Although Balch & Bingham would rather eat fried chicken legs than deal with the deplorable conduct the firm’s partners have allegedly engaged in, forced change is coming.
A civil RICO lawsuit on behalf of Burt Newsome could be filed on the eve of the sentencing of bought-and-paid-for-politician Oliver Robinson later this month, and the RICO suit could be devastating.
Just ask State Farm. As reported by Bloomberg yesterday:
State Farm agreed to pay $250 million on the brink of a trial to customers who claimed the company tried to rig the Illinois justice system to wipe out a $1 billion jury verdict from 19 years ago.The customers were seeking as much as $8.5 billion in damages in a civil racketeering trial that was set to start Tuesday in federal court in East St. Louis, Illinois.
And Reuters’ insightful, in depth coverage shows the use of dark money and political connections:
The amended complaint attached as an exhibit to the State Farm settlement agreement alleges that the insurer installed a hand-picked justice on the Illinois Supreme Court by leveraging its influence over – and financial contributions to – nonprofits like the U.S. Chamber and the Illinois Civil Justice League, which, in turn, pushed Lloyd Karmeier to a seat on the state high court in 2004. The following year, Justice Karmeier sided with four other state justices to overturn a billion-dollar judgment against State Farm. The RICO complaint alleges a quid pro quo between the justice and his insurance-company patrons.
Does anyone question that Balch & Bingham has enormous control over the judicial system in Alabama?
Who else could snap their fingers and create a secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber like Balch can?
Whose “dark money” was funneled to Judge Carole Smitherman and her husband State Senator Rodger Smitherman via PACs and dubious contributions?
Balch leaders, partners, and decision makers must change course or face the inevitable consequences.
Again, just ask State Farm.