To defend the indefensible by calling the overt suppression of African-Americans “routine legal services” is economic racism.
More indictments are expected today from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham in the Robinson Bribery Case and a partner (or more according to our sources) at Balch & Bingham will be indicted.
[Update: As our sources correctly told us, two Balch partners were indicted: Joel Gilbert and Steven McKinney. Full coverage here.]
Calling his client’s actions “routine legal services,” Jack Sharman, a partner at Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC and attorney for Balch partner Joel Gilbert tried to get in front of the story when his spin doctor released a statement last night:
“Joel Gilbert is innocent of these charges. He did not bribe anyone. Everything he did while representing that client was lawful and ethical. He is a longtime partner at a leading law firm. A lawyer with a reputation for honesty and integrity, he did what is routine for good counselors to do for corporate and individual clients every day–he engaged a consultant through a written contract to perform real and lawful services.”
Sorry Jack! Funneling $360,000 to a bank account to an entity set up in Delaware to allegedly send lucrative bribes to a corrupt Alabama politician does not appear to be ethical or legal.
Sorry Jack! Gilbert is part of “leading law firm” Balch & Bingham currently under scrutiny in two federal probes. Since you are licensed in Mississippi, maybe you can help Balch with their troubles there.
A written contract to do what, Jack? Suppress poor African-Americans from getting their toxic and contaminated property tested?
Sorry Jack! But the “real and lawful services” of economic and environmental racism are repugnant, disgusting, and an aberration of what we hold dear.
As the Balch partner gears up to fight this damaging indictment with the a professional public relations flack instead of contrition, we hope the U.S. Attorney will look at Balch & Bingham’s conduct in the Newsome Conspiracy Case, whose secret and unknown proceedings are happening in a Star Chamber, set up by a questionable judge who took over $15,000 in “contributions” from a political action committee funded in part by Balch partners.
On top of that, we hope their largest client, Southern Company and their subsidiaries, will dump Balch & Bingham. To defend the indefensible by calling the overt suppression of African-Americans “routine legal services” is economic racism.
We wonder if Joel Gilbert or anyone at Balch has ever driven through the North Birmingham CERLA/Superfund area. We have. (Picture above).
Joel Gilbert has the education, the skills, the experience, the conscience to have known better. He should drive up to 35th Avenue and see what his “real and lawful services” did to the poor African-Americans in that community.