2019-09-16 - Do Not Pass Go


Matt meets with Maeve to discuss her legal troubles.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 16 00:00:00 2019
Location: Courthouse

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In the law offices of Nelson and Murdock a voice is heard calling out, "I'll buy you a bottle of that whiskey you like."
"No way, Matty." Foggy's voice is heard as he calls back from his own office, each of them squirreled away in the smallish rooms on opposite sides of that reception area. "How's it going to look to the bar if I'm the one always doing the pro-bono work? Besides, get out, run around some, you've been looking pale and peaked. Strolling down to the courthouse will do you good."
A slight grumble might well be heard as Matt Murdock, attorney at law, slouches back in his seat. Fingertips run gently over the folder as he reads it with just a quick casual caress. His frown was there, and really… he didn't care about doing pro-bono work. It's in part why he became an attorney. But this particular case…
Shaking his head he calls out, "Two bottles?"
"Sooner you leave the sooner you'll be done, Matt."
And that was where they left it. Eventually he'd stepped away from the desk and gathered his things, valise in hand and cane in the other, he had stepped out onto the streets of New York to meet with his client down at the courthouse. It was thirty minutes til their appointment. Plenty of time to head down and make the meeting. Not too long to travel, and as he walked he recited to himself the important aspects of the case, already starting to argue matters in his head.
But one thing he was going to need, however… was to get his client's angle on things. And sometimes that can be the hardest part.

At the appointed time and place, Maeve had arrived. She was dressed in her work clothes. Not really necessary as this wasn't going to be a meeting in front of the judge and, honestly, she didn't care if the lawyer was impressed or not. There were a lot of things about this that set her teeth on edge, not the least of which was she was having to meet a lawyer. Most of them were not high on her list after her experiences. Which was odd considering her years in college.
She was seated on a bench, her dress suit pristine. It was a nice charcoal black today, the A-line skirt falling just below her knees. Sensible flat pumps on her feet, matching charcoal color. White crisp shirt she had pressed before putting it on. Jacket over it all, unbuttoned as she was sitting but when she stood, it was automatic to button it in place. Her tie was pink, a nice contrast to the rest of the outfit. She had on a pair of black gloves, leather but thin and form fitting. A pair of mirrored sunglasses, with circular lenses, hid her eyes from view.
She didn't have any paperwork or anything with her. That was for the pro bono lawyer. She cursed mentally at having to go with a pro bono lawyer because who knew if they would be good or bad at their jobs. Most did it for reasons that had nothing to do with altruism.

In the hustle and bustle of the city courtroom in the middle of the day it's hard to be alone with ones thoughts. People would walk by the benches, officers of the law were about in numbers, and there were always strange waiting areas or areas roped off for particular functions. It was all arcane if someone didn't know what they were about. And even to some lawyers there it was a mess. Sometimes even Matt Murdock got himself a little turned around, but the little edges he had in life helped him out now and again.

This time was no different in that he was able to just brush fingertips slightly over the signage nearby, even the ones that did not have Braille letters. It guided him to conference room 206-C scheduled for the use of one Matthew Murdock and Meadhbh Brennan, client attorney meeting.
It was outisde that room she likely waited, and things were so abustle she might not have even noticed his approach. It was only when he was a few feet away standing over that bench that she was seated on, his hand touching lightly at that sign with the braille letting him know this was indeed 206-C. "Ms. Brennan?"
He was tall, dark reddish hair all in a tangle from the wind outside. His dark reflective glasses gave her back her own image when she looked to him. He had on a dark grey suit with a black tie and black shoes. Though what most likely drew her eye… was the cane.
"I'm Matt Murdock." He swaps the cane over to his valise hand and extends his right to her, "Good to meet you."

