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Friday, June 2, 2017

Just Wishful Thinking

''Nelsoooooooonnnnnnn, stop staring at me..."said a smiling Beverly as she put on her lipstick.
''You just look so good.." said Nelson , who couldn't hide the fact that he was checking her out!
"Normally I'd say thanks....but I'd be a lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous....This guy I'm going up against is a real shark..." said Beverly...

"I'm going to be with you and besides..Liv is going to be there....You're just going to be the lead Attorney....She thinks you can do it...If she didn't...She'd of gotten someone else to be the lead...Olivia believes in you and so do I.." said Nelson...

"Remind me to kiss you when this is all over.." she said, smiling...
"You could kiss me now."said Nelson.

"You'd like that wouldn't you?" said Beverly...

"Just wishful thinking..." said Nelson, smiling..

Beverly kissed Nelson passionately, So passionately , it surprised him....


"Ummmmmmmmmmmmm wish no further baby...I love you..." she said...
"You don't mind that you're smearing your lipstick on me?" laughed Nelson in between kisses...


"If you don't mind....I don't....but now we've got to stop, so I can get myself together...." she said, breaking their embrace...She took a wet towel and wiped her lipstick off of Nelson's face and his collar..

She put her lipstick and makeup back on...

"Come on, they're waiting for us..." said Nelson as they got in his car.


and drove to the courthouse...

Olivia , Melody Brown, Zoey Easter and I were standing outside the courthouse when Beverly and Nelson arrive..

"There's my girl."said Olivia..."You got this...Just remember our strategy and what we talked about.."said Olivia..

I looked at Melody....

"Ready to go to war?" I asked her..

"I'm ready to do this.." said Melody...

"Hi Bev, Hi Nelson...I came to watch.....I'll be representing your Auntay after this case....I need to see who I'll be up against..." said Zoey...
"Thanks Zoey....This guy is a real cool character...Real cold....calculated..."said Beverly... "But I'm not worried,I'm ready."said Beverly...

"We've got like an hour before trial....Why don't we go somewhere private? Make out a little bit...It might take the edge off.."whispered Nelson to Beverly...He clearly couldn't keep his eyes off of her and how sexy she looked...
"You can't be serious?  Hmmmmm, I suppose YOU are....I'm sorry boo...I'm not even in the mood right now...I just want to stay focused..."said Beverly...

"Just wishful thinkin.."said Nelson , who shrugged his shoulders...
Beverly smiled..

''Wait! Tonight....Tonight we can do it til the cops come knockin....At your place!" she said.

"I'm gonna hold you to that." he laughed..

"Let's get some coffee guys!" said Olivia...

II-
The trial began......The first thing that happened...This lawyer, Wallace Payton proved how brilliant he was...


He argued and WON a trial in front of a judge...Nelson wanted a jury.....

The original Judge was going to be our friend, Turner S. Freeman, the cross dressing judge...Suddenly at the last minute ,he was switched out and we got a Republican and conservative judge named Ronald Flynn for a Judge...

A no nonsense Judge ,who could care less about women's issues...He just wanted the basic facts of the case..

In fact ,he didn't want to hear any arguments today, he wanted to meet all of the Attorney's involved and give them instructions...



Beverly, Olivia and Nelson felt like they were children, the way this judge talked to them...and the condescending warnings disguised as instructions he gave them.. On the other hand...His conversation with Wallace Payton was short and curt..


Payton glared balefully at us.... I stared back at him....He was an interesting study...His face never betrayed his emotion..He looked as if a smile might crack his face in half.

I looked at Zoey...

"This doesn't look good ."I said gravely...

"I know...I feel intimidated and I'm not even arguing a case before him...I've heard of him...Cut-throat..Will do whatever it takes to win...." she said.

Attorney Wallace Payton stared at us balefully as he and Milt Sweeney walked out... Milt Sweeney looked at Olivia and Melody Brown and and winked.

I wanted to knock that smug look off of both of their faces...

III-
The Arguments began the next day....

Beverly got herself together and gave a brilliant and emotional opening argument....She wasn't smart alecky or smiling...She was so professional and brilliant..I looked over at Zoey and whispered..

''Who is that?"
"Baby girl is a woman now!"said Zoey, smiling.

Judge Flynn didn't look as if he was the least bit impressed....He in fact appeared bored by it all!


Nobody was prouder than Olivia, who looked on like a proud mother...She sat at the table with Melody and Nelson...Whispering and writing instructions....Pulling the strings from the sidelines.

Melody looked into the audience...Her Mother and Father were there, and two of her aunts....She smiled weakly at them...They smiled and waved...
Nelson was stoic, It was as if he suddenly realized the type of fight they all were in for. He said nothing.

Wallace Payton was equally brilliant in his sumnation...Sarcastic and at times bombastic...He proceeded to take Beverly's entire sumnation apart like a surgeon...and add his own spin to things...Melody Brown's claims were unfounded and she willingly went up to Mr. Sweeney's room!

