Category Archives: Secret Star Chamber

The Vow that Killed Balch & Bingham and Alleged Conspirators

When the illustrious Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr., General Counsel of Balch & Bingham, vowed in 2017 that he would “fight to the death” before resolving the Newsome Conspiracy Case, he was affirming what Claiborne Seier (above, left) allegedly vowed to Burt Newsome in 2012: Newsome would be destroyed for pursuing a criminal case against Seier’s brother Alfred Seier, who pulled a gun on Newsome.

In October of 2020, Baker died.

Now, late last month, Claiborne Seier died.

Balch justified their actions against Newsome by claiming in court documents that Balch had the right to “ruin a rival.”

Instead, Balch ruined themselves.

Eventually, with a rigged, compromised, and corrupt judicial branch, Balch, Claiborne, and others won a $242,000 judgment against Newsome.

King Baker

But Balch lost 18 of 18 top clients and lost income in the aggregate of up to $100 million.

Top money-making attorneys and legacy partners have left Balch these past 5 years, apparently destroying specific practice groups.

Yet, Balch stupidly appears to slap itself on the back for “beating” Newsome in an unconstitutional and secretive Star Chamber.

Mark A. Crosswhite, the disgraced ex-CEO of Alabama Power, foolishly bit the forbidden fruit when the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, Joe Perkins allegedly told him falsely that we, the CDLU, had received enormous amounts of resources to attack Southern Company and its subsidiaries.

The $2 million grant the CDLU received in 2019 (which had nothing to do with Balch & Bingham, Alabama Power, Matrix or their competitors) caused them to defecate rainbows. ?

The grant was related to our two decades of healthcare and consumer protection advocacy.

But the smear artists, hired whores, and envelope journalists did not care.

The lie worked and Southern Company foolishly spent millions in surveillance efforts, fear and intimidation tactics, and a smear campaign against us, the CDLU, and Newsome.

Some of these acts included criminal misconduct and felonies.

Crosswhite, the “most powerful man in Alabama, ” was ousted in November.

And now another alleged conspirator has died.

Another carcass joins the disgraced pile of stooges, cronies, consultants, and fools who drank the Kool-aid or bit the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Balch-landia.

Surreal some may say. Surreal.

After Suicide, National Media and Feds Zero in on Alleged Obstruction and “Criminal Concealment;” RICOs Coming?

The federal statute of limitations for obstruction of justice is five years. The timing of the alleged federal investigation makes sense. The statute would expire the summer of 2023.

Suicide. Resignations. Internal turmoil. Corporate strife.

Since November, Birmingham is seeing what appears to be the collapse of the house of marked cards allegedly propped up by the deep resources of Alabama Power. The Three Stooges (Balch & Bingham, Drummond, and Alabama Power) have seen their dominance stumble.

High-level sources told us in late October that allegedly Mark A. Crosswhite, the Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power and a former partner at embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, was an alleged target of an obstruction investigation.

Photos from December show a disheveled Crosswhite who appears to be despondent.

Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon resigned along allegedly with two Assistant U.S. Attorneys earlier this month, while Balch partner Bo Lineberry committed suicide last week.

What enormous pressure and worry caused Lineberry to end his life? Was he facing unbearable consequences? Was there an offer on the table that was too brutal for Lineberry to accept?

Seasoned law enforcement authorities tell us the Lineberry suicide spoke volumes about the depth and seriousness of the alleged federal probe.

Now national media are focused on the alleged unsavory and criminal misconduct and alleged abuse of power surrounding the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama once run by disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town who resigned in 2020.

Concurrently, federal investigators are allegedly looking at obstruction of justice and accusations of “criminal concealment.”

In what looked like sheer panic with the rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal, the illustrious Mark White, Mark Crosswhite’s go-to criminal attorney, fumbled the ball and showed how concealment appears to be part and parcel of the work product and a standard operating procedure of the Three Stooges and their hired guns.

As we reported about the “Tale of Two Marks” in January of 2021:

[Alabama Power’s] team of attorneys at White, Arnold, & Dowd, led by white-collar criminal attorney Mark White, filed an avalanche of court pleadings in December [2020] at the courthouse in office, over the counter as if were 1950 not 2020. (We wonder if Mark White still uses a rotary phone, stencil duplicator, and Royal typewriter.)

The delay and “hiding the goods” tactic failed. The paper court pleadings were [immediately] scanned and uploaded by the clerk to Alacourt where we, the CDLU, were able to download them.

Concealment has been a consistent element.

