ACE OF DIAMONDS
Even as he neared the courthouse, twenty-five-year-old Jack Ragu could not believe that he had been indicted for any crime, let alone aggravated sexual assault and battery and stalking. Standing across the street from the Southern District’s mammoth courthouse, Jack wondered how the criminal charges against him had gotten this far.
"You’re in deep shit now, Money," a young street thug said to Jack, who had paused at the corner of the block.
Jack immediately inspected his shoes for dog crap.
Ignoring the street youth, Jack moved across the avenue to the wide pedestrian island situated in the center of John Jay Circle. Before him was a fifty-foot-high monument with a marble base. A bronze statute of the state’s first governor sat atop the monument. The sculptor had portrayed the Governor in a heroic pose; sword in one hand, raised above his head, and bible in the other, clutched to his breast.
"Hey man, you got any crackers on ya?" asked a man sitting at the base of the monument, holding a can of sardines.
Jack doubted if anyone still gave a shit about the historic figure above him. Jack thought about his father, Tommy, who had passed away almost ten years before. "Pop would know all about this guy," Jack said aloud. "My father knew all about history and politics," he said to the man with the sardines. As a matter of fact, Tommy’s passion for both local and national history and politics was responsible for Jack’s name; born on November 22, 1963, Tommy named Jack after the then President.
Pop could make this indictment go away, Jack thought. How would he do it? Probably by talking to the local ward boss or maybe to a neighborhood goodfella who, to everyone’s complete surprise, had been appointed to a judgeship. It seemed to Jack that his Dad could always persuade someone in a position of authority to rule his way; most of the time, bluffing his way through.
Jack was now directly opposite the State Courthouse–an enormous complex comprised of two buildings: the original courthouse, which dated back to 1868, and a new glass annex. Sixty marble steps led up to the original building’s main entrance. The front of this structure reflected a classical architectural style with twelve columns spanning the width of the front face. Above each column was a different classical sculpture. In one case, it was the mythical figure Prudence, holding a mirror, suggesting that wisdom comes from reflection. Above another pillar, an angelic figure held a rudder in one arm and the Tablet of the Law in another. What that carving symbolized to someone Jack’s age was anybody’s guess. The thirty-story, glass annex, which had been under construction for years, loomed in the background, having been surgically attached to the back wall of the one hundred-twenty-year-old courthouse. Delays in obtaining the proper construction and environmental permits, and various labor strikes and work stoppages, had turned the two year construction project into a perennial event.
As he crossed the street, Jack watched six, dark-blue Lincoln Towne Cars (with tinted windows) pull up at the base of the courthouse steps. Simultaneously, Towne Car doors opened and a small army of lawyers in dark-blue and charcoal-gray, pinstriped suits exited. Nearly all of the lawyers wore tan trenchcoats over their suits, having psychically anticipated the light drizzle which had begun to fall just seconds prior to their arrival. The older, more important lawyers moved quickly up the stairs; the rest of the lawyers, younger men, lagged behind and hauled briefcases, boxes, visual aid easels (known as "A" frames) and other items concealed in heavy green plastic. Ten paralegals–who had just appeared from around the corner on foot–picked up briefcases, boxes and visual aid easels left at the curb by the young lawyers and scurried up the stairs. Two female paralegals barked out orders to three slightly-built law clerks who trailed behind them, both literally and figuratively, on the colossal law firm corporate ladder.
Jack took out a Marlboro and smoked, as he watched the lawyers, paralegals and clerks. He crossed the street and followed them up to the courthouse. At the top of the steps, he saw a group of television cameras and newspaper reporters surround the important lawyers as they reached the revolving door at the main entrance. The lawyers made short statements to the press and then proceeded inside. The cameramen filmed the young lawyers, paralegals and clerks, and had turned their equipment in Jack’s direction as he approached, but were quickly told to stop filming.
"He’s no one important," a field producer stated authoritatively to the cameramen.
Another field producer shouted at Jack: "There’s no smoking allowed in the courthouse!"
Just in front of Jack, one of the clerks was having trouble maneuvering a silver luggage cart–overloaded with heavy boxes of documents–through the revolving door. Failing miserably, an ill-fated move by the uncoordinated clerk sent two boxes tumbling to the ground. Seeing court documents spill out of the boxes, two cameramen rushed in for a close-up, hoping to expose some information which, up to that point, had been kept secret pursuant to the Court’s Order. Unfortunately for the cameramen, Jack blocked their path and inadvertently shielded the documents long enough for one of the female paralegals to re-box the papers and then promptly relieve the law clerk of his transport duties.
"Get outta the way, you dumb lug," one of the cameramen shouted at Jack in frustration.
Jack entered the courthouse. He wore a blue sports coat, knit tie, gray, Haggar slacks and ankle-high, black boots, which he had bought in the Village thinking they would make him look hip. Harsh fluorescent lights shone down as Jack passed through a security checkpoint and metal detector without incident. A harmless-looking, little man in his early forties was pulled out of line behind Jack, before the man had entered the metal detector.
"You again?" a security guard said. "C’mon. You know the drill," he added, whisking the man away to a side room for further examination. Neither Jack nor anyone else reacted to this abduction.
Jack next passed a long line of people waiting to see the Court Clerk. The Clerk of the Court was a pencil-necked man with a mushroom-shaped head who had many insecurities, none of which got in the way of the over 100 different rubber stamps that were at his immediate disposal.
