[Originally posted on November 22, 2017, this prophetic post anticipated the departure of Balch & Bingham partners and attorneys (now about a dozen publicly known). Yesterday, Sedgwick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.]
With the news that the large San Francisco-based law firm Sedgwick is shutting its doors in January, the good, professional, and ethical partners at Balch & Bingham may be wondering if it is time to bail out from Balch.
Top Balch Washington D.C. lobbyist William F. Stiers left earlier this month. Maybe the Atlanta office will bail next.
Two outstanding Balch partners in Atlanta have been fighting alleged self-dealing corruption against an”Atlanta attorney accused of using his position as a special prosecutor to force businesses to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets from which he then allegedly drew his fees.”
According to The Daily Report, Balch partners Christopher Anulewicz and Mike Bowers (a former Georgia Attorney General) “contend that [Michael] Lambros uses his special prosecutorial authority and the threat of prosecution to orchestrate the surrender of defendants’ assets and that a court-ordered review of his escrow account records shows that Lambros paid his fees and costs from forfeiture settlements only after they were deposited in his firm escrow account. That, they argued, constituted an illegal contingency fee.”
Unlike their Balch counterparts in Birmingham that lied about the CDLU and then created a secretive Star Chamber to allegedly hide what appears to be unethical or possible criminal acts in the Newsome Conspiracy Case, Anulewicz and Bowers are fighting against corruption and injustice.
Unlike their Balch counterparts in Mississippi that redacted invoices and acknowledged over billing the state for travel expenses in an ongoing federal probe, Anulewicz and Bowers are taking on “sloppy” esrow bookeeping and what looks like shady financial arrangements.
Unlike their Balch partners in Birmingham that spearheaded an alleged $360,000 bribery scheme to suppress African-Americans from having their contaminated and toxic property tested by the EPA, Anulewicz and Bowers are challenging a siting judge directly who was only appointed this past February.
Instead of defending the indefensible and constantly protecting the questionable actions of Teri T. Wyly, Clark A. Cooper (who was fired in March), Joel Gilbert, Steve McKinney, or Shuyler Allen Baker, Jr., Balch should be conducting a top-to-bottom review, throwing the bad apples out with the trash, and publicly settling and apologizing for their alleged egregious behavior, be it in North Birmingham, Mississippi, or the Newsome Conspiracy Case.
If not, the birth of Anulewicz & Bowers, LLP will become a harsh and unpleasant reality. Just ask the partners at Sedgwick.