We have learned in recent days that Southern Company officials tend to become deceptive when faced with thorny issues that could affect the firm's stock price. (See here and here.) What about Balch & Bingham, the Birmingham-based law firm that often represents Southern Company. Recently discovered documents indicate Balch lawyers also can get shaky with the truth, even in a court of law.
Those documents come from The Newsome Conspiracy Case, a scheme where several parties allegedly conspired to frame Shelby County attorney Burt Newsome for a crime (menacing) and then use the criminal charge to swipe a chunk of his banking practice. K.B. Forbes provides details at banbalch.com, under the banner of the CDLU public charity and advocacy group. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU, writes under the headline "Liar, Liar, Balch on Fire!":
The genesis of this blog was the Newsome Conspiracy Case and now a key defense in the case has been confirmed as a lie.
Repeatedly, under oath and in court pleadings, Balch & Bingham lawyers alleged they did not know who Alfred W. Seier III was.
Al Seier was the individual who pulled a gun on Burt Newsome in 2012, and declared vulgarly, “This is last time you are going to f*** with my wife!”
Newsome had spearheaded a legal collection effort against Seier’s wife Sharon Lawson.
In 2018, we uncovered explosive evidence that Balch had indeed interacted with Al Seier at least six months before the Newsome Conspiracy Case started.
We wrote at the time:
According to these public records, Alfred Seier was one of three initial members of a company called Southshore Development, LLC. Alfred Seier, who pulled a gun on Burt Newsome in January of 2012, is the late brother of alleged co-conspirator Claiborne Seier, an attorney who was handling his brother’s affairs.
And who did Southshore Development, LLC interact with in 2010 to amend their mortgage? Balch & Bingham.
And who did Southshore Development, LLC interact with in July of 2011 to provide a full release of the mortgage? Balch & Bingham.
Forbes shows that Balch unquestionably knew quite a bit about Al Seier. That means the lawyers' statements in open court amount to a -- to put it delicately -- a crock:
While Balch may not have known who the principals of Southshore Development, LLC were, they indeed knew who Al Seier was, according to new evidence.
Eight months after Newsome had filed suit against Sharon Lawson, Balch filed suit against Al Seier as an individual on behalf of Compass Bank in a complicated collection effort.
Do the false statements, coming from Balch lawyers as officers of the court, amount to fraud on the court -- interfering with "the mchinery of justice"? If so, what impact could that have on The Newsome Conspiracy Case?
Those will be questions worth pondering in the days ahead.