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 12

Class ran from six thirty to eight. I was ten minutes late.

Learning Argentine tango is difficult. There are countless details to get right, all at the same time, to make it work and look good. Aside from that, within the context of the style, and a very limited set of steps, anything goes.

The man orchestrates the action. He decides what steps they will take and their steps do not have to correspond. The woman has to interpret every request and be prepared to move in any direction at any time. Fortunately, women are better at paying attention than men.

This teamwork creates a feeling of closeness. There are additional psychological benefits. The man is absolutely, tyrannically in charge. This may be the only place left in our society where that is true.

On the other hand, when anything goes wrong it is almost always his fault which is no different from the normal relationship between men and women.

At the end of the hour and a half, I welcomed a respite. Until more things became automatic, the pressure of constantly thinking was draining. Jamie and I typically took this respite in the form of dinner.

After class I drove to Victor Cafe, about fifteen minutes south on Broad Street. We warmed up by listening to arias by Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras on CD in my car. In the past few years we had been there when the food was extremely good and when it was not. The music was always enjoyable.

Jamie ordered Veal Saltimbocca and I ordered Veal Picante. We both started with Caesar Salad during which a waitress sang Cara Nome from Rigoletto. We had an intermezzo from both the food and the music.

“Did I hear correctly?” asked Jamie.

“Yes. His beautiful name matches his beautiful personality. It’s so romantic,” I said, placing my left hand near the top of my chest.

“Not the aria. You’re representing Priscilla Caldwell?”

“Prissy, please.”

“And Phillip Patrick?”

“True. Prissy called and asked for me. I asked for Patrick.”

“Do you think that’s wise?”

“I did at the time.”

“How did it happen?”

“Prissy told me she’s innocent,” I said.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you just convict her?”

“Let me check.” I thumbed through a make-believe notepad. “Yes, that was me.”

“I've heard of the habitual criminal but this is the habitual case.”

“.” We made a game of identifying references from movies and books. I gave Jamie points for modifying the quote from “crime“ to “case“ to fit the situation.

“Correct,” Jamie said. “Doris is not pleased.”

“She didn’t mention that to me.”

“You had to take on Patrick too? Have you been praying to the patron saint of high profile cases?”

“I’m Jewish, you know.”

“There is only one God.”

“Interesting how he takes sides in legal matters.”

“And wars and sporting events.”

“Busy guy,” I said.



“And so engaged to take the time to personally intervene in daily events.”

As much as we liked to play, we stopped to listen to a waiter sing one of my favorites, La Donna e Mobile, also from Rigoletto. Jamie liked it, too, despite its demeaning message about women. Jamie doesn’t speak Italian.

Dinner arrived.

“So I’m guessing you’re not going to share what you’re doing on these cases like you have in the past,” Jamie said.

“We were on the same side then. Now it’s an ethics violation.”

“I wouldn’t want to violate you.”

“And I … well.”

“I haven’t checked today’s weather report. Has hell frozen over?” she asked in a completely serious tone.

“Not to my knowledge. You know it’s not just these two cases. You’re the other side. I won’t be able to discuss any criminal case with you. I won’t be able to ask your opinion or advice like I have in the past. It’s just the nature of being a defense counsel.”

“We can still dance,” she said. “I don’t think that violates any ethics rules.”

It was an enjoyable night. Among the arias we heard was my favorite, Nessun Dorma from Turandot.

Our waiter sang something I didn’t recognize. They work there for the opportunity and the exposure, not the compensation.

Jamie and I had lost a part of our connection; we no longer worked together, but most of it remained. I dropped her off at her car and we hugged and kissed and said goodnight.


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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