This post originally posted on February 6, 2018. Now with the aftermath of the conviction of Balch & Bingham partner Joel I. Gilbert, we have updated the post in purple. We, the CDLU, continue to visit regularly with the North Birmingham community.
The institutional racism in North Birmingham is real. With a population that is 92.5% African-American, the criminal actions by convicted Balch & Bingham partner Joel I. Gilbert is repugnant.
As we now have visited the neighborhoods in North Birmingham multiple times, we took a look at Mountain Brook, the elite enclave where many of Balch & Bingham’s partners live. Mountain Brook is 97.2% White.
There is no Starbucks in North Birmingham, only trash dumped illegally in the community (pictured above).
At times neglected, filled with poverty, scattered with abandoned homes, and surrounded by the smell of industrial waste, what North Birmingham does offer is good, moral people of faith.
Another alleged Balch adversary is Burt Newsome, a gentleman we did not know 22 months ago. He comes from blue-collar roots, working multiple jobs while studying his way through Troy University. After graduating and working at a bank for several years, he saw that outside attorneys were the second highest expenditures at banks.
Newsome decided to enroll in law school, taking night law classes as he continued to work at the bank during the day. He passed the bar and worked diligently with banking clients, saving and making banks millions. He was a self-made success story.
Clark A. Cooper, the alleged mastermind of the Newsome Conspiracy Case and former Balch & Bingham partner who was fired last March 3, 2017 lives in Mountain Brook and is the son of a respected attorney, N. Lee Cooper of the powerful Alabama law firm that bears his name, Maynard, Cooper & Gale. Cooper is now selling mattresses.
Newsome and his family have suffered tremendously from the shenanigans that Cooper allegedly spearheaded back in 2013. Newsome’s false arrest occurred just weeks after his wife gave birth prematurely to a set of twins. And in the past month, his wife’s car was broken into and his family was sent a threatening package.
But Newsome is a good, moral person of faith.
Even with a complete blackout of the case for over one year, we feel justice will eventually prevail if not in the Star Chamber of Jefferson County, then on appeal or in federal court (RICO).
The partners at Balch, across their footprint, must stand for good, moral conduct and rise up. The loud footsteps of 10 money-making partners that left Balch after bonuses were paid last January is indicative of an institutional problem, a grave institutional problem.
And now that revelations have come out that convicted Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert and his cronies targeted poor black children in an effort to discourage their parents from having their toxic and contaminated property tested by the EPA, the grave institutional problem has morphed into an abhorrent and embarrassing blemish on the entire legal profession.