Attorney Client Privilege Bk. 01byBazzz©
For Abdul Salame it was the best part of the day. The vision would carry him through the rest of the morning and on into the afternoon as it did every day that he saw her. The middle aged worker at the newsstand located outside the huge skyscraper downtown had made a game of it. Guess what the beautiful blonde lawyer was wearing. He was able to win his little internal game more often than not and why not, after watching her for over five years he knew every outfit she owned. She usually got to work early, around 7am which was fine with Abdul. That meant there was no one else around to interfere with his voyeuristic fun.
"Hello Abdul." The young blonde announced with a smile as she approached the newsstand.
"Oh good morning Lis. The Times as usual?" The Sudanese immigrant handed her the paper and took her dollar. He smiled to himself as he had lost his game. He had guessed the summer weight blue pinstripe but she had surprised him with the stone colored outfit. It was the first time he had guessed wrong in a number of days.
"That's it. Now you're starting the citizenship process right." The blonde was looking down into her large bag as she spoke dropping the change into the purse inside.
"Yes. Yes. That's right." The man was too enthralled with the touch of his customer's hand from giving her the change to pay attention.
"Remember I've okayed it with the boss. We are going to handle this for you free of charge so come and see me soon alright?" She reminded him.
The black man could only smile in response he was so smitten. With that Lis Rome turned and pranced up the steps of the downtown office building. Abdul watched the performance as she climbed the 50 steps. She was like any of the other people going to work in the city, although, as Abdul would attest too, she did it looking better than just about anyone else. Ms. Rome's hair stuck out in a crowd as did her athletic 5"-8" frame resplendent in the stone colored business suit. The tailor who fitted Lis for all her suits knew what she was doing. The material showed off all the important body parts, her swaying hips and small but pert cleavage. Yet the summer suit wasn't so tight that it was obscene. After all Ms. Rome was an ambitious lawyer at Collins, Kelly & Witt not some tarty secretary out looking for a breadwinning husband as much as collecting a paycheck. The statuesque blonde had a career and if things kept going well a future partnership at the firm which was located on floors 19 through 22 in the building. Still the beautiful attorney knew that looks counted so she dressed the part.
As she moved through the lobby to the bank of elevators Lis got her share of stares. The suit skirt was short and the black high heel pumps showed off her long legs. The calf and thigh muscles bulged behind tan skin that was smooth and polished from a recent leg waxing. She said hello to Anna at the reception desk. The pretty middle aged woman with the Mediterranean features had been with the firm for 15 years and was exceptional at keeping the unwanted salesman and stockbrokers away from the 55 lawyers employed there.
Lis' office was large but only because none of the lawyers above her grade really wanted it. While many of the other offices were smaller they had a panoramic view of the city and the river below. Additionally their assistants were located right outside in the large bullpen made up of paralegals and secretaries. Meanwhile Lis' office was down a corridor, windowless and in a remote corner. Many jokingly called it the playpen. Lis didn't mind it. She had more privacy than anyone in the office.
This Monday morning would be no different than most others. Lis was only 33 years old but she was one of the better litigators in the firm. She seemed to be at her best with white collar criminal defense work and litigating civil cases. She was great in the courtroom, a rare talent that the partners saw as future greatness in the legal profession. Lis was at her desk finishing up the settlement paperwork on a corporate client's embezzlement case when Judd Witt knocked on her open door.
"Good morning how's our litigating superstar today?" The firm patriarch inquired with his usual broad smile. Judd Witt was the last of the founding members of Collins, Kelly & Witt. He brought in many of the best clients that accounted for a great deal of the revenue at the firm. Over the past couple of years when one of his clients went to court more often than not he called on Lis.
"I don't know. I haven't seen Roger yet this morning." Lis responded and smiled up at her mentor.
"Ha! I could have sworn you passed him in the rankings last week!" Atty. Witt loved a good sense of humor. Lis had referred to Roger Gordon the current top dog in the litigation department.
"Not in this lifetime. So how was your weekend?" Lis returned as Judd closed the door to her office bringing a folder with him.
