2019-08-28 - Lawyers take a bench.


Matt and Jen make a bit of small talk between cases.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Aug 28 00:00:00 2019
Location: {$location}

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Middle of the day, just after lunch and the U.S. Manhattan District Court is open, the hallways filled with the myriad of individuals who must ply their professions amongst the legally inclined. Plaintiffs, Defendants, Lawyers, Officers of the court all mingle in the areas designated for their awaited time. But at this time of day people are a little more lethargic. The afternoon doldrums set in and while things keep moving… the pace is slower than the morning sessions.
Yet still one cannot know who they'll run into in those hallways. Government officials are common, and every now and again one can see a press conference setting up out on the front steps. Or an episode of Law and Order: Special Capes Unit being filmed.
Though right now, outside of courtroom 114, a young lawyer by the name of Matt Murdock awaits his time. Patiently settled on a bench seat with one of the bailiffs standing nearby. He rests his hands on his cane and passes the time quietly, offering a smile now and then when greeted. Sometimes accompanied by a nod.

Jennifer Walters is a hard person to miss, especially when she's seven feet tall and green and dressed to kill in a fitted business suit. She's something of a familiar face around here, since she does most of her lawyering as She-Hulk (it helps when you defend super powered people when you're a super powered person yourself.) so she doesn't get quite the gawks and stares that she would normally get, save for a few people who don't often visit the building.

She doesn't seem to be in any rush as she casually walks down the hallway, when she spies Matt, somebody who she's met before from time to time. She stops close to him and says, with a smile in her voice, "Mr. Murdock. How goes your day?"

As she had walked near he likely had heard her, for in truth Jennifer was a difficult person to miss even for a blind individual of Matt's abilities. The steady slow pace of her heart, and her slightly gamma-charged scent mingled with whatever fragrance she might have been wearing at the time. But she… was often busier than him with her successful career well underway. And Matt's was… not.
But they had met before, friendly conversation shared and it had passed well. Though he did not intend to call out to her, it was nice to be recognized. "Ms. Walters."
He gains his feet, cane shifting to one hand as he lightly glides it along the edge of the bench seat. "It goes well. Thank you."
He gestures with one hand to the side to the recently vacated seat, "Would you like to sit down?"

Jennifer nods, and winces when she realizes that she's nodding to a blind man. "Of course I would," she says, taking the offered seat. "I've got an hour until my next case, and for once, I'm actually on time and prepared." She lays her briefcase next to her on the bench and makes sure that there's actually enough space for Matt to sit down.

"How's your day going?" she asks, a hint of mirth to her voice. "Hopefully it's going as well as mine is."

Matt steps to the side to give enough room, then lowers his hand to the end of the bench and takes a seat beside her. His glasses reflect her image back to her as he returns the smile. "I have…" A hand brushes over his watch, fingertips lightly finding the time from the small bumps raised. "About thirty minutes."
His head turns back forward and he says, "So we're not against each other. Your lucky day." It's a small bit of teasing, but with their relative positions in the community, harmless. "But why is your day going so well, Ms. Walters?" His voice affects an overly formal tone at those last few words.

Jennifer leans back, and makes a thoughtful sound. "I think butting heads with you would be a refreshing change of pace. It's hard to find a lawyer that actually cares about justice these days." She chuckles, "My day is going well since, like I said, I'm running on time and have some spare time for once. That and this case is pretty open and shut so I'll have most of the afternoon free. How about you?"

"Ah," Matt says and perhaps his day is not going quite as well, "I have been engaged by my client to further her interests in an effort that I am afraid is not likely to… be fruitful." His smile twists up a little, but she likely knows he is ever taking a few pro-bono cases around the neighborhood and that often leaves him…tilting at windmills.
"But things are brightening up now. Fine conversation, good company." He lifts a hand slightly indicating herself, then says. "Though I'm afraid I'll be stuck here until five most likely."
Lifting his chin slightly, Matthew asks, "Going to do anything fun with your free time? Or just run home and relax?"

Jennifer lets out a weary sigh. "I'm probably going to head back to the office and overwork myself again. An old habit back from when I was a lobbyist." She rubs the back of her neck, "I take on more cases than I should because… because there are good people out there who need help." She lets out a small chuckle, "And some of them actually pay."

Matt's hands rest on the grip of his cane as he faces forwards, his smile is warm as he nods once. "A few days back, my partner asked me if I regretted not taking a position with…" He stops and then says, "With this firm that wanted us to work for them, sort of as a team. And it would have paid much better."
He takes a deep breath and says, "But I wouldn't have had the freedom I do now. And so maybe I have to eat noodles more often than I like." His lip curls a little, perhaps serious, perhaps not. "But now at least I can feel good about what I'm doing." Which goes for a lot of things.