Maeve had been lost in her thoughts, replaying the events that had brought her to this moment. The incident. The follow up by her probation officer after it, leading to her arrest for a violation. Though she was released on bond, obviously, she was having to stay at her home or her place of work with n where in between. To be certain she didn't end up in trouble for something else idiotic, she even was having her groceries delivered to her apartment instead of stopping at a store on the way home.
Hearing the voice, she turned her head to get a look at her new lawyer. Her eyes stopped on the cane. Brow furrowing, she followed it up to his hand then further up to his face where she saw glasses reflected back her own image. The frown appeared immediately then she mentally berated herself. Just because he was blind didn't mean he was a bad lawyer. She shouldn't judge the book by the cover.
Her hand met his, giving a firm grip and a quick handshake. "Mr. Murdock, a pleasure to meet you." She wasn't really telling the truth and he'd be able to tell, though no other person around would doubt the authenticity of her words. "I appreciate you taking my case." Not a lie there though. She did appreciate that someone was willing to try to help, even if she didn't have much confidence in them.

"It's ok," Matt's smile seems to brighten his features as he returns the handshake, his head turned just a little to the side and off from hers reminding her of his state. "I understand your trepidation." He says with a hint of sympathy, "When things are difficult you want the best and you don't want to trust somebody with disadvantages. So I'm glad you're willing to put up with someone who is a redhead."
At that his lip twists a little upwards, but then he gestures to the side, "Should we go get comfortable? I figure we might be here for a bit so I brought some sandwiches from the corner." The semi-famous corner outside the courtroom, known for its many food trucks that rake in the bucks during the day. "And some water since I figure we'll be doing a lot of talking."
Hey, free lunch from a pro-bono lawyer, yay.
That said he'll extend his hand to the side and lightly touch the door, then finds the knob and opens it for her to precede him inside.

"Considering I'm a redhead, I think I will be able to tolerate you just fine," Maeve offers in a dry tone of voice. After all, he can't see that he's talking to a fellow ginger. It is meant to be humorous and she is amused but her delivery might make someone think she was being serious. Thankfully, he has other cues. Not that she knows this, thus she apparently isn't concerned if he did take it the wrong way.
She slips into the door ahead of him, moving to take one of the hard wooden seats. Courthouses never seemed to have cushioned, comfortable seats. It was almost always a wood seat with a high back. Often, several chairs in a room would be different styles as well, showing they were from different years of purchase. She unbuttons her jacket again, settling in to the chair and figuring he will sit across from her.
"I'm good for the moment but lunch may be nice in a bit. If this takes that long." And there is the second moment, a hint that she isn't expecting to be talking nearly as much as he might be.

"The challenges we face as a people," The redheads of the world unite. But she is right in her assumption as he walks over and pulls his chair out opposite her, setting the valise down and collapsing the cane into its compressed form, then slipping it into the pockets of his coat. That coat goes on the back of his chair as well as he takes a seat and then withdraws a small tape recorder onto the table. "I hope you don't mind that I record this? It'll help me re-order my thoughts later."
And if she doesn't have an objection he'll turn it on. If she does then he'll make do without. "First things first, however. I'd appreciate if you'd take the time to tell me your side of things. What happened on the night in question. I have read the police report, but your insight will be very important to me."
That having been said he sits forward in the chair, rests his hands upon the tabletop with fingers interlaced… and listens.

"No objections," Maeve responds automatically. She's done this before. A long time ago before but it isn't new territory. Recordings aren't a big deal and the lawyer/client confidentiality means it won't be going to anyone but Matt.
As he brings up the question, a frown mars her expression. After all, she doesn't have to wear her mask. He can't see anyway. The corresponding expression can match her emotions.
"It's all there but alright." More resistance. Maeve is not a fan of sharing information. "I work as a personal security agent. Bodyguard, for less syllables. For a large corporation. I am assigned currently to one of the high level IT guys, Eric Hammond. Mr. Hammond is a young man who makes very good money doing his job and he prefers certain…types of entertainment. I went to Lily's Dry Cleaners on the night in question to scout the location since Mr. Hammond wished to visit there the next night."
Maeve didn't expand as to why a Dry Cleaners might hold appeal for her client. It was a front, after all. Not a dry cleaners but a very different sort of business.
"While at the location, touring to see the…" she pauses then changed her choice of words from layout to "..floor plan, plan for rapid exits if necessary. During this tour, in the company of the business owner Lily, I was confronted by three men who were leaving the establishment after completing their business." She frowned again but continued quickly. "I had history with these men from my past and they felt the need to begin an altercation with me. A physical one. When the first one swung at me, I fought back. When the police arrived, the three men were laying on the floor and I was seated, waiting in a chair with an icepack on my cheek."

