The legal community can now see in the sunshine the awful, scurrilous, low-class, below the belt tactics that a Balch partner allegedly engaged in to try to steal a competitor’s business.
Low-class or no class?
Balch & Bingham partner Clark A. Cooper, who was abruptly fired on March 3, 2017 by the embattled law firm, appears to have been the spearhead of the conspiracy that targeted and defamed Burt Newsome, a successful attorney who serviced banks, in an alleged attempt to steal his business.
The defamation occurred after a staged arrest in which Newsome’s mugshot was allegedly distributed via email to several bank executives on a Saturday afternoon by Cooper.
[Update: More Unsavory Conduct Exposed]
According to Newsome’s appellate brief filed with the Alabama Supreme Court, Cooper looks like a habitual liar who tells half-truths and contradicts his own testimonials:
Cooper’s Knowledge: The Contradictions. In an unsworn “affidavit” (Cooper does not swear as to the truth of statements contained therein) dated August 12, 2015, Cooper asserted that he first learned of Newsome’s arrest on Saturday, May 4, 2013: “On May 4, 2013, I learned that Newsome had been arrested, and … [t]he same day, I forwarded the photograph to my friend [bank executive] Brian Hamilton.”(C.1485) In a sworn deposition on May 25, 2017, Cooper asserted that he first learned of Newsome’s arrest “on a Thursday [the day of Newsome’s arrest] or a Friday.” (Supp.2454) In another unsworn “affidavit dated March 11, 2016,” Cooper asserted that he learned of Newsome’s “arrest by viewing Newsome’s mug shot, which is publicly available on the Internet.”(C. 2304)
In his sworn deposition, Cooper told yet another different story. He learned of Newsome’s arrest from Kristy Hardy, a paralegal for Balch & Bingham.(Supp.2453,2454) “She sent [him] a copy of it … or maybe she printed it.” (Supp.2455) Balch’s corporate representative testified that Cooper’s emails were all acceptable to Balch, and they did not violate any Balch policy.(Supp.3798)
The Newsome Conspiracy Case was sealed in its entirety by Balch stooge Judge Carole Smitherman in August of 2017 shortly after Newsome’s legal team received phone records from AT&T showing that a single cellular phone number linked all of the co-conspirators together, even though all of them declared they did not know each other.
Newsome’s appellate brief lays out the calls from the burner cell phone to Clark A. Cooper and the other co- conspirators:
December 19, 2012: The Calls. The day after Newsome was ordered to attend a hearing in Ashville (November 15, 2012) 205-410-1494 called Seier once and Cooper twice; the following day (November 16, 2012), 205-410-1494 called Seier three times.(C.5968) In the four days before the Bullock-Newsome incident (12/15/12 to 12/18/12), 205-410-1494 called Cooper 10 times.(C.5969) The day of the Bullock-Newsome incident (December 19, 2012), 205-410-1494 called Cooper 4 times – for almost 10 minutes.(C.5969) In the three days before Bullock signed the arrest warrant (1/11/13 to 1/13/13), 205-410-1494 called Cooper seven times – for over 40 minutes.(C.5970)
January 14, 2013: The Calls. The day Bullock signed the arrest warrant (January 14, 2013), 205-410-1494 called both Cooper and Seier.(C.5970) The day after Bullock signed the arrest warrant (January 15, 2013), 205-410-1494 called both Cooper and Seier – talking to Cooper for over 15 minutes.(C.5970)
January 30, 2013: Cooper’s Solicitation. On January 30, 2013 – approximately two weeks later — Clark Cooper emailed Brian Hamilton of IberiaBank, soliciting employment in a case where Newsome was representing Iberia: “I see Bert Newsome has filed a claim for Iberia against Print One. Is there anything you recommend I do to assist me in obtaining more files from Iberia?”(C.257) Balch’s corporate representative found this solicitation acceptable: “There is nothing that offends me as a partner at Balch & Bingham about this email sent by Clark to Brian Hamilton.”(Supp.3795)
May 2, 2013: Newsome’s Arrest. On May 2, 2013, Newsome was stopped for speeding, and he was arrested on the menacing warrant. He was photographed, booked, and placed in the Shelby County jail, where he remained until his secretary arrived and posted his bond.(Supp.3203)
May 2, 2013: The Call from Seier. Shortly after Newsome was released and returned to his office, the defendant Claiborne Seier called Newsome at his office for no apparent reason. (Supp.3195-3199)
May 2, 2013: The Calls. The day of Newsome’s [staged] arrest (May 2, 2013), 205-410-1494 called Seier 2 times, and it called Cooper 5 times – for almost 20 minutes. The first call was placed at 1:59, within two hours after Newsome’s release from jail. (C.5971) The day after Newsome’s [staged] arrest (May 3, 2013), 205-410-1494 called Cooper 7 times, and it called a phone number owned by Bullock 1 time. (C.5971)
May 4, 2013: The Calls. The day Cooper sent the defamatory email and Newsome’s mug shot email to [bank executive] Brian Hamilton (May 4, 2013),  205-410-1494 called Cooper 5 times;  205-410-1494 called Sharyn Lawson (Alfred Seier’s widow) or her son 2 times – for over 40 minutes, and  205-410-1494 called Seier once.(C.5972)
So who perjured whom, or should we ask, who perjured first?
Although there maybe “nothing that offends” Balch & Bingham’s executive leadership, the legal community can now see in the sunshine the awful, scurrilous, low-class, below the belt tactics that a Balch partner allegedly engaged in to try to steal a competitor’s business.
And yet some blind buffoons at Balch still cannot accept the fact that a federal civil RICO suit will be coming shortly after the Alabama Supreme Court makes a decision on this appeal. Time Balch finally got off the throne, their high horse and put this embarrassing case behind them.
[Update: More Unsavory Conduct Exposed]