"Very boring but I do like not having to come in here so often. You and a few others have taken up much of the slack and I appreciate it." Judd sometimes got a little sentimental with Lis. He felt that close to her.
"Just doing my job." Lis replied trying to cut short the soft moment.
"And today is a work day and I have some more for you!" The managing partner bellowed in his famous tenor voice.
"Good. With the Keltic litigation done I could do with another case." Lis informed him.
"This one is a little tricky to say the least. He's not one of our usual clients. Xavier Washington was one of Briger's deals." Judd explained.
"Oh God not another one!" Lis smiled and shook her head.
Sam Briger had been one of the more flamboyant partners in the history of Collins, Kelly & Witt. While he brought in some huge Wall Street clients, Briger had engaged some very eclectic clients as well. Clients that had ran with him in his very crazy lifestyle.
"I am afraid that this one may be the wildest yet. Xavier Washington, or X as he is called, has done some big deals through the firm but ..., well ... there's no other way to say it. He's a pimp. He runs probably the most exclusive escort service in the city." The elder lawyer stated with a look that somehow combined sheepish with disdain.
"Oh great, I can't wait to dig into this one." Lis just didn't need this one a Monday.
"It's not what you think. You wouldn't even know what he did if you saw him. He actually runs a sizable real estate business as well. He had a run in with one of his tenants and they pressed charges against him. He's actually in the right on this one." Judd explained.
"So you want me to work out a deal for him on this one?" Lis asked.
"Oh I would have turned this over to one of our lesser colleagues if that's what this was all about. X told me that he wants to keep his record clean. You see he has this funny notion about being an innocent man despite his profession. I told him that he would have to pay our full hourly rate. Good luck." Judd Witt handed the folder over the desk to Lis.
"Judd I know you try to avoid having too high brow a reputation here and that's fine with me. If you don't mind me asking why are we working with a guy like this?" Lis inquired.
"Oh I don't mind answering that one. As I said X not only runs a very high class escort service, he owns a great deal of property in this city. He's quite a good businessman. The fees for his real estate transactions have been significant and of course he was one of Briger's boys. Always a laugh a minute with Sammy." The senior partner smiled and then turned and left the office.
Xavier Washington arrived at 2pm. He was ushered into Lis' office. The blonde attorney met him at her office door and she was mildly surprised. Lis had seen all sorts at the various city courthouses and this man didn't seem like a pimp at all. Mr. Washington was a very good looking black man he was wearing a nice conservative business suit and his demeanor would fit in with any of the lawyers on the floor. Lis shook hands with her newest client. She noticed that in her 4" Jimmy Choo pumps she was eye to eye with the very handsome black man.
"Have a seat Mr. Washington." Lis walked around her desk and sat in her chair.
"Thanks Ms. Rome. First, let me tell you how appreciative I am that you'd take my case. I realize that you're used to bigger fish with better reputations." Xavier Washington flashed an infectious smile.
"Well to be honest just because some of the fish in here wear white collars when they do their crimes doesn't mean they don't stink." Both Lis and Xavier chuckled.
"In any event Mr. Washington I don't care if you're Charles Manson in here for a traffic ticket, I'm going to give you my total attention and best effort." Lis finished.
"Well that makes me feel a lot better. Believe it or not I've never been arrested before." Xavier admitted.
"Why don't you tell me what happened." Lis inquired.
"I had these tenants in one of my buildings. It started out nice. They paid every month for a year and a half. Then they began to complain about everything, even had the health inspector down a couple of times. This is for a clothing store! The inspector said if they nagged him again he'd have them arrested!" The black man was animated but Lis noticed very much in control.
"How did you get arrested?" Lis asked calmly.
"Okay. I found out that all they wanted to do was move to another store front. I had another 3 ½ years on the lease. I confronted them and said they could move but I wanted rent for four months. I could get a tenant in that time. So what do they do? They stopped paying rent and moved anyway. They left some things behind after sneaking out in the middle of the night. The next day I moved out some inventory and furniture to clear space. One of the guys came by just as I was finishing. He did everything to get me to hit him. He pushed me, kicked me but I never hit him. I did push him back a couple of times though." Xavier finished his story.