  • Concealment was discover in January with Alabama Power’s multi-million-dollar secret contracts (no invoicing required) with obscure political consulting firm Matrix and its founder “Sloppy Joe” Perkins were exposed.
  • Attorneys for “Sloppy Joe” attempted to call the secret contracts “trade secrets” and sent worthless demand letters to an environmental group and blog that published the concealed million-dollar agreements.
  • Allegations of non-disclosure and concealed indemnity agreements tied to Alabama Power and Balch have swirled since 2017.
  • Absolute concealment was achieved when ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil lawsuit was sealed in its entirety in the Winter of 2021 in an attempt to hide alleged criminal misconduct. The secretive Star Chamber does not allow anyone to follow or read proceedings in the case.
  • The conservative Alabama Supreme Court reinstated Balch as a defendant in Roberson’s civil case this past February. Bloomberg reported that Balch must face fraud claims due to “misrepresention and concealment.”
  • Balch terminated an alleged pedophile months before he was arrested for soliciting a child online. Ex-Balch attorney Chase T. Espy had worked at the embattled firm for eight years. He then went on to work briefly for Alabama Governor Kay Ivey when he was arrested and immediately fired last August. What caused Balch to fire Espy? What did Balch conceal from the public and the governor regarding Espy?
Mark White

The biggest concealment appears to be Alabama Power’s alleged secret deal during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial in which the company was “unmentionable” during the trial and criminal defense attorneys allegedly had to clear any mention of Alabama Power with Mark White.

The federal statute of limitations for obstruction of justice is five years. The timing of the alleged federal investigation makes sense. The trial happened in July of 2018. The statute would expire the summer of 2023.

Now Alabama Power and their sister-wife Balch & Bingham appear to have even bigger issues coming.

If obstruction of justice indictments are handed down and/or alleged criminal information is disclosed related to the alleged federal probe and the Matrix Meltdown, expect a federal civil RICO lawsuit or two against Balch, Alabama Power, and others.

The first civil RICO lawsuit will be based on the Newsome Conspiracy Case, a travesty of justice in which an innocent man, Burt Newsome, was allegedly targeted, falsely arrested, and defamed by Balch in an attempt to steal his law practice providing legal services to banks.

Newsome was arrested by a cop who was the son of a now-retired Alabama Power executive. Ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town allegedly blocked four investigations related to the Newsome Conspiracy Case.

Another, separate civil RICO lawsuit could be filed on behalf of “fall guy”and ex-Drummond executive David Roberson.

Either way, the Three Stooges and their defenders are exposed in the open no matter how many concealed deals, secret smear campaigns, or Star Chambers they create.

Half-Decade Old, Fights for Inherent Goodness

We simply cannot believe that is five-years old as of last Friday.

A half-decade later, our website is a success because of you, our dear readers, and the incompetent and foolish leadership at Balch & Bingham and Alabama Power which arrogantly dismissed the need for an examination of conscience, apologies, and internal reform.

Although this site started with the Newsome Conspriracy Case, (and was quite plain and boring), Balch’s self-inflicted wounds mushroomed our reporting and advocacy.

Hit head-on: September 11, 2020

Five years later, Burt Newsome is more successful as an attorney, and highly respected for fighting for his livelihood while protecting his family from the alleged criminal and egregious misconduct of his unknown enemies. Even though he suffered a broken leg and grave injuries in a highly unusual head-on collision, “Iron-man” Newsome came back stronger than ever.

People have had enough of the bullying and lopsided favoritism by powerful interests in Alabama.

While the Newsome Conspiracy Case and Roberson Civil Case are sealed and hidden in secretive Star Chambers, eventually federal RICO suits could be filed that will open the pandora’s box.

More importantly is the alleged ongoing federal probe of Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham, the Matrix Meltdown, and others, allegedly over the obstruction of justice.

Sources tell us that the probe could branch into the alleged cover-up of former Balch attorney and accused pedophile Chase T. Espy, the alleged Elderly Abuse Scandal, and/or the Mississippi Rental Assistance Debacle.

And disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town’s alleged misconduct in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial and Newsome Conspiracy Case may have spurred the probe.

We, the CDLU, will continue to write, advocate, and reach out to law enforcement, congressional investigators, federal regulators, and investigative journalists.

Inherent goodness shall prevail.