The young lawyer nods as he listens to her, his glasses tilted slightly to the side as he seems to be looking subtly past her. He doesn't press or interject as she retells the story, he lets her tell it at her own pace and holds his questions until the end. Once she seems to let the silence settle into place he gives another slightly more emphatic nod to signal his recognition of that end…
Then speaks, "For a dry cleaners the witnesses that were on the scene were not very forthcoming in their testimony." Matt says with a small smile, "None of them were willing to corroborate your story. All of them seemed to not be in the area and apparently heard and saw nothing. Even what was going on in their own rooms at the time. So I think… I understand that this likely wasn't the best place for police investigation."
Matt lowers his head slightly, "I don't suppose you think it'd be useful to call any of those witnesses or they might have anything else to add to their testimony." Since keeping their mouths shut while working at a place of ill repute is rather important.
"Do you have any correspondence with your boss about your duties? A text message with him sending you there, or something similar?"

"There is no one who will corroborate. It would damage their reputations." The humor of that sentence is not lost on Maeve but she manages to keep herself to a smirk and not laugh at the idea.
At mention of correspondence, he will be able to sense her discomfort. Not really her heartbeat rising but a slight rise in temperature perhaps, a tensing of her muscles and a clenching of her jaw. "I do. Texts and emails." She isn't pulling out her phone. "If this can be handled without those, it would likely be for the best. They do not give a good reflection about my client." Hard to do so when he was a little scuzzball. "Which may tarnish him and the company we work for."

She'll see him work at his lower lip for a moment thoughtfully, the gears churning in his mind as he nods again at her words given. He uncurls his hands and gestures towards her with palm up. Curiously rough hands for a paper pusher or a lawyer. Small lines around the knuckles and a hint of toughened skin at his palm heel, visible as he motions to her.
"I can understand the desire to keep your employer out of it, Ms. Brennan." And here comes the but, "But if you don't present those mails into evidence it could mean the difference between your freedom and 3-5 back up in Ryker's."
Turning his head to the side his nostrils flare faintly and he taps a fingertip upon the table's surface. "Perhaps you can peruse them and gauge if one or the other avenue of information might be less embarrassing?"
Matt adjusts his glasses with one hand as he then clarifies. "The prosecution aren't likely to request information as the revelation would be damaging to their case. They wouldn't pursue it to simply embarrass your employer. However you're right, anything we submit will be a matter of public record. So if it's not /that/ embarrassing, maybe we could work that angle?"

A physical wince as Maeve looks away from the table. Sure sign she is hating every second of this. "Since we have confidentiality, I will forward them to you. I think you will find there is no angle to be reached which will not present Mr. Hammond in a negative light."
She does finally pull out her phone, putting her thumb on the screen to unlock it then glancing to Matt. "Is there a specific email I should send them to? Or would you like to look at them here? I realize you would have to set it for vocal instead of text based, but I feel you should be warned that the language within is…graphic."

"Ms. Brennan," He smiles a little as his breath is drawn in as if trying to find the right words to phrase this. Matt then tells her, "I grew up in Hell's Kitchen, my father was a stevedore and part-time professional boxer. I think there are probably a few phrases I could teach you that might surprise you."
He leaves it at that, but then he nods, "Please, moc.walg|odacovakcodrum#moc.walg|odacovakcodrum should work." Murdock doesn't offer to explain the email address, and just lets that ride for now. "Is your employer threatening your job if you use these emails for your defense, Ms. Brennan? For him to do so is illegal, I should mention."

