Punishing a “clandestine scheme” to copycat electronic medical records software, a jury in Miami, Florida returned a $19.5 million verdict against a Balch & Bingham client, ZenCharts, LLC according to Law.com
A stunning blow, the $19.5 million verdict is another setback for the embattled law firm of Balch & Bingham which has seen indictments, a criminal conviction, and exodus of partners in the past two years.
The verdict comes days after the firm appointed a veteran DC insider to help their Washington, D.C. operations. Balch has lost 17 of their major 18 D.C. lobbying clients in the past two years.
But the whopping $19.5 million verdict appears to have eclipsed the move to rehabilitate the firm.
Represented by a Balch & Bingham team of lawyers (Charles Brumby, Geremy Gregory, Walter Boone, Kye Handy and Adam Israel, pictured above), ZenCharts, LLC “ripped off [Kipu’s] electronic medical records system by reverse engineering it,” according to a news story on Law.com.
Law.com reports the details:
ZenCharts denied copying and argued their product was nothing but healthy competition. But Spuches [Kipu’s attorney] reminded jurors that the defendants had previously tried and failed to create an EMR system.
“We’ve got a good deal of competitors now, and that’s fine. We’re not suing them,” Spuches said. “This is not a case about competition. It’s a case about unfair competition.”
ZenCharts also noted its system was written in a different computer language. But that didn’t matter, the way Rodriguez [another Kipu attorney] saw it.
“It’s kind of like if you read a book, and you’re reading the book in English, and you copy it word for word but you write it down in Spanish,” Rodriguez said. “You’re still copying, even if you’re using a different language, right?”
Jurors found the defendants had breached its agreement with Kipu and awarded $19.5 million in damages….
Clandestine schemes? Messing with competitors unfairly?
Sounds like a perfect fit for Balch & Bingham.
Just ask the African-American residents of North Birmingham, the leaders of Birmingham environmental group GASP, or Balch’s competitor Burt Newsome who was targeted in an alleged “staged arrest.”
Or how about ex-Drummond executive Dave Roberson who was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Balch & Bingham claims it “owed no duty” to Roberson, not even to tell him the truth.
Neither in English or Spanish.