"The police arrested you later that day?" Lis asked.
"Ms. Rome, they know who I am. What I do. I swear to God I wouldn't hurt a hair on anyone. You can ask anyone who works for me. And just so you know I don't expect you to like what I do but I do it as a gentleman."
"I'm not here to judge you. You're not going to have to worry about that. I do need the police report you brought with you. I'm going to meet with the prosecutor at the end of the day." Lis said matter of factly trying to hide her contempt for his profession.
Xavier handed her the paperwork. "I've been told that who you get as a prosecutor can make a difference. Is that true?"
"Sometimes." The blonde attorney smiled. "We've got Corinna Everlund. She's reasonable. I'm going to try and get this thrown out as just a landlord-tenant dispute. Would you pay a small fine for a misdemeanor if it came to that?"
"I'd think about it but understand I'm innocent." He responded.
"I understand." Lis got up and walked around her desk. "As I said I'm going to do my best for you." She held out her hand. As Mr. Washington got up to shake her hand Lis noticed him checking out her legs.
"Ms. Rome if you can help me I'll owe you big time!" The black man's response and smile made him seem like a little kid.
Lis Rome made her way to the third floor of the prosecutor's office. Corinna Everlund's office was at the end of the hall. She knocked on the door and poked his head inside.
"Hi Cory." Lis smiled at the prosecutor as she walked through the office door.
"How are you Lis? Come in and have seat." Atty. Everlund stood and walked around her desk. She was an inch or two taller than Lis and had the body of a fitness model. She had been a track and field star in college and although that was 15 years ago she looked like she hadn't lost a step. Her trim muscular physique intimidated and turned on more than a few male defense attorneys although around a beautiful woman like Lis Rome the prosecutor's own sexuality became obvious. She couldn't help but give the curvy blonde a serious going over as she walked through the door. Lis sat down at the small conference table and crossed her legs making sure to give the assistant district attorney an eyeful. Normally Lis wouldn't think of teasing Corinna but intuition told her that this case was going to be important to her and not an easy one. She knew she was right as soon as her counterpart sat down next to her.
"You know there isn't much I can do for your friend Mr. Washington. I can save us all a trial and offer 2 years. The woman's chiseled face and almond shaped brown eyes scanned the defense attorney for any mental sign of weakness.
"Ugh counselor this was a shoving match." Lis responded.
"I know but it's what the DA wants." The prosecutor applied her leverage.
"Look Cory I know what this guy does for a living and I'm not the happiest girl in the courthouse now that I have to defend him. Have your bosses gotten so lazy that they have to pin something as lame as this on Mr. Washington? Do they really think this is going to end the world's oldest profession?" Lis calmly shot back.
"I guess we're going to court then." Cory added.
"Well just so your so called victims, and I use that term lightly, know that they can't use you as their personal law firm. Here are copies of the civil suit we are filing against them for breaking the lease, damage to property and Mr. Washington's business as said building. It's for $1.67 million. I'd let you break the news to them that they're playing at the varsity level from now on but the sheriff has probably already served them." The blonde haired attorney handed the papers over to the prosecutor.
"Varsity level huh?" Corinna smiled.
"Complete with $400 an hour players. That's what it's going to cost for these weasels to stay in the game and defend this civil suit. Come on Corinna these people wouldn't even negotiate in good faith to be released from their lease. How do you think they'll look on the stand?" Lis fired another salvo.
Corinna Everlund smiled at Lis. She thought the blonde was the sexiest woman she'd ever laid her eyes on. The prosecutor had spent her entire life as an athlete. Perfection in physical presentation had been her life's ambition. So this beautiful young blonde haired woman really made her juices flow. Smart, warm and built with a feminine muscularity that Corinna thought was almost as flawless as her own physique. The prosecutor could really see herself with Lis and these thoughts had taken up considerable space in her thoughts. She had begun to really fall hard for the defense attorney.
Corinna decided to change tacks. "I feel bad making you came all the way down here for nothing. Let me buy you a drink."
Lis could feel the heat coming from across the table and it unnerved her a little. "Oh I really shouldn't. I have to get back to the office."