RICO, Actors, and Staged Events

[This post originally was published on October 22, 2018 before Alabama Power was linked to the staged arrest of Burt Newsome or the filing of ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil suit. The Crosswhite Scandal (alleged imdemnity deals and secret million-dollar contracts) and the ever-growing Matrix Meltdown appear to have spurred a federal investigation. The actors, paid agents, and smear artists serving as apologists to Alabama Power and/or Balch & Bingham have only amplified the alleged insidious and corrupt misconduct. Now in 2022, Crosswhite has done nothing to cut ties with Balch. The secret $2.5 million in contracts with Matrix without the need of detailed invoices is a financial embarrassment. Crosswhite should be fired or forced to resign or retire.]

In June [2018], we wrote about the explosive allegations about hired actors used to testify in public hearings on behalf of an electric utility in New Orleans.

Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham’s top client  run by former Balch & Bingham partners, used a consulting firm tied to the scandal. The consulting firm denied ever hiring actors to attend public meetings on behalf of Alabama Power.

Responding to the weasel-worded denial by Alabama Power’s consultants, Hawthorn Group, we asked two hardball questions:

  1. Were actors ever hired for any other purpose (besides attending meetings) on behalf of Alabama Power?
  2. Has any other “third-party” vendor of Alabama Power ever engaged in conduct to create AstroTurf campaigns and bogus testimonials?

We followed-up the next day with a post about bogus environmentalists who were hired actors and, in a separate matter, how Balch & Bingham was hired in an alleged smear campaign.

We wrote at the time, “A coming crisis is truly on the horizon.”

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times had a well-written piece of journalism about one of the entities involved in the “hired actors scandal” from June: Crowds on Demand.

The Los Angeles Times writes:

Crowds on Demand, a Beverly Hills firm that’s an outspoken player in the business of hiring protesters, boasts on its website that it provides its clients with “protests, rallies, flash-mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts.… We provide everything including the people, the materials and even the ideas.”

The company has hired actors to lobby the New Orleans City Council on behalf of a power plant operator, protest a Masons convention in San Francisco and act like supportive fans and paparazzi at an L.A. conference for life coaches.

But according to a lawsuit filed by a Czech investor, Crowds on Demand also takes on more sordid assignments. Zdenek Bakala claims the firm has been used to run an extortion campaign against him.

Bakala has accused Prague investment manager Pavol Krupa of hiring Crowds on Demand to pay protesters to march near his home in Hilton Head, S.C., and to call and send emails to the Aspen Institute and Dartmouth College, where Bakala serves on advisory boards, urging them to cut ties to him. Bakala alleges that Krupa has threatened to continue and expand the campaign unless Bakala pays him $23 million.

Bakala’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in South Carolina, also alleges violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, a law originally intended to target organized crime syndicates. Bakala alleges Krupa, [Crowds on Demand founder Adam] Swart and Crowds on Demand have violated that law by participating in an extortion scheme against him.

In the Newsome Conspiracy Case, like Bakala, an innocent but successful person was targeted and defamed.

According to the 44 retaliatory orders, the Queen of the Star Chamber, Judge Carole Smitherman, had all of the co-conspirators’ “costs taxed against” Newsome.

Railroaded by an alleged criminal conspiracy that abused and manipulated the Alabama judicial system, the civil RICO case, currently being carefully and meticulously drafted on behalf of Newsome, may show how the “costs taxed against” Newsome appears to be nothing more than a form of extortion.

Alabama Power, whose parent company Southern Company tried to tell us had nothing to do with the Newsome Conspiracy Case, donated $2,500 to Judge Smitherman’s husband, State Senator Rodger Smitherman in July of last year, and another $2,000 this past May.

The incestuous, sister-wife relationship between Balch & Bingham and Alabama Power has existed for almost a century.

Soon the misdeeds, actors, and staged events will be exposed.

Mark Crosswhite, the CEO of Alabama Power, who took the lead to reform the Business Council of Alabama, will have to rise above the loyalty to his former firm and end this miscarriage of justice once and for all.

Looking Like Fools on the Path of No Return

We have reviewed the 149 letters of support during ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s sentencing hearing and nothing compares to psychiatrist Mark J. Mills who evaluated Roberson and wrote:

In more than thirty years of full-time forensic practice, I have evaluated
nearly 1000 criminal litigants for both the prosecution and the defense (and many civil litigants); unsurprisingly, most were guilty (as determined at trial or plea), some were psychotic, some cognitively impaired, some terminally ill, some intoxicated and some malingering. A few were innocent as determined at trial and a very few, less than a handful, well less than one percent, were fine individuals whose lives contributed greatly to those around them. Insofar as I can tell, Mr. Roberson is that all-too-rare criminal litigant, an honorable man, wrongfully convicted.

