Welcome to my stop for Hoppin the Boxes Today I'll be featuring Melissa F. Miller
The Sasha McCandless Series: Volume 1 ~ Purchase Now: Amazon
EXCERPT FROM INADVERTENT DISCLOSURE (BOOK 2)
Judge Paulson glared down from the bench at the attorney opposing Sasha McCandless’s motion to compel discovery.
“The Court will not tolerate such behavior going forward, Mr. Showalter. Your client will produce the electronic messages it has withheld by the end of this week in digital format or face monetary sanctions for discovery abuses. Are we clear?”
Drew Showalter bobbed his head but didn’t meet the judge’s eyes. “Crystal, your honor.”
The judge turned to Sasha. “Anything else, Ms. McCandless?”
She glanced down at her legal pad. She’d made and won all of her points. But, she saw no reason to squander an opportunity. She drew herself to her full four feet, eleven and three-quarters inches in height and said, “Your honor, VitaMight requests that this Court award it its attorneys’ fees and costs in preparing and arguing this motion.”
Maybe she could get VitaMight’s commercial landlord to foot the bill for her prep work, not to mention the seven-plus hours round-trip travel time they’d have to pay her for driving all the way up to northern Pennsylvania to argue the motion. VitaMight would be impressed.
Judge Paulson, however, was not.
“Let’s not get greedy, Ms. McCandless. Denied. We’re done here, counsel.”
He made no move to leave the bench, though.
Showalter ducked his head, tucked his lone folder under his arm, and hurried past Sasha, mumbling that he’d forward her the files.
Sasha smiled, savoring her victory, while she crammed her binders and legal pads back into her leather bag.
She paused long enough to think that, just maybe, if Showalter had placed as much importance on preparation as he apparently did on traveling light, his argument might not have been so laughably bad. His claim that his client, a commercial properties investment trust with diverse holdings, lacked the ability to search its e-mails was a pretty pathetic defense. Almost as pathetic as his client’s abrupt decision to terminate VitaMight’s long-term lease of a distribution warehouse for no apparent reason.
And that uncharitable thought, she later decided, was her undoing.
If she had just shoved her papers into the bag and gotten out of the courtroom a few minutes sooner, she wouldn’t have been at counsel table when the red-faced old man came shuffling through the wide oak doors. But she hadn’t, and she was.
So, when he banged through the bar separating the gallery from the well of the courtroom, she had the bad luck to be directly in Judge Paulson’s line of sight.
“Harry, you old bastard! What do you think you’re doing?” The elderly man crossed the well, waving a fistful of papers at the bench.
The deputy leaning against the wall next to the American flag made a halfhearted motion toward his gun, but the judge waved him off.
“Mr. Craybill! Step back!” Judge Paulson leaned forward and warned him, but the old man didn’t stop.
“I’m no more incompetent than you are. Who’s responsible for this?”
Judge Paulson caught Sasha’s eye and motioned for the man to stop talking.
“Mr. Craybill, do you have counsel?”
“An attorney to represent you in your incapacitation hearing, Jed.”
“You know damn well, I can’t afford an attorney, you no-good . . .”
Judge Paulson spoke right over the tirade. “Ms. McCandless, congratulations. The court hereby appoints you counsel to represent Mr. Craybill in the hearing on the county’s motion to have him declared incompetent and have a guardian appointed to handle his affairs.”
She opened her mouth to protest, and Craybill wheeled around and glared at her.
He turned back to the bench and said, “Her? She can’t be old enough to be a lawyer, for crissake, look at her.”
Sasha’s cheeks burned, but she saw her opening and took it.
“Your honor, it sounds like Mr. Craybill here isn’t pleased with the appointment. And, frankly, your honor, I have no experience in elder law. That, coupled with the fact that my office is nearly four hours away in Pittsburgh, leads me to regretfully decline your kind offer.”
“It’s not an offer, Ms. McCandless. It’s an order. Old Jed here’ll come around. He might even say sorry for insulting you.” The judge stared at her over his half-moon glasses.
She caught herself before a sigh escaped. “Yes, your honor.”
The judge turned to the old man and said, “Now, tell your new lawyer you’re sorry, Jed.”
The man muttered something that may have been an apology, although Sasha was sure she heard “featherweight” and “child” in there somewhere.
Looking pleased with himself, the Honorable Harrison Paulson unfolded his legs and stood to his full height of nearly six and a half feet. He headed toward the door to his chambers.
“Your honor,” Sasha said, as he walked away, “when do I need to return for the hearing?”
She figured she could get that information from her new client, but she hoped if the hearing were less than two weeks away, the judge would grant her a continuance right then and there.
Instead, he checked his watch, turned back to her, and said, “In about an hour.” He pushed through the door and disappeared into his chambers while she struggled to keep her mouth from hanging open.
Sasha’s new client lowered himself in the empty chair at counsel’s table and tossed the petition seeking to have him declared incompetent on the table in front of her, while Sasha stood staring at the space the judge had just vacated.
An hour? How was she supposed to get ready for an incapacitation hearing in one hour? Sasha prided herself on her composure in the courtroom. But her calm demeanor came because she over-prepared. In the sort of cases she handled, the victor almost always was whichever party’s attorney was more prepared. So her rule was to prepare her case until she was sure she could handle every foreseeable issue, answer every question the judge could conceivably ask, and remove any doubt about her client’s argument and then prepare some more. An hour was barely enough time to read and digest the petition and whatever exhibits came with it. She checked the clock. Make that fifty-nine minutes.
She flung herself into the empty chair and skimmed the petition’s opening paragraph to find the statute under which the county was acting and then thumbed the citation into her Blackberry. She scanned the statute, reading as fast as dared to take in the gist of the act without getting bogged down in the details. Once she had an understanding of the requirements the county would have to meet to have Craybill declared incompetent and a guardian appointed, she powered off her phone and looked at the man sitting next to her.
“Let’s grab a bite and you can fill me in on what’s going on,” she said as she gathered her papers and headed out of the courtroom. She’d left Pittsburgh before five a.m. and was going on nothing but black coffee.
Craybill eyed her. “We don't have any health food places in town.”
“How about a diner that serves breakfast all day?”
He managed a small grin, like it was a struggle to remember how to smile. “Yeah, we got a diner.”
He followed her out of the courtroom.
About Sasha McCandless
Sasha versus Melissa
Sasha and Melissa were both born in Pittsburgh, PA.
Sasha and Melissa are both litigators.
Sasha and Melissa both drink entirely too much coffee.
Sasha is single, childless, under five feet tall, under one hundred pounds, and could kill you with her bare hands.
Melissa is married, a mother of three, over five feet tall, over one hundred pounds, and isn't telling.
Sasha has no pets.
Melissa has a dog, two cats, and three goldfish.
Sasha drives a Passat.
Melissa drives a Volvo.
Sasha thinks Pamela's has the best breakfast in Pittsburgh.
Melissa thinks Pamela's does indeed serve a very good breakfast but suggests Sasha try DeLuca's in the Strip
About Melissa F. MillerI'm Melissa F. Miller, author of the Sasha McCandless legal thriller series and a practicing attorney. When I'm not in court or on the playground with my three delightful children, I'm hard at work on my next novel. Please visit me at my Website and sign up for my e-mail newsletter to find out when new books are published.
Find the entire Sasha McCandless Series here.Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set Cheryl Bradshaw with the Sloan Monroe Boxed Set Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set M.P. McDonald and the Mark Taylor Omnibus
In : Book Giveaways
Tags: "blog hop" ebooks giveaways prizes
Tweet blog comments powered by Disqus