The Not Exactly Complete Works of Peter Schulman

Circumstantial Evidence

©2010 Peter Schulman


  Chapter 1  

  Chapter 2  

  Chapter 3  

  Chapter 4  

  Chapter 5  

  Chapter 6  

  Chapter 7  

  Chapter 8  

  Chapter 9  

  Chapter 10  

  Chapter 11  

  Chapter 12  

Chapter 10

Monday I got up a little earlier. Pokey and I had our run and I was at Doris Gold’s office by twenty to nine. I suspected she would be less than enthralled by my new role in the Caldwell case and would try to block me.

I had a plan. It might have been a stupid plan, but it was a plan, nonetheless.

Doris showed up at five minutes to nine and, yes, she could spare a few minutes.

“Change your mind already?” she asked.

“Doris, I've been asked to represent Priscilla Caldwell.”

She laughed. “You can’t do that. It’s unethical.”

“I can’t think of any reason it would be.”

“Conflict of interest.”

“I’m only representing one side at a time.”

“Client confidentiality?”

“That would certainly be true if I represented her first and then came over to your side. I couldn’t reveal anything I learned as a result of that representation.

“But the People have a duty to turn over all potentially exculpatory evidence in any event. And the defense has a right to independent examination of all physical and scientific evidence.

“My strategy could be gleaned by reading the transcript. There is no inherent advantage gained by my prior representation of the Commonwealth.”

She swiveled a hand and had a doubtful look on her face. “Isn’t there some kind of rule against it?”

“Rule 1.11.a.2. It doesn’t prohibit me, but it gives you the right to prevent me from representing her.”

“Well, then, that’s what I’m doing.”

“It’s not the right thing to do,” I said. “The Girl Scouts would be very disappointed with you.”

“Why do you keep looking at your watch? Are you in a rush?”

For once my watch was set to the correct time. “I’m sorry; it’s just that I have a press conference in ten minutes. I planned to tell them how impressed I was with a District Attorney who thought allowing defendants to prove their innocence was just as important as punishing the guilty in protecting the public. I guess I’ll have to come up with something else.”

“Like?” she asked, her voice apprehensive.

“I don’t know. What can you say about someone blocking a defendant from having their attorney of choice for no good public policy reason? I really don’t have anything worked out. I’ll just have to wing it.”

Doris had seen how devastating I could be in court when I had to wing it.

“And you’re giving me all of ten minutes to decide?”

“No, don’t be silly.” I paused. “I've got to leave in five minutes to be there on time.”

She was shaking her head. “Could you possibly give me any less time to decide? This is why I preferred to have you on my side. I don’t know whether to be furious or to admire you.”

I gave her a beguiling smile. “I’d go with the admiration. While you’re admiring me, I also want to represent Phillip Patrick. The only strategy I had in that case was not to prosecute.”

“You really do push the envelope,” she said.

Should I mention Wile E. Coyote?

“So the farewell party is off? No honorary key to the office?”

The faintest hint of a smile started at the right corner of her mouth. She quickly suppressed it. “I’m going to beat you in both cases.”

“I hope not. It’s a very bad strategy to start a new practice by getting paid a lot of money to lose high-profile cases.”

“A lot of money?”

I shrugged. “That’s just a phrase the press will use.”

“A lot of money?”

“Are you looking for contributions already?”

“A lot of money?”

I looked at my watch. “Sorry, I have to run.”


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  Chapter 13  

  Chapter 14  

  Chapter 15  

  Chapter 16  

  Chapter 17  

  Chapter 18  

  Chapter 19  

  Chapter 20  

  Chapter 21  

  Chapter 22  

  Chapter 23