In 2018, Drummond Company vowed to stick by “wrongfully convicted” and esteemed executive David Roberson after his criminal conviction.

Six months later, Drummond foolishly reversed course, fired Roberson and reneged funding his charity of choice, a school for autistic children.

Blake Andrews

Did Balch or a drag queen wrongly advise Drummond that the coal company was off the hook after six-months when the Alabama Legal Services Act’s statute of limitations expired?

Did “confused” Drummond General Counsel Blake Andrews bite the hook, line, and $75 million sinker?

General Counsels appear to be looking like fools while taking the path of no return.

Balch & Bingham’s long-time General Counsel foolishly vowed to fight to the death before settling matters. After four long years of litigation, he died unexpectedly in October.

In those four years, Balch lost millions in revenue, saw the exodus of legacy and money-making partners, and watched as their once-highly respected reputation disintegrated.

Town and Crosswhite

Their closest ally and former Balch partner, Mark A. Crosswhite, the current CEO of Alabama Power, is now under pressure to retire or resign as questions mount about his alleged secret deal and inappropriate meeting with Jay E. Town.

Now observers ask, will Drummond Company continue to goose-step with Balch or will reason, common sense prevail? Will Drummond waltz away, far away from Balch’s tarnished record or will they let Drummond’s reputation disintegrate side-by-side Balch’s?

These are serious times with detrimental long-term effects.

Next month, a new President will enter office and has vowed to aggressively prosecute environmental crimes and tackle climate change head-on.

As The Washington Post reported:

Talks among Biden transition officials have also focused on environmental issues, perhaps signaling a more aggressive role for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, according to people familiar with those discussions. Biden’s campaign website vowed that he would establish a separate Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the agency and direct officials to pursue environmental cases “to the fullest extent permitted by law.” In the Trump administration, Biden’s campaign website noted, the Environmental Protection Agency referred the fewest number of criminal anti-polluting cases to the Justice Department in decades.

With the rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Case, Drummomd Company, Alabama Power, and Balch & Bingham must take a bird’s-eye view, not about today or even this month, but a year or two down the road.

Look at the recent past.

Balch may have rejoiced in 2017 when they created the unconstitutional Star Chamber during the Newsome Conspiracy Case, celebrated in 2018 when disgraced ex-U.S Attorney Jay E. Town shut down any further investigations in North Birmingham, slapped each other on the back in 2019 when Drummond fired Roberson, and popped champagne bottles when a judge ruled in Balch’s favor all based on a counterfeit order in the summer of 2019.

But now a severe hang-over has set in and Balch appears to be reeling.

Drummond on the other hand has lost both a motion to dismiss and an interlocutory appeal in the Roberson civil case. Drummond’s embarrassing act of cross-dressing like a law firm has caused great amusement in legal circles.

What other games will Drummond hopscotch to before their “confused” General Counsel realizes that these foolish tactics down the path of no return are creating greater scrutiny just in time for the new Biden Administration?

With Neon Lights Shining, Will Biden Administration Target Drummond Company?

For the almost four years that we have been advocating that Balch & Bingham reform themselves top to bottom, we have learned one truth: those closely associated with or defending Balch make the dumbest, most foolish, and poorest decisions at the worst time possible.

In the summer of 2017 at the height of two federal investigations of the embattled law firm, Balch stupidly decided to attack us, the CDLU, publicly and seal the entire Newsome Conspiracy Case in an unconstitutional and secretive Star Chamber.

Then there was disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town who foolishly chugged down cocktails with ex-Balch partner and Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite allegedly during or shortly after the indictment of Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert.

And now, today, to Drummond’s own detriment, the infamous “confused” general counsel at Drummond, Blake Andrews, appears to have put up a big, bright neon-sign saying “Look at Us” while ex-Drummond Executive David Roberson’s attorneys proceed to re-investigate the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal with an avalanche of discovery requests and video depositions.

Is this what Drummond Company’s Board of Directors truly wants? To be in the spotlight of the new Biden Administration which has vowed to make climate change and environmental justice top priorities?

The return of hard-charging Obama-era appointees at the EPA, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Department of Justice means that Drummond Company, which earns revenue from leasing out their properties and coal mines in the United States, may become a target and could suffer from severe scrutiny next year.

Balch stooge and ex-EPA official Trey Glenn has promised to sing like a bird. And some of the testimony could be devastating to Drummond.

The setting up of “Fall Guy” David Roberson has become an embarrassment. Allegedly when the first invoice came in from Balch to reimburse them for payment to the Oliver Robinson Foundation, the invoice was addressed to and mailed or emailed to Drummond’s General Counsel Blake Andrews.  

