Balch & Bingham lost half of their paying D.C. lobbying clients in recent months. On top of that, a 20-year veteran at Balch & Bingham, William F. Stiers, left the firm last week.
Besides the federal indictments and two ongoing federal probes what else is sinking Balch’s reputation? The Star Chamber.
Foolishly, Balch partner Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr., at the height of public scrutiny and the aftermath of Oliver Robinson’s plea deal, pushed for the sealing of the Newsome Conspiracy Case where all proceedings are now held in secret with no public information or access available.
The Star Chamber is being run by Judge Carole Smitherman who received over $15,000 in contributions from the political action committee BIZPAC, funded in part by Balch partners, including Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr. who donated thousands.
So the donor to BIZPAC was appearing before the recipient of BIZPAC? Wow!
Is that conflict-of-interest at its worse? Is that an extension of the alleged criminal conspiracy against Burt Newsome?
When will the management team at Balch end all the shenanigans and foolishness? After the indictments of two partners, Balch implied they were going to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct.
Why then is the Star Chamber still in existence?
Will it take more hemorrhaging, more partners to leave the firm to bring a change?
Near the time William F. Stiers joined Balch 20 years ago, the movie Titanic was all the rage. Can you envision Schuyler and Judge Smitherman singing Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On?