|From the scene of the Burt Newsome vehicle crash.
Birmingham's Balch & Bingham law firm continues to operate in a state of disarray, according to a report at banbalch.com, which operates under the banner of the CDLU public charity and advocacy group.
Prominent entities in Balch's backyard have terminated the firm in recent weeks, reports K.B. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU. Apparently struggling to hire and retain experienced attorneys with solid resumes, Balch resorted to promoting a lawyer who played a central role in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.
To top it off, Shelby County attorney Burt Newsome, whom Balch targeted for ruination via a dubious arrest on a menacing charge and distribution of his mug shot to clients, seems to be thriving. Writes Forbes:
Eight years ago embattled law firm Balch & Bingham declared in a pleading in the Newsome Conspiracy Case that they had the legal right to “ruin a rival.”
Instead, Balch ruined themselves, losing tens of millions in legal fees, 18 of 18 major lobbying clients, and dozens of seasoned and legacy partners.
Now that disgraced ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite was ousted, the once-prestigious, now egregious, law firm has been exposed as part of a criminal enterprise funded by the deep pockets of Southern Company and will be part of a highly anticipated civil RICO lawsuit.
So toxic Balch has become, the Jefferson County Commission terminated the firm last month, according to Politico.com, joining the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department that terminated Balch in 2019.
Signs of the toxicity do not end there, reports Forbes:
And this week, apparently unable to attract experienced partners from other firms or retain new attorneys, Balch announced the promotion to partner of junior ghost-writer extraordinaire, and spy-vs-spy man Irving Jones, Jr. , a central figure of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.
Jones infiltrated meetings of the public charity and environmental group GASP and helped ghost-write “dumbed-down” letters for convicted felon and ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert to be signed by African American residents in the AstroTurf campaign to block EPA testing in North Birmingham, according to court testimony in 2018.
Jones had left Balch but returned in 2018. So embarrassed by the rehire, Balch took three weeks to acknowledge that Jones had returned. Jones’ return happened a little more than two months after Gilbert’s conviction.
How is Burt Newsome doing? Pretty darned well, it appears, considering that he was the target of a head-on vehicle crash that shows signs of being an attempted hit. Newsome suffered a badly broken leg, but somehow managed to survive the crash -- and the experience does not seem to have dimmed his taste for justice. How did Newsome survive, given he was driving a Volkswagen Jetta while hit head-on by a Ford Explorer? Forbes can't explain that one, but he writes:
Meanwhile, Burt Newsome, who was viciously targeted by the criminal enterprise and nearly
murdered assassinatedkilled in a mysterious head-on collision in 2020, won a precedent-setting opinion in the 11th Circuit yesterday.
The 11th Circuit three-judge panel unanimously reversed a lower-court ruling in Mortgage Corporation vs.Bozeman ( 21-10987).
An Alabama U.S. district court ruling that dissolved the mortgage lien on a bankrupt debtor’s home ran afoul of federal law, the Eleventh Circuit said in a precedent-setting opinion that reaffirms the right of secured creditors to full recovery of mortgage loans.
With outstanding professionalism and legal brilliance, and adding to his enormous victory for a Mexican farmer in May, Newsome has vigorously defended the rights of his clients with tenacity.
The 11th Circuit decision, highly applauded in banking circles, should open more doors for Newsome.
As a solo practitioner, it's never been clear why Newsome would be considered a "rival" of a "Big Law" outfit such as Balch. It's also never been clear what drove Balch's apparent beef with Newsome. But this does seem clear: Balch appears to have misplayed its hand at several steps along the way, writes Forbes:
The late Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr., general counsel at Balch & Bingham, vowed to fight Newsome to the death.
Sadly, Baker died in 2020.
Balch and the criminal enterprise stupidly wasted millions and lost tens of millions in fees to win a slam-dunk and corrupt judgment of $242,000 against Newsome.
Now the judgment and counterfeit order used to trample Newsome will play a leading role in the Civil RICO lawsuit against Balch, Southern Company, Matrix, and others.
Newsome won’t take it on the chin, not for himself or his clients.
Newsome’s determination for justice has not been hindered, not even by a criminal enterprise or a near-death, head-on car wreck.
And we, the CDLU, along with the public in general, energetically applaud Newsome’s perseverance.
Go, Burt, go!