Instead of laying low, Drummond Company is foolishly ramping up more scrutiny, more questions, and adding more powerful lights to Andrews’ big, bright neon sign.

Drummond really needs to pull the plug.


The Roberson Family

Kings at Balch Lose Prestige Over Newsome Conspiracy Case

[This post originally appeared two years ago on September 26, 2018.  With a recently orchestrated campaign that has backfired horrendously, the dumb-as-rocks terrorization of  the wrong family, and the brain amputation of a once-respected journalist, Balch & Bingham defenders, boosters, and buffoons appear to have cost the firm more than prestige. With Burt Newsome almost killed and criminal acts on the rise, let us not be surprised when these same defenders, boosters, and buffoons sit around at a conference table wondering aloud,  filled with rage, “Where have all of Balch’s clients and partners gone?”]

We are still in disbelief that a defender of Balch & Bingham would irresponsibly compare the gross misconduct of targeting African-American children in North Birmingham to the atrocities of Nazis.

Have Balch spin doctors gone over the edge, lost their minds? 

Maybe the firm is suffering from an anxious work environment as clients appear to flee, some money-making partners have bailed, and Balch’s reputation appears to crumble.

How did the Kings at Balch & Bingham lose prestige?

The loss of prestige comes not only from the criminal convictions in the North Birmingham Bribery Case, but the questionable actions in the Newsome Conspiracy Case.

Let’s look at some hypothetical questions regarding other prestigious law firms in Birmingham:

Would Burr Forman have defended an alleged criminal conspiracy after firing the partner who spearheaded the scheme?

Would Bradley Arant have fought for a secretive Star Chamber after the co-conspirators allegedly funneled questionable campaign contributions to the judge and judge’s husband?

Would  Maynard, Cooper, & Gale be allegedly paying for the defense of the co-conspirators and condoning alleged obstruction of justice?

Would Lightfoot, Franklin & White risk a firm-crippling million-dollar civil RICO judgment rather than settling the matter?

Absolutely not!

The aforementioned law firms would never be involved in this kind of behavior in an alleged attempt to steal the business of a sole-practitioner nor would they litigate the matter for four six long and damaging years.

Prestige is earned by exemplifying inherent goodness and the highest professional standards.

Even the King of the Beaux Arts Krewe should understand that.

Public Rips Idiotic Defense of Balch & Bingham

We never, ever thought it was this bad for Balch.

The orchestrated public relations strategy of defending embattled law firm Balch & Bingham has backfired miserably and the public is ripping the idiotic defense of Balch.

Last week, anonymous sources tried to defend Balch’s indefensible conduct, in a 1,500 word piece in the Alabama Political Reporter that promoted our website, the first salvo of a new orchestrated campaign to try to save the embattled law firm.

But reaction by the public on social media has been unanimously against Balch.

That’s bad; real bad.

Here are just some of the blistering comments:

In 2018, immediately following the federal criminal conviction of Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert, supporters of Balch conducted an online media rehabilitation campaign that also flopped.

Balch supporters had Guy V. Martin, Jr.  publish an op-ed that was so bad, so poorly written,  we wrote about it in September of 2018:

[Martin] has the audacity to write that Balch & Bingham “set a high bar for ethical standards others envy.”

We’re sure no one, and we mean no oneenvies Balch-made millionaire and long time Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert’s “high bar:” a six-count criminal conviction and the prison term [of five years].

But the cherry on the whip cream is Martin’s conclusion:

But saying that everyone who wrote a letter or in any way touched the pushback against the EPA’s effort to expand the Superfund site is the moral equivalent of Nazis for poisoning the poor children of Tarrant is wrong, according to the Obama administration’s EPA’s testing.

Does Balch & Bingham truly want to be compared to Nazis by their own defenders?

Now we hear that Balch defenders are going to praise the Queen of the Star Chamber Judge Caroline Smitherman and her husband State Senator Rodger Smitherman who cashed in over $30,000 in campaign contributions linked to Balch or Balch allies during the height of the Newsome Conspiracy Case.

We remind our readers that Senator Smitherman sat in on the closed, secret Star Chamber proceedings when they were supposed to be, well, closed and secret.

What so violently irritates Balch right now and their mouthpieces?

The satirical photo mocking the alleged corruption of the judicial system with both Smithermans in prison pinstripes.

To the foolish and probably paid defenders of the alleged racist law firm, the satirical photo is, well, insensitive, racist, or worse.

On Saturday, we, the CDLU, were again visiting the North Birmingham community and speaking to local residents about environmental racism.

