and Alabama Power continue to utilize the embattled law firm.

With the pedophilia debacle, alleged elderly exploitation scandal, and alleged racism rocking the once-prestigious firm, Fanning needs to rise up and terminate the law firm, and put the uncontrolled and unsavory conduct to a quick and necessary death.

Is there any reason for Southern Company to maintain ties to a law firm with a trifecta of ugly associations? Forbes can't think of one:

Misery loves company, they say, but Southern Company no longer needs to accompany Balch or put up with their alleged filthy baggage.

Balch, which has lost millions and dozens of money-making partners, appears to live in a fantasy world of public relations fluff and feel-good advertising campaigns.

The reality is ex-Balch partner and Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert is going to prison before the end of the year for money laundering and bribery in a criminal scheme to suppress African-Americans in North Birmingham from having their toxic property tested by the EPA.

The reality is Balch & Bingham has been rocked by ex-Balch attorney Chase T. Espy who was arrested last month for soliciting a child online last March. Espy was terminated by Balch after eight long years. Was there a cover-up? Investigators have been briefed, we are told.

The reality is the estate of Mrs. B, the elderly grandmother who recorded Amy Davis Adams, a Balch partner making alleged unsubstantiated and fear-mongering statements in an attempt to control her $218 million fortune, has allegedly spurred interest from investigators at the U.S. Department of Justice, we are told.

So far, Southern Company has largely brushed off questions about its ties to Balch. But one must wonder how long that strategy will hold up. Writes Forbes:

Kerr was also the same executive at Southern Company to foolishly tell us that the alleged racism in North Birmingham was a “hypothesis.”

After the murder of George Floyd and the unrest in Atlanta, Southern Company issued a statement promising to fight racism and to work to end injustice.

This past May, at their annual shareholders meeting, Fanning stated, according to news reports, “We are seeing that the business community, not the government, will be the lead change effort for this movement. I don’t want our work to be reactive, a one-off event or some short-term episode.”

How ugly is Balch's record on race?

Balch & Bingham appears to be the epitome of an institution that allegedly contributes to the gross injustice against poor African-American communities and allegedly is rooted in promoting systemic racism.

About 1 percent of Balch partners are non-white, while 92.5 percent of the residents in North Birmingham that were targeted by a criminal scheme born at the offices of Balch & Bingham are African-American.

Is this not a shining example of blatant racism and injustice?

Shareholders and SEC investigators do not want to believe Fanning provided misleading statements.

And now with an alleged pedophile and elderly exploitation scandal tied to Balch, termination should be easier than ever, and Kerr, who now also serves as Chief of Staff to Fanning, has other firms waiting in the wings.

Well then, Tom, terminate Balch, now.


Anonymous said...

If I were on Balch's governing board, I would be most concerned about the Espy child-sex case. If they helped cover that up, and then pawned him off on the governor's office, that could be a big problem.

legalschnauzer said...

I too, think that might be the most troublesome issue for Balch. The firm has proven they are pretty good at massaging some issues, but I'm not sure you can massage that one.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the virtues of white privilege. A black firm that was involved in this stuff . . . well, they probably would be facing one disbarment after another. But Balch and Bingham just keeps rocking along.