"Maybe some other time then." The muscular dishwater blonde gave Lis a lascivious smile making her intentions even more obvious.
"Okay." Lis stuttered as she got up to leave. She was stunned. Corinna had flirted with her before but never had she made such an aggressive pass at her. Maybe it was frustration from having been handed such a weak case. Lis suspected that someone up above had stuck Corinna, who usually handled much tougher cases, a real shit sandwich with X Washington. For whatever reason someone really had it out for her client and with Corinna as the prosecutor things weren't going to be easy. While she was an extremely fair woman she wasn't the kind of prosecutor that rolled over for anyone even if she wanted to sleep with the defense attorney.
It was late in the afternoon by the time Xavier Washington sauntered into Lis Rome's offices. She had broken most of the bad news to Xavier over the phone so there were going to be few surprises.
"Why so blue counselor? The sun's sure to come up tomorrow." The black man gave his lawyer a broad smile as he poked his head into her office.
Lis looked up and saw that X was dressed down but still looked good, real good. He had on a rose colored dress shirt and a pair of grey slacks. He exuded confidence and class and he had made an impression on the young blonde haired lawyer. Lis had grown more and more disturbed with his business interest. Every time she saw him or talked to X on the phone she wondered how such a nice man could get tangled up in such a hideous profession. Sure he had branched out into real estate and by all reports and rumors around the office those ventures seemed to becoming a bigger and bigger part of his life which was a good thing. Still what Lis found more disturbing than his questionable business practice was the fact that she actually cared about what this man did to make his money.
"I'm glad you're keeping a stiff upper lip, Mr. Washington." Lis replied as she got up from the couch that was against the side wall in her office and shook his hand.
"That's not the only thing that's getting stiff on me looking at that fine body." He thought as he took a seat in one of the chairs in front of Lis' desk. "I should have warned you that with my reputation things would be more difficult and please call me X."
"Well X that's some of the bad news, the good news is this charge is a joke. Your so called victims were served with papers for the civil suit yesterday. They may not be so cooperative with the criminal trial now." Lis reported.
"That's great I just want this behind me. You said that was some of the bad news though." X was curious.
"Well the prosecutor we drew is usually a no nonsense lawyer. She wouldn't have proceeded with this unless she was being pushed.
"Who's the prosecutor?" X asked with keen interest.
"Corinna Everlund" Lis answered
"You had mentioned Legs Everlund at the last meeting." The black man let out a breath and leaned back. For a brief moment his face betrayed a sort of panic. "Oh sorry I didn't mean to be sexist. I know she's good. That's just her nickname on the street amongst some of those that have had to deal with her if you know what I mean."
"Really?" Lis was curious now.
"I've never met the woman but some of the fellas say she's quite a sight." X continued carefully as he thought about how the prosecutor's legs might match up with those displayed in front of him now.
"She's in very good shape if that's what you mean and as you had said a very good prosecutor." Lis said slowly with a knowing smile. She was finding X's personality totally against the stereotype of a pimp.
"Well what do we do now?" He asked.
"We have to wait and see what this civil suit brings. The lack of evidence may cause this to die on the vine too. So we have to hang tight for now with the criminal side. Still we need to research what's driving this problem." Lis explained.
"What do you mean? Those assholes, pardon my French, want to get out of our lease and make me twist in the wind." X emphasized.
"X what I'm saying is that someone with significant juice is pushing this situation. There's no other reason why Everlund and her boss would proceed with such shaky evidence. I'm not just patronizing you when I explain this case in those terms. In short X, someone up there doesn't like you." Lis broke it to her client.
"Look, I don't mistreat the people that work for me. I think you've seen I'm a pretty regular guy. I don't make enemies." The black man was doing his best to keep his eyes from straying all over his attorney's legs which were crossed right in front of him.
"You have to admit that you work in what could best be described as a controversial industry. I have to guess that you may have enemies you don't even know about."
"In other words you want me to check things out. See if someone's hasn't been happy with my lifestyle."
"I would think more on an individual basis. If this was someone trying to make a statement against your business there'd be others like you in trouble."