When we spoke about the Smithermans, the local residents are still outraged that Senator Smitherman receives big donations from groups or entities tied to local pollution, and that Judge Smitherman allowed the Jordan Scrapyard to proceed after her husband received a $2,000 campaign contribution from a law firm defending Jordan.

And now the fools orchestrating the Balch publicity campaign want to denounce us, the CDLU, and hope everyone in Alabama is talking about the photo of the Smithermans and the Newsome Conspiracy Case.

We hope so, too.

Concealed Smitherman Payment Jolts Investigators

When we discovered and wrote about the numerous campaign contributions to Judge Carole Smitherman’s husband, State Senator Rodger Smitherman, from entities linked to Balch & Bingham or the alleged co-conspirators in the Newsome Conspiracy Case during the height of the case, we strongly smelled corruption.

With the revelation that Senator Smitherman was sitting in on hearings of the secretive Star Chamber, we knew the situation had gone from bad to worse.

Now investigators have pointed out to us that the three contributions from NEW PAC—a political action committee run by a former Balch & Bingham attorney— to Senator Smitherman were actually two.

What caused the error?


NEW PAC, according to state records reviewed by investigators, made two $5,000 contributions to Senator Smitherman: On October 17, 2017 and November 20, 2017.

However, Senator Smitherman reported receiving the $5,000 contributions on October 25, 2017 and the second one on April 8, 2018.

Why did Smitherman wait almost five months to report the questionable contribution? What will court records show? Were corrupt official acts taking place in the secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber on or around November 20, 2017?

Investigators will find the answers.

Balch & Bingham’s leadership, more concerned about satirical cartoons than the firm’s unsavory behavior, may have more explaining to do, not only to investigators but infuriated partners.

Lying Balch & Bingham Cries Uncontrollably About

In their response to the Alabama Supreme Court appeal in the Newsome Conspiracy Case, Balch & Bingham dedicates several pages to a non-party in the case:

Unable to defend the indefensible in legal arguments, thin-skinned Balch & Bingham cries uncontrollably about and our reporting.

Like snake oil salesmen, Balch appears to show they are nothing more than a lying sack of marbles, falsely alleging that the we, the CDLU, and Burt Newsome are long time friends.

Next month marks the anniversary of the first time that we, the CDLU, met Burt Newsome at a charity event in 2016. When we heard his John Grisham-like story, like the public in general, we were in disbelief. We reached out to Balch initially in early January of 2017.

With absolutely no evidence, Balch falsely alleges that Newsome is funding our efforts—a blatant lie.

When the hospital industry attacked us in 2003 as a front-group for the Republican Party or insurance industry, we would always respond: CDLU takes no money from political parties, insurance companies, organized labor, and to prevent any other false conspiracies, the tobacco industry.

Balch & Bingham also lies by alleging that Newsome violated the secrecy of the Star Chamber proceedings. Like the general public, we, too, were in the dark for over 500 days.

We remind Balch that they, Balch & Bingham, reached out to us in August of 2018 before the Star Chamber was dismantled.

But what made Balch & Bingham go ballistic, truly ballistic, are our satirical cartoons.

Unbelievably, for the second time, the Alabama Supreme Court will be able to have a hearty laugh as they see Judge Carole Smitherman and Balch & Bingham’s Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr. singing a Celine Dion duet a la Titanic on the bow of the S.S. Balch & Bingham. Balch cut and pasted the cartoon in their reply.

Instead of arguing the legal merits of the case, Balch & Bingham’s 69-page reply appears to make a mockery of the Alabama legal system while providing a shining example of the alleged dishonesty of the embattled law firm.

Brutal: Balch Partner’s Phone Records, Contradictions Make Balch Look Low-Class

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), [1] 205-410-1494 called Cooper 5 times; [2] 205-410-1494 called Sharyn Lawson (Alfred Seier’s widow) or her son 2 times – for over 40 minutes, and [3] 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]

Removing Judge Carole Smitherman from the Bench

Judge Smitherman stupidly trusted Balch & Bingham, who allegedly have made her now look like the most corrupt, dumbest, and most worthless jurist in the State of Alabama.

Balch & Bingham’s trail of rotting carcasses may have one more soon: Judge Carole Smitherman.

A petition for the removal of Balch’s biggest stooge from the bench is a realistic option now that it is known she dispatched 44 retaliatory orders in the Newsome Conspiracy Case all based on a counterfeit order.

Judge Smitherman, who sealed the Newsome Conspiracy Case for over 500 days to allegedly hide criminal acts and perjury,  engaged in what appears to be judicial fraud.

