Preparing for court hearings was an everyday part of my daily duties at the firm, but this particular incident was proving to be both a pain and a puzzle for me. My seniors were all eyes on me - this issue was the only savior to liberate me from public scrutiny among my fellow paralegals. It all had started as a joke when this bald man entered the paralegal's bay. He was specific on whom he was here to see. It was my immediate boss, Attorney Job. The matter was both a tricky and straightforward task to handle. As usual, Job mocked me of the revelations of the suit. All I was required to provide were facts to support his argument before the jury.
Initially, I had to familiarize myself with Jack - the client. Much of his profile data was intentionally missing, or there was no much to tell. Jack was a quiet man, one you would mistake for a local gangster with deep secrets to hide. Though soft-spoken he commanded a lot of respect from everyone he interacted with due to his firm stand on issues he addressed. His was confusion between my self-evaluation of him and the facts to put on record. Although he was persistence on his urge for justice, he had little to offer in support his case; everything became my burden to solve the puzzle around the incidence.
According to Jack, it was his landlord's fault in his current mess. He lived in the compound alone for the last four years. His wife and daughter were away on personal grounds. Without elaboration what the issue entailed, whether divorce, separation or whatsoever reason, Jack did not seem interested in recounting on that part of the story. The matter at hand involved a freshly unearthed lump of soil in his backyard. The forensic contact on the case stated first-degree murder on the exhumed body he had examined from Mr. Jack's backyard. From the recount from Jack, it was the landlord who had been working in the yard for the last two weeks. The two controversial stories from the two parties involved pointed figures on each other. The landlord - Mr. Ted had a different version of the story revolving the discovery of an unusual fresh grave on his property. He was there to med the backyard fence since it linked Mr. Jack's place to his residence. The exciting part of the two stories I was getting from both men left questions to each man's motive. According to Jack, it was a while now since the last time he went to the backyard; and his version pointed figures on Ted claiming he was there for as long as he can remember. Mine was not to judge, that would be the jury's job to decide, all I need to do was to support my boss's argument with reliable facts.
I had a lot to evaluate to drive at a point, but, the most straightforward aspect I could draw was a crossroad where both stories parted ways. The exhumed body identified as Jean Castor, a sixteen-year-old high school student reported going missing a month ago. Jean was last seen at her friend's house three blocks from the murder site. She was attending teens hung out party and was reportedly said to have left the party late in the night in the company of her boyfriend Joe, who was missing from then. The hunt for the missing teens did not materialize until two days ago when Ted reported a buried body in Jack's backyard. The facts of file did not tie any links between the missing teens and these two old gentlemen. It was not known to the men of any missing kids. The tricky situation I find myself in makes my answers even harder to answer from the unrelated information I was getting in record and interviews.
My attorney - Job - is persistent to get answers before dawn to prepare for a hearing in three days. If only he could recognize the burden, these facts are giving me to burn the midnight oil trying to connect issues that lead to nowhere or to the same point. I am puzzled; my life depends on this revelation. The connection between the crime and innocence seemed to make the same sense. To me, Jack's persistence of his innocence gave my instincts sympathetic redress to believe in him, but still, Ted's story had substantial grounds giving me a double stand on Jack.
When I pounded on the matter further perceptual view on the role of Joe's absence and the two men's blame game could lead to some untold truth. It did not occur to me that one could perpetrate a crime and report it to lay blame on another person. With this argument, Ted was out of the question. Jack's evidence that he has no business in the backyard raised eyebrows on his integrity. Joe's whereabouts was a puzzle for another day. Now it was clear to me and everyone who cared to listen that this was a done issue. So, I laid my arguments basing persuasive arguments on the reasons one would claim not to be part of his ecosystem yet he was present without reasonable doubts. I made a lengthy statement and felt congratulatory about my revelation.
On the hearing, day Job showed confidence in his presentation. Out of his long practice in legal field and mastery of the jury mood I was confident to have made a success story on my records. Fifteen minutes into the proceedings I sat there confused on not sure of my relevance or role in my duty. Job's manner of handling the matters at hand was entirely unrelated to my arguments; he had reliable and evidence-based arguments that brought a truth so pure I had not seen, despite Ted being Joe's uncle, Joe had been in his house for the last two weeks.
Griswold Del Castillo, Richard. and Garcia, Richard. A. Cesar Chavez: A Triumph of Spirit. Oklahoma Western: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995, p. 41 -45.
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