To say that has her wanting answers is an understatement. Avocado. There has to be a story behind that, likely a humorous one.
This is not the time nor place to ask.
"My employer," Maeve stresses the word. "As in the company I work for, is being supportive and cooperative. My client, Mr. Hammond, less so. However, that is nothing I wish to pursue so it can be dismissed from your thoughts."
She taps a few times at her screen then quickly types in the address and fires off the images of the text messages as well as three emails. They are filled with expletives, uncomplimentary terms for women being prevalent. Mr. Hammond had wanted some good times. When it had been suggested he could find those sorts of good times with those in other services or simply for free, he had explainedgraphicallythat he wanted to visit a less sophisticated establishment. He even specified Lily's by name as having been one he had heard about and insisted that was where he wished to go.
"Hell's Kitchen? I was born and raised there too. I probably have passed you a few times in the neighborhood and never noticed." It's the first open thing she has said, the first sharing of her instead of facts about the case.

Reaching into his jacket, Matt withdraws his own phone and holds it in his hand, waiting the few seconds needed for it to hum and vibrate to signal that it's received the mail. He'll nod a bit and then murmurs quietly, "Oh? P.S. 59?" The high school local to him in the 10019 area code, Matt's smile grows a little. "Beekman's High." The less formal term as he then adds, "You were ahead of me a few years. I think… three?" He asks of her as he recalls the D.O.B. in her records. Having a good memory helps with these things, of course.
"That was back when they were mainstreaming a bunch of the kids like myself. It was nice." He tilts his head to the side a little, "A little more difficult in some ways, but nice to be around so many people."
Perhaps that's a charitable way to describe it, but he doesn't seem to mind. "I was probably a young freshman running around while you were a big cool senior with your crowd of friends and your dabbing, and planking, and all that." His lip twitches a little, trying to remember what was popular 8 or 9 years ago.

"No, I was already in college when you were a freshman. Or perhaps having graduated." Maeve tilts her head, trying to add up the years. "I did graduate from Beekman but I graduated when I was 15." A little shrug dismissing it then she realizes he can't see it. No way to really verbalize what it portrayed so she left it alone.
"I graduated from college at 18, with a major and a minor. Didn't socialize much. Was the weird, smart kid. Was going to go into law but…"
Her voice trails off as she glances off to the wall, the paint that was just starting to peel in the upper corner catching her eye. It was enough to get her moving beyond what she almost said. "Passing on the street is about the only thing we may have had happen."

"That's too bad, would have made a good story to tell our friends." Matt says as he then clears his throat and refocuses on the task at hand. "Forgive me for the momentary lapse. There are a few more things I'd like to follow up on."
He pulls his chair a little closer so he can sit up straighter against the table, leaning against it still partially. "In your testimony you declared you were attacked by the three men and were able to hold them off successfully." Though she might take some umbrage at that since she knocked them out. But he presses on. "And it seems the hospital reports hold up that end of things."
He gestures to the side slightly with his left hand, "Your past with these men, what did it entail? Was it possible that they had been following or pursued you in some way? Or meant you harm enough to follow you? If we can give some hint that they had set this course of action into motion before you entered the place of business then it no longer is a situation of you visiting a place and possibly associating with other felons. Instead you are a victim being targeted by former colleagues and felons."