She held the counterfeit order as the central pillar in a case, and demonstrated lop-sided bias for Balch & Bingham.

Entities linked to Balch & Bingham and the alleged co-conspirators in the Newsome Case funneled over $30,000 in campaign contributions to her and her husband, State Senator Rodger Smitherman. Shockingly, the Senator sat in on numerous secret hearings of the Star Chamber, where the Newsome Conspiracy Case was heard.

Judge Smitherman stupidly trusted Balch & Bingham, who allegedly have made her now look like the most corrupt, dumbest, and most worthless jurist in the State of Alabama.

We understand many top clients and money-making partners have fled from Balch.

Will judges and Balch’s closest allies now begin to turn away from, flee Balch’s alleged low-class conduct?

Sharper Focus on Alabama Power

[Yesterday, our Monday traffic broke a year-high record as readers read our post about the Scary Canary and allegations of bribes for official acts on government letterhead.The post below was originally published on November 26, 2018 and focused on Southern Company. Now that CEO Tom Fanning has brilliantly distanced Southern Company from Balch & Bingham, the same questions arise about their wholly-owned subsidiary, Alabama Power and its CEO Mark Crosswhite. Changes to the post are in purple.]

When we, the CDLU, took on the powerful hospital sector for price gouging uninsured families, some hospitals arrogantly called us irrelevant, unknown, unimportant.

After spurring three U.S. Congressional investigations (including the one pictured above) and numerous federal, state, and local probes, hospitals began to reach out to us to put the ugly chapter behind them—a complete reversal.

In October, Alabama Power, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company, was directly linked to the Newsome Conspiracy Case, the legal debacle allegedly spearheaded by Clark A. Cooper,  a partner at Balch & Bingham who was eventually fired and is now selling mattresses.

We briefed Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, with the ugly details in an email in October of 2018.

Is Southern Company going to investigate the mess or,  in truth, does the alleged abuse under the authority of color open too many skeletons?

After the conviction of ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert in July, many people felt that more individuals should have been indicted in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.

The move a little over two weeks ago by the Jefferson County Grand Jury to indict Balch stooges Scott Phillips and Trey Glenn demonstrates that the investigations are not over.

Our conversations, meetings, and exchanges with U.S. congressional staff, media, Wall Street analysts, and investigators [including some last month in June of 2019], reassure us now that Alabama Power is the focus, the sharper focus.

Topics of interest include:

  • Jeffrey H. Wood, the Balch & Bingham D.C. lobbyist inquiring about the North Birmingham EPA clean-up effort in 2016, who was on Capitol Hill on behalf of Alabama Power.
  • The use of attorney-clients privilege, non-disclosure agreements, and other schemes to obscure alleged criminal if not unethical conduct.
  • Alabama Power’s donation of $30,000 to the Oliver Robinson Foundation, one of the entities used in the bribery scheme.
  • Alabama Power’s donation of  $2,500 to State Senator Rodger Smitherman, the husband of Judge Carole Smitherman, who a few days later, without a hearing, tossed aside Newsome’s amended complaint.
  • Alabama Power’s alleged involvement in the corrupt entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy and an alleged bribery ring.

Alabama Power may have been told our efforts are irrelevant, unknown, unimportant.

But with the changing winds in Washington, D.C. and the impulse to seek justice, more probes and more investigations are coming.

Alabama Power and Mark Crosswhite can no longer sit on the stool, near the sidelines as the Keystone Cops at Balch & Bingham continue to fumble the ball while ignoring the obvious.

And all this while the civil RICO lawsuit is being meticulously drafted in the wings.

“Double Standard” Makes Balch Stooge Look Like a Sheer Hypocrite

In a new filing with the Alabama Supreme Court, the Queen of the secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber and one of Balch & Bingham’s top stooges, Judge Carole Smitherman comes out looking like a sheer hypocrite.

In March, we outlined how JeffCo and the Alabama Supreme Court were trying to screw over Burt Newsome with demands for the compilation of Smitherman’s court records of the Newsome Conspiracy Case within a week, something Newsome has no control over.

The obligation actually rests on the JeffCo Circuit Court Clerk.

The one-week demand came only hours after we wrote a critical piece about the alleged misconduct by Alabama Supreme Court Justice William B. Sellers, a former Balch & Bingham partner.

We wondered at the time if Smitherman was behind the shenanigans.

Sure enough, a few days later, Smitherman stupidly signed an order granting the clerk a month more to compile the record.