Olivia whispered to Beverly, who nodded...
She took notes of every point he made and then wrote some notes of her own.....
Wallace Payton produced a 48 inch wide screen monitor...He showed film footage from the night in question....Showed Milt Sweeney and Melody dancing, laughing and drinking heavily at Stoleys...
Showed Milt squeezing her behind and her breasts and she not putting up much of a protest..

He argued that she willingly went back to that hotel room with Milt Sweeney....

Nelson used the same video to show her face and the emaciated look on her face at the time of the party..

He called three expert witnesses, Drug Counselors and Doctors who gave their opinion that Melody was high and unable to make a conscious decision..

Wallace cross examined them and tried to get them to admit that they couldn't be 100 percent sure..They couldn't be....but they stuck to their opinion that she more than likely was inebriated..
Olivia and Nelson had coached them well...

Olivia objected, citing the fact that he was badgering the witnesses and putting words in their mouths...

She was over -ruled.

Beverly produced a receipt for Rohypnol...The date rape drug known as roofies...paid for by Milt Sweeney's credit card on the day of the rape...

Wallace countered with the fact that there was no proof that he used that on her....Yet he looked surprised that she had found this....He glared angrily at Milt Sweeney...

Nelson produced the hospital report....Melody had gone to the clinic, hours after the rape to make sure she wasn't pregnant or had an STD....The drug was found in her urine... He called the nurse and the Doctor who attended to her.

 Beverly called the three bouncers from Stoleys ,who testified that Melody was unconscious when they took her out of the club and put her in the car...She did not go to his apartment willingly...

Olivia called his two friends...who helped him...

They too testified that she was unconscious...and that they took her to his hotel room...but that they left immediately after.

Olivia asked the two friends, why didn't they take her home? Why did they take her to Sweeney's apartment?   They had no good idea why.

Olivia brought home the point that four people had said she was unconscious..and that she could not have gone to his apartment willingly...

Wallace argued that none of these men witnessed any impropriety on Mr. Sweeney;'s behalf....but even he knew that things were not going his way...

The third day of the hearing...He called Melody to the stand..

He asked her about the first time Mr. Sweeney allegedly touched her without her consent...He brought up all of the raises she got and the fact that she never reported him before that...She said she was afraid she'd lose her job...He countered that actually she was afraid she wouldn't get anymore raises...

He then brought up her two abortions... And he loudly insinuated that she was loose and that she may have been leading Mr. Sweeney on to get more money...Her parents and her aunts didn't know about the second one and were very hurt and embarrassed....This nearly tore Melody to pieces..

She was nearly in tears...

Beverly cross  examined her....Told the judge that despite her indiscretions...She finished High School and went on to graduate from college and go on to law school and was now an Attorney herself..working for the city of Philadelphia as a Public Defender...She argued brilliantly that this had nothing to do with what happened to her that night in that room...Something Judge Flynn agreed with!

She then took all of Wallace Payton's talking points and came up with counter arguments for them...This was what Olivia had instructed her to do...She took him apart like a surgeon, the same way he had initially done her...

Wallace Payton looked stunned and surprised...For the first time ,his face betrayed emotion...He couldn't believe this young girl, Option two ,he reffered to her as was giving him all he could ask for.

Wallace Payton attempted to Cross examine Melody Brown again about her sexual history since college..

Beverly and Olivia objected vigorously, saying that the witness was being badgered....but they were over-ruled..

Wallace Payton was brilliant,I had to give it to him...He was making his point...
Despite Wallace Payton's strenuous objections and attempts to get this testimony squashed, Nelson called ten other women ,now all former employees who claimed that Milt Sweeney had done the same thing to them..He produced their H.R. complaints and Melody Brown's complaint too, made just before she quit...

He called the H.R. director up and asked why nothing was done ,other than a warning...The man couldn't answer...

Wallace Payton argued that there was a record of verbal counseling...It wasn't enough...He knew it and we knew it...

Wallace argued that their testimony had nothing to do with the night and the alleged crime at hand...
Beverly argued that it showed a pattern of behavior on the part of the defendant...

For the first time...The Judge agreed and allowed it..
Olivia, who had taken the back seat through much of the hearings...gave a brief sumnation at the end of it all..

Wallace Payton gave his final sumnation.


Finally the Judge had heard enough of both sides....He said he'd make his decision after lunch!

Milt Sweeney sat back in his chair and smiled ruefully, he was certain he had won...

"Baby, you did well...I couldn't be more proud of you.....If we lose...I already have an appeal planned."said Olivia.

"Auntay...I'm pretty sure we have lost...That judge was his boy, that judge was in his pocket...The fix is in."said Beverly...

"That's okay...You all did the best you could...If anything good comes out of this..He knows he can't get away with this...Maybe he'll stop..

I didn't want to say anything...but the truth is...If he won today, this would embolden him even more..Make him feel untouchable..
We were all too nervous to eat lunch....We sat outside the courtroom and talked...

Wallace Payton and Milt Sweeney walked in...They smelled of alcohol...They looked like they were well fed...

The Judge came in behind them, smiling and laughing with a young woman...He motioned us all into the courtroom..

