Can the situation get any worse for Balch & Bingham?
The Town Council of Orange Park, Florida has rejected a bid from the law firm. Not a single council member voted for Balch, one of three firms contending to provide legal services to the town, according to local news reports.
Worse, Patrick Krechowski, a Balch partner, “said that the majority of services for Balch & Bingham would be covered under a flat fee…”
A flat fee for a law firm with over 200 attorneys? Unheard of!
Could Balch be so desperate or in such bad financial shape that they are no longer billing hourly?
We heard of the alleged financial troubles at the firm when Balch partner William “Bo” Lineberry committed suicide last year by brutally hanging himself.
The firm’s toxic reputation is tied to multiple factors including the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal in which poor, African American children and their families were targeted in a bribery scheme born at the offices of Balch & Bingham. Once-esteemed Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert is currently serving a five-year prison term because of his involvement in the bribery and money laundering scheme.
Lineberry, incredibly, was the attorney who incorporated the entity in which the bribes were laundered through.
Chase T. Espy, another ex-Balch attorney, is serving an eight-year prison term for possession of kiddie porn. He was arrested in 2021 by local authorities for soliciting a child for sex online, and because of our outreach to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Espy was investigated and later indicted in 2022 for possession of kiddie porn.
Numerous clients and money-making partners have fled the embattled firm. Known as the sister-wife of Southern Company, Balch has even seen the utility reduce their workload.
With two convicted ex-attorneys currently sitting in federal prison, who would want to have Balch, an apparent third-party risk, as their counsel of record?
Let us not only remember that Blacks and children were victims of Balch’s alleged misconduct, but also the elderly.
Balch partner Amy Davis was recorded by 88-year-old Joann Bashinsky (Mrs. B) telling Mrs. B that she could lose her house (even though it was paid off) if she didn’t allow Balch and others to represent her interests.
Mrs. B was worth a whopping $218 million, and that appears to be why Balch and others wanted to control the elderly woman and her assets. The alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal is one of the many aspects that appears to have damaged Balch’s reputation and created an unsustainable third-party risk.
In recent months, other law firms have picked-off top partners from Balch, and insiders claim that Balch maybe bought out by Bradley or another firm.
With flat fees, green-behind-the-ears attorneys, and minimal bonuses, Balch could be in an irreversible death spiral.