Jennifer's head bobs in agreement. "Yeah. My career took a hard left turn when I joined the lobby movement. It barely paid rent but it was something that needed to be done." She shakes her head, "And now that I'm in the habit of it, I can't stop. But at least my clients who can't pay feed me, and Mr. Haversham makes one hell of a pie."

"Haversham." Matt says, "Careful and check how old that pie might be." Hah. Great Expectations reference. But he lifts his chin as he changes the topic, turning his head slightly so his words are more meant for her. Though it might seem a touch silly when he lowers his voice about it. Since really, all anyone has to do is glance at her to know she's a superhero. "What about your heroic efforts? How are those going?"
He turns slightly and shifts his grip on his cane, "I'd always had this vague desire to pick your brain about that life. But I think I only mustered up the courage to do so now."

"Oh? Thinking about putting on a pair of red tights and going out crimefighting?" she asks, amusement in her voice. (Little does she know…) More seriously, "It…. goes. I'm out of practice and I don't have a lot of time for it, but I miss it a lot."

She draws little circles with a fingertip on the back of the bench as she muses, "I've thought about seeing if I can join the Avengers and going full time. The problem is that there aren't many lawyers in my area of expertise, fewer still who'll go pro bono, and on the flip side of that there's only so many Hulks to go around. It's a problem that I had when I first started out in LA and I never found a good solution to it."

"Well," Matt chews on his lower lip for a moment and shifts to sit to the side so they can more easily converse. "I suppose it depends on how you feel what obligations to the social contract of our society you ultimately owe." He smiles a little and says, "If you look at it from a certain Those Each Unto Their Gifts, then your best efforts as She-Hulk, doing good, fighting the good fight is best."
He uncurls a hand to the side, taking the counter point, "However. Should you sublimate yourself and your own desires for a greater good? And is there a middle ground?"
The young lawyer seems to have thought of this at some length as he turns his head forward, not quite looking at her, just off to the side a little. "But whatever you choose to do, Jen. You are going to do good. That's just who you are. So I think there's a peace in that alone."
Then his smile slips to a grin, "So clearly the answer is do both."

Jennifer's laugh is hearty enough. "You're good folk, Matt. We could've used somebody like you in the lobby." She turns to face the man as he did her, and leans against the back of the bench, propping her elbow up on it. "Now that I think about it, I think the question is 'who can replace me?' If I do the superhero thing full time, will there be other lawyers who specialize in metahuman law, such as it is?" She purses her lips, "Maybe not many now, but there /will/ be." Jen's grin reaches her voice, "On the other hand, if I go lawyer full time, will there be any hot new up and coming Hulks that can fill my shoes?"

"God, I hope not."

"Well," Matt smirks a little, "I doubt any can really 'replace' you, Jen. But who can help out? Maybe extend some feelers to see who is out there. I still talk to some of my professors at Columbia, I can float a few words and see what I get back if you like."
Though he does lightly touch a fingertip to the face of his watch, he doesn't mention the time. Not yet at least. He then lifts his chin and replies, "There seem to be a lot of heroes out there, though. But never enough." His voice softens a little at the end, knowing exactly how hard it is when they let things get by them.

Jennifer tilts her head and smiles, "That's kind of you to say and an interesting solution…. one I hadn't thought about. I've been casting about for a secretary who doesn't mind eating a slice of pie as part of their paycheck, but maybe I should be looking for an intern."

She now sounds a bit lost in thought. "Mm. Find some good students, put them to work, show them how it's done and then set them free unto the world." Her fingers drum absently on the bench, causing it to vibrate. "That'll give me more free time to do superhero stuff AND make sure that there are better equipped lawyers out there if I do go full time."

Matt bobs his head a few times as she works down her own path of thought and smiles when she reaches the conclusion. "That could work." He again checks his watch and then tells her, "I need to get going, I'm afraid my time's a bit short. Don't worry, I'll send you the bill." His lip twists with humor as he rises to his feet, taking up his valise from its place at his side.
The foot shorter lawyer extends his hand in roughly her general direction as he says. "It's always a pleasure, Ms. Walters. Give me a call if you want to talk some more. I promise my rates are competitive." Ok he's not going to charge her. Probably.

Jennifer stands and takes the offered hand. "Break a leg, Mr. Murdock. Send me the bill and when I get paid, you'll get paid." Which is to say, they're most likely to be living off of noodles for the next couple of weeks. (Except for Haversham's pie, which is to die for.)

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