As we wrote at the time, “Now Circuit Court Judge Smitherman is issuing orders in Supreme Court Cases for the benefit of Balch & Bingham. Unbelievable!”

But court transcripts from the Star Chamber dated December 18, 2018 shows Smitherman’s sheer hypocrisy and foreshadowed the stalling, foot-dragging by the JeffCo clerk.

The transcript of Judge Smitherman from December reads:

I don’t see why I have jurisdiction to unseal the record. I’m finished. Summary judgment has been granted. The defendants asking me to hold one issue and that was the Accountability Act. I held that. It’s been orders in that, so I don’t see why I have anymore jurisdiction in this case at all. You can ask the Supreme Court to order Ms. Adams [Circuit Court Clerk], but keep in mind, please, that we are in transition with our clerks office and with two of our courts. We have been down — recently went down to talk to the appellate clerk to appeals is on Ms. Adams’ desk along with several others. Clerk’s office has not refused any of it. Just waiting on Ms. Adams so if you have something done, you just go down and talk to her. See what she’s going to do. I’ve never sought to, you know, tell her what she needs to do, but she’ll get it done. I don’t know what’s going on down there. That’s another world. Just stop down and just tell her. If she has other appeals waiting, Mister newsome, it must be for some reason. She’ll get to it. I’ve never mandamus her to do anything and I’m not going to start right now, so that’s all. Thank you very much [End of proceedings]

But in March Smitherman changed her mind: she indeed had jurisdiction to tell the clerk what to do; and granted the clerk an extra month to compile the court court.

What a stooge!

Balch Stooges Taste “Selective and Vindictive” Judicial System

Although we believe that the conduct by Trey Glenn and Scott Phillips in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal was reprehensible, we smell “selective and vindictive” prosecution of the Balch stooges.

As the attorneys for Trey Glenn wrote in a filing on Monday:

By failing to follow the Legislature’s clear directives in the Ethics Act, the [Ethics Commission] Staff acted without legal authority, and no source of legal authority inside or outside of the Act can cure that deficiency.

To be sure, the Ethics Act does allow district attorneys and the Attorney General to initiate investigations and prosecutions into alleged violations of the Ethics Act. The problem here is that it was Commission Staff who initiated the investigation and pursued enforcement, not the district attorney or Attorney General. Indeed, as set forth in the Declaration of Thomas Michael Anderton…this case originated when Commission Staff requested time before the Jefferson County grand jury from then-district attorney Anderton so that Commission Staff could present a case.

The Ethics Act contains statutory safeguards for a reason: to ensure that criminal prosecutions against individuals accused of violating it are the product of thorough and principled investigations which produce indictments only after the accused has been afforded the due process protections set out in the Act.

Regardless of what we may think of the two men, the rule of law in Alabama appears to have been replaced by a pay-to-play system.

The Alabama Ethics Commission is also a laughing-stock in this system of checks and more checks (as in campaign contributions).

As Josh Moon of the Alabama Reporter opined in December:

Alabama does not have an ethics commission. A real ethics commission holds politicians accountable. It punishes them appropriately when they break the ethics laws that govern them. And they never bend or mold rulings based on political pressure or influence. Alabama doesn’t have that. It has the opposite of that. It has a group of people whose job seems to be figuring out ways for the powerful and corrupt to avoid jail time and fines when they violate our laws, and to hand out free passes to their pals, and to consistently bend to the will to special interests, lobbyists and big businesses when they say to jump.

We, the CDLU, have seen the “selective and vindictive” judicial system hard at work in the Newsome Conspiracy Case.

Balch stooge Judge Carole Smitherman created a secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber; vindictively retaliated against Newsome by signing off on 44 retaliatory orders the day after he appealed her decision NOT to recuse herself; foolishly approved $192,000 in redacted, unknown, illegible attorney fees against Newsome; and most abhorrently, Smitherman and her husband accepted over $30,000 in campaign cash from Balch-linked entities or individuals as she allegedly continued the miscarriage of justice against Newsome.

What irony that the Balch stooges are having a taste of this broken system, screaming for due process, while their former employer Balch & Bingham fights to the death over the Newsome case that exemplifies the worst of a selective and vindictive legal system.

With a new superseding grand jury indictment also announced on Monday, the Alabama Ethics Commission, which is prosecuting the case against Phillips and Glenn, demonstrated weakness in their original indictment.

Similarly, Balch & Bingham, which could have settled the Newsome Conspiracy Case for $150,000 years ago, demonstrated weakness as their futile fight has now cost them millions of dollars.