"After studying this case and listening to the testimony and watching the film footage ,I have no choice but to rule in favor of Ms.Melody Brown....You were done a great injustice young lady....I admonish you to be careful on your next job and to report such misbehavior immediately." he said and banged his gavel...

We were stunned...We were so sure this judge was in their pocket and wouldn't rule in our favor..We were so sure we'd lost....and yet we won!  We won and the look on Milt Sweeney's face was one of total shock..He couldn't believe it....

He yelled at the Judge..

"WHAT KIND OF JACK ASS JUDGE ARE YOU?  HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH A RULING LIKE THAT?"

Judge Flynn took his glasses off...He smiled and looked at Wallace Payton....

"Counselor...I'm going to overlook that...but one more word from your client and he goes to lock up for contempt!" he said.

Wallace Payton didn't crack a smile..or say a word to Milt Sweeney, He looked at him with disgust...

"WE DID IT! AUNTAY!! WE WON!" said a jubilant Beverly..who hugged her aunt....
''You did it Baby girl...I told you , you could do it! You should be proud of yourself...I'm certainly proud of you.."said a jubilant Olivia...who kissed Beverly on the cheek and hugged her tightly like she'd never let go...

"I couldn't have done it without you Auntay and my baby here..."she said and kissed Nelson passionately...
"Three days..I can't believe it.." she said..

"Wow!" was all Nelson had to say...




 She looked at his dazed expression and laughed...

"Goofball!" she said.


"Way to go girls.." I said and hugged them both and kissed them both on the cheek..

"Nice goin Beverly, You too Nelson.." said Zoey...

"Thank you all so much..." said Melody....Her mother and father came up and hugged Olivia, Beverly and Nelson...So did her Aunts...


Thanking them profusely....


Milt Sweeney looked totally shocked...

"I don't...I don't believe this...what happened?" he asked.

 "What happened is we lost and your Television station is going to have to pay that young lady a huge sum....Chances are...They aren't going to be too happy with you.." he said dryly...."I understand Mrs. Bennett-Alexander has a law suit against you that is pending..You sir are in a bad spot.." he added..

"Hopefully you can do a better job against her attorney than you did against her and her staff.." said Milt Sweeney to Wallace Payton...

"I don't intend to represent you in that.....Find another attorney..." he said.

"I'm paying you......" said Milt Sweeney...

"YOU don't pay me anything, your Television station pays me.." said Wallace Payton dryly...

Wallace Payton looked at him in disgust...He picked up his briefcase and walked out without saying another word or even looking our way....He had lost to the Dynamic Duo...If he had any emotion,I'm certain he was fuming right now..

Milt Sweeney glared at Olivia....He was getting ready to say something when I showed up..

 "You had something to say Mr. Sweeney?" I asked..

He stomped his foot and stormed out of the courtroom....

IV-

Zoey and Olivia brought up charges against Milt Sweeney weeks later, but they did not have to walk into a courtroom....
The litigation was worked out in a conference room.

The station had already paid 9 million dollars to Melody Brown....(We were paid handsomely for our services..)

The Television Station didn't want another trial...Their lawyers settled with Zoey and Olivia for an undisclosed amount...Nearly equal to what Melody was paid...

The Station promptly parted ways with  Milt Sweeney..I understand, he got a nice severance....His Television show, the highest rated in his time slot in the city was replaced by a game show...He came very close to being disbarred...but he wasn't.....

Last we heard, Milt Sweeney is still unemployed!


''Wow! Easiest money I ever earned as an Attorney." said Zoey...
"Wasn't it though?" laughed Olivia...hugging her friend!

EPILOUGE-

A WEEK OR TWO LATER....

 We were all relaxing in the office....It was a slow day, nobody had any cases pending..Olivia was sitting on my lap...reading her mail and sipping coffee...

 ''Baby,if you squeeze me any tighter...I'm going to burst.." cooed Olivia..
"I'm sorry, you're just so lovable.." I said..and kissed her neck....

''Awww.." said Olivia..
who planted a wet,sloppy kiss on my lips...

Beverly was sitting across from us in Nelson's lap..

They weren't saying anything...Just giving each other goo goo eyes...

Josie walked into the office...

"Liv, Bev, you have a visitor..." she said..

It was Attorney ,Wallace Payton...

"Well, I see everyone is quite cozy here..." he said... "Mrs. Alexander...You have quite a capable staff here...Your husband is a very good investigator...Much better than the one I hired...And you have two great attorneys in the making there with your niece and uh her young friend..."he said... (He mistakenly thought that Nelson was on Olivia's staff!)

"Thank you.." said Olivia..

''I had a loser case...I had a bad client... Next time we meet, things may be different.." he said dryly..

"How do you know we'll ever face each other again?" asked Olivia.

"Just Wishful Thinking that's all....Game well played...Good day.." he said and walked out...

"That guy gives me the creeps..." said Nelson...
"Yeah me too!" said Josie..

"If I never see him again...It'll be too soon." said Beverly...

"That makes two of us Baby girl." said Olivia...
I wasn't afraid of him....but I wondered what he meant by his statement -"Just wishful thinking"?

I hope I never had to find out!



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