"Precisely. I was not associating with felons. They happened to be in the same location where I was and nothing more. Unless associating involves my fist and their faces. Then perhaps associating is the proper term," Maeve say, that dry sense of humor there again with her deadpan delivery.
That discomfort is back. Him wanting to know her history with the men. She frowns and looks down at the recorder between them, thinking the man needed to modernize as she tried to find a way to say this without giving away too much.
Maybe she was hedging too much. Maybe it was time to be a bit more honest. Might end up with him dropping her case like a hot potato. Her history wasn't a pretty one.
"I used to do…work. That was not honest. Well it was but wasn't by societal standards." She placed an arm on the table, resting it there and looking at her gloved hand as she spoke. "Circumstances in my life drove me to become a criminal. I worked for some of the Gangs in the kitchen. Then later for some costumed sorts as one of their hench people. It was a job, nothing more. One of those costumed individuals took it upon himself to lie to us, telling us one thing when he was planning another." She looks to that peeling paint in the corner. "This may seem odd but there are certain rules to being a hench person. Bosses are expected to be honest so we know what we are in for. This one lied. When I found out what he had planned, I turned on him. Helped a hero take him down. And I got five years in prison since I had assisted, instead of the 20 that was normal for the charges.
She takes a slow breath then releases it before continuing, looking directly at Matt again. "The three men who were leaving Lily's had been in a gang I was part of long ago. They felt that I deserved to be punished for choosing to turn on my former boss, not knowing all the facts. They thought they should do the punishing. The learned they were not up to the task." A nice way of saying she wiped the floor with them without the bragging involved.

For a time Matt had followed along, listening and seeming to just feed that data into his brain using it to calculate her defense. But when she opens up a bit more about matters, abut what happened, and is actually fairly honest he stops nodding and listens. She'll see the furrow of his brow as he ponders. Curious how such a gesture remains for an individual even when they have no vision to try and bring matters more into focus.
As she relates her tale he waits, not interrupting. Though he does sit up a little more and turns his head away. Perhaps to her it looks like he's rejecting her words or displeased. But for him it's more so he can listen to her more precisely with that angle, one ear turned slightly more to her than the other.
He eventually frowns and then speaks once she falls quiet. "We should…" His smile is a little apologetic as he replies, "Should probably not use that."
A beat, then he smiles a little more easily though it's clear there's a cloud upon his features. "But if they were there already then… it's still an issue of your judgment going to a place where known felons are…"
He stops and then his eyebrows rise as if something occurred to him. One hand lifts to readjust his glasses, making sure they're still snug against his nose and brow. "Hm. Actually I may have an idea."
One hand presses flat upon the table as he rises to his feet, then extends a hand towards her, "Ms. Brennan. I'll be in touch." He starts to turn away, but then he stops and snaps his fingers, "Actually… I should give you my card shouldn't I?" He smiles, a little embarrassed as he reaches into his pocket and extends one to her. "I'll be in touch when we have a court date. Ideally we should be able to get this dismissed before it goes further."

"I …" That was rather quick. It was pretty much what she expected. As he rose to his feet, pointing out they shouldn't use her past and after the judgement on his face? Now it was just a matter of him telling her good day and good luck on a new lawyer.
Instead, he was keeping her case. She looked stunned, a bit unusual for the woman who kept her cards hidden close to her chest so others couldn't read her. "Alright. Thank you," she says, rising as well and taking the offered card. She glances down at it automatically. It didn't really make any sense to look. she knew what it was, who he was, what would be displayed. Yet it never ceased that being handed a business card would at least earn a glance at the card itself. Then it was tucked into the pocket of her jacket.
"I admit I'm curious what the angle is but I'll be patient. Until next time, Mr. Murdock."

"Ms. Brennan." He extends his hand towards her and gives a firm shake should she grip his, the soft leather of her gloves seeming so different than the woman who was just speaking to him. But he files that away for another time, just giving her a nod and then stepping back as he unfolds his cane from his pocket. "Patience is a virtue."
He turns to the door and lightly taps it with his cane, extending a hand to push on it and give it a nudge to opening with his shoulder. He'll even take a few steps to clear into the hallway and then hold it for her properly and gentlemanly.
"Until then." He smiles a little off to the side, then turns and departs down the courtroom hall, his cane held before him and ticking light upon the floor.

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