Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pro Bono 1

Chapter 1.

I am a 27 years old junior associate, more accurately, a low pay trainee,
in the law firm Long & Long, aka Loin & Loin within the legal circle in

Apparently it earned its nick name after one of the founding partner was
caught engaging in a sexual manner with, in layman's term, fucking, his
latest private secretary in his office. Johann Long is well known for his
appetite for young and fresh secretaries, but all the stories about his
conquests seems to enhance his reputation as a flamboyant but brilliant
criminal lawyer. Tall, calm, clean shaven, always dressed in elegant suit,
latest model of sport car, a single 48 years old, if I was the secretary,
I'll be more than happy to have a loin to loin, loin on loin, loin under
loin session with him, not that I'm gay, of course.

The firm's many successes in defending high profile criminal cases,
murderers, especially all those notorious headline gangland turf war
murders, narcotics, money launderings, the list goes on, are excellent for
business. We charge exorbitant amount of money, but we produce results,
help them avoid checking into the high security pounds. We can basically
name any prices, and get paid in suitcases of cash. Our success rate is so
high that we are now public enemy No.1, the law makers love to hate us, the
publics loathe us, and our competitors envy us. Law and money, crime and
passion, inseparable.

Johann has a point, he said, "most murders committed by low rank street
thugs, the king pins are trying to legitimize their business for donkey
years, not in the business of getting their hands dirty anymore, and often
in cases the police tried to pin on them, evidence piss weak, hearsays,
verbals, and witnesses unreliable". Or intimidated? If I dare say so.

Almost all my family members are connected to legal professions. Dad is a
constitution lawyer, mother is a commercial laws lecturer in the University
of Sydney, sister married to a solicitor, I called him "that conveyance
guy", sister hates me when I said that in front of her, but that's what he
does, specializing in transfer of high value office blocks in town. Except
my brother Matt, he has more sense, and as a result, more fun, surfing,
smoking dopes, getting laid, why wastes time studying? New girl friends
every week, or daily? The names of his one night stands could easily fill
a small town White Pages. One day Surfer's Paradise, next Bali, North,
South, East, West, an free agent, I envy him.

When I told my father Lionel about my choice of criminal laws, he wasn't
impressed. "You won't be handling big cases, not for a long time, James,
as a beginner, all you get will be small time drug dealers, drug users,
prostitutes, some assault cases, and assisting the senior partners as
research clerk for the major ones, years before they hand over to you any
big cases, and I mean years"

When I told him about my joining Long & Long, he groaned, "Loin & Loin, ah,
well, your life, good luck son". Mother was more subtle, "Loin & Loin, eh,
at least you are the wrong gender, and not his secretary, anyway, James,
all the best". Sister was kinder, "congrulations, and all the best".
Matt? somewhere around the world? Sent him an email, "good on you James"
he replied, too busy screwing, or having an out of this world experience?
I envy him.

As a good corporate citizen, Long & Long takes on many pro bono works,
mostly small time crimes, as prophesied by the Know-All-Constitution-Lawyer
Lionel Menzie. The juniors are the natural choice to handle pro bono
works, I don't mind, or do I have any say?

I was handed this case 6 months ago, a month before the Sydney Olympic, it
was quiet time in the firm, but everyone was busy either booking a flight
to get out of town, so to avoid the influx of tourists, or to source a good
ticket for some game finals. The senior partners already got their opening
and closing ceremonies tickets allocated to them months ahead, by paying
ten grands per head to become a Premium Gold Member for the Olympic Game,
plus many free ones, from their ex and current clients, the crims?

It was a date rape case. The accused, Tomas Ancic, Croatian, no doubt, 23
years of age, was accused of raping this woman Sharlene Brook. Met at a
pub on a Sunday night, went back to her place, after some heavy necking,
she changed her mind, decided to ask him to leave, and instead of leaving,
she alleged that he raped her, and it went on all night, virginal, anal,
oral, totally uninhibited, I must say, went on all night long till next
morning. Some stud he was, this Ancic fellow. I looked through the
forensic evidence and some photos the police took.

Some finger marks like bruises on her wrists, you wouldn't notice unless
you pay special attention to them, no semen found in her, so, they must
have used condom, or condoms, the police couldn't find any used rubbers at
her place, she alleged he flushed them down the toilet so to destroy the
evidence. The doctor who examined her found no tearing or bruises of any
kind in her virgina, breasts, or anus. She alleged that in order to fight
him off, she did scratch him with her nails, the forensic lab found skin
matters under her nails matched Ancic's DNA.

The puzzling part was that the, looking at the photos taken after Ancic was
arrested, scratch marks appeared on the back of both his shoulders, then
evenly distributed all the way down towards his buttock, nice butts, must
say, were not deep, more like some kind of S & M play, done in an artistic
way, and certainly not the kind of random frantic defensive scratches
generated from a woman trying desperately to fend off a rapist, nothing on
Ancic's face, good looking kid, or any parts of his body, huge dick, some
are more equal, no scratches on his arms or hands. Mmmm, this Ancic kid
had a reasonable case. Time to move.

I only had two weeks before trial, fuck, the clerk assigning cases
specializing in sitting on his fucking fat bums, I think he is queer, that
give away girlie voice of his, "Why wasn't I given the case earlier, not
much time to prepare Shane" "It landed on my desk from Legal Aid yesterday,
apparently the original solicitor had to go to hospital, premature birth, I
was told, sorry sweetheart" Bloody fag, premature birth? luckily my girl
friend Marrion told me she wanted to wait until after 30s before thinking
about children, not with me sweetheart, I don't want any children, period.
I rang the officer handling the case at the Darlinghurst Police Station and
booked to meet him next morning.

"Sgt. Wallace? James Menzie from Long & Long, representing Tomas Ancic"
"Yes, please take a sit" This place was a mad house, people coming and
going, phones rang non-stop.

"Excuse me for a moment", he waved across the room at a female officer,
signalled her to approach. "Let me introduce, this is Officer Wendy
O'Hearn, she looks after most of the rape cases, easier for the victims to
open up to female officers" "James Menzie, from Long & Long, representing
Tomas Ancic" "Please to meet you"

I wanted to make sure I had all relevant information on file, no missing
pieces. Then I queried them on the weakness I found in the case, reason
why police decided to proceed with the court action against Ancic based on,
in my humble (professional) opinion, very flimsy evidence and, essentially,
Miss Sharlene Brook, the alleged rape victim's words against the accused's.

"Mr. Menzie", "Call me James", "Yes, James, we are in a rather awkward
position these days, especially cases concerning rape. Any decisions we
made invariably attract criticism from some community groups, the press,
and you guys, we are in a no win situation. We drop a particular case, we
would be accused of male bias, ignoring the plight of rape victims, that's
why we put female officers to look after female rape victims, take out the
bias accusation. We proceed with a case, some lawyers, like yourself, will
accuse us of female bias, poor evidence, the impending court hearings will
destroy reputation of innocent people. Can you appreciate our dilemma?
So, the simplest path, not the perfect one, nothing is perfect in this
world as you know James, is to let the courts decide"

"So, you just let innocent people be remanded, suffer public humiliation
and financial ruin, by letting them go through lengthy criminal proceedings
in courts? That way you won't have to face the press? you won't have to
deal with criticism, eh?" They shrugged their shoulders.

"You won't do that to Rupert Murdoch, won't you?" Law and money, hand in

"It's not fair, Mr. Menzie" Tell Ancic, you prick, you cunt. I left. Time
to pay the Croatian a visit, no, lunch first.

(To be continued.)

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