"I don’t care if you’re innocent, you still have to see the judge," the Court Clerk stated to a well-dressed, young man who stood before him.
"I’m not innocent; it’s my client I’m talking about. I’m the lawyer not the defendant!" the young man responded.
"I don’t care who you are. You still have to see the judge," the Court Clerk answered.
"And I don’t see where you’ve filed a Form 2128A Request with the calendar clerk."
"I did, I filed it with you …" the young lawyer protested.
"I’m the Court Clerk, not the Calendar Clerk," the Clerk interrupted with delight. "I guess they didn’t teach you the difference in law school, huh?"
Jack exited from an elevator. He had no idea if he was going in the right direction. A hulking United States Marshall – with a silver shield hanging from the lapel pocket of his sports coat – appeared to recognize Jack, and nodded to him as they crossed paths. Jack walked the length of a long hallway, which was empty. He passed a row of closed doors with signs that read "Witness Room No. __________." Hearing voices from one of the rooms, he peered inside a partially opened door. He saw a middle-aged businessman sitting hunched over a table, with his head in his hands. His lawyer hovered over him in the cramped 4′ X 6′ room, as the businessman continually pushed his hair back over his head with both hands.
"Do us both a favor so we get home in time for lunch for a change. Lie a little, Mac. Lie a little," the lawyer pleaded.
Jack continued down the hallway. Another United States Marshall, dressed in gray slacks and a blue blazer, walked past and said: "Good morning."
Jack nodded back at the marshall who seemed surprisingly warm.
Jack finally reached a witness room marked "2601-AA." He pulled out a black and white marble composition book – the kind grammar school kids use – and reviewed his notes from an earlier telephone conference with his attorney. Seated at the table in the small room was his attorney, Andi Swindle, Esquire. Andi was a twenty-eight-year-old woman. She wore a figure-hugging, green Anne Taylor business suit. She had long blonde hair and Pierre Cardin, designer eyeglasses.
"For Christ’s sake, Jack. Good of you to show up. Ten minutes before the hearing is an excellent time to make an appearance."
"Why do I have to get here early? I’m not testifying today, am I?" Jack asked, suddenly nervous. "You said I wouldn’t have to testify today–because of the Constitution."
"No, but you could show a little more interest in this hearing considering that if the evidence presented looks strong enough against you the judge might stick your ass in the rock. That would put you in the hole for ten months awaiting trial," Andi said. Jack had noticed that for such a petite and sophisticated-looking woman, Andi liked to use foul language and prisonspeak.
"Listen, Miss Swin-dle…" Jack began.
"Okay. Swin-dell, Jack said, emphasizing dell. "Stick me in the hole for what? I…"
Jack stopped in mid-sentence because a throng had amassed just outside the witness room. It was the lawyers who had exited from the Lincoln Towne Cars. Andi got up and closed the door.
"Listen, Jack. So far the System has given you a break. You only had to spend one night in jail, and you’ve been free to roam the streets pending this probable cause hearing because this is your first offense…"
"First offense? I didn’t commit any offense!"
"That’s what you say, but there’s a battered young woman and a few others who say differently. You know, we were damn lucky to get you out on bail. If the charge had been child molestation–forgettaboutit. That’s the criminal offense of the year; you’d still be in the joint."
"So, is that a good sign?"
"It can be, especially if the judge is in a good mood. But this judge, well, he might not be too happy today since he’s been uprooted and brought over here to civil court."
"What do you mean, civil court? This is civil court?" Jack asked, confused.
"Yeah. They’re removing asbestos at the criminal courthouse, so we’re doubling up over here. It’s actually exciting for me to have the opportunity to argue in such a huge courtroom. You should feel privileged; your hearing will be held in the largest courtroom in the Southern District!"
"Well, what’s the difference, anyway, between civil and criminal…"
"No time to explain, Jack. It’s Showtime."
Moments later, Andi and Jack entered the oldest and largest courtroom in the Southern District. The area at the back of the room was where the public sat. Jack counted about ten rows of church-like pews on either side of him as he and Andi walked down the center aisle to the front of the room. A large crowd was gathered; some were already seated and others huddled in conference. Jack noticed that many of the persons present were journalists, looking drawn in the face and clutching worn, wire-bound reporter’s notebooks. After being escorted through a waist-high gate into what Jack took for the inner sanctum of the courtroom – the area just in front of the courtroom clerk’s desk and the elevated judge’s bench – Andi and Jack took seats at the defense table. Not less than fifteen lawyers scrambled all around Jack and Andi. Some of those attorneys were lining up twenty boxes filled with documents on the ground and behind counsel’s table. Others erected large "A" frame easels with blow-ups of documents, which Jack noticed were identified with labels such as "Exhibit 1005" and "Plaintiff’s Exhibit 35 to the Deposition of Arthur L. Harrington, Jr." Some of the lawyers barked out orders to technicians who struggled mightily with audio and video equipment as ten video monitors, strategically placed throughout the courtroom, jumped to life and then sputtered and went blank.
"What the hell is all this?" Jack asked, feeling overwhelmed by the crowd and all the activity.
"Shh. Watch your language! They’re here for the big libel trial against the Network and you never know who might be listening. They’ve got cameras and microphones everywhere."
"They’re all here for one trial?" Jack asked. He examined four young lawyers flipping through the exhibits on the "A" frame, apparently unsure the pages were in the correct order.
"Not just for any trial: it’s The Trial of the Century," Andi said. "Don’t even pretend you haven’t heard of it. I don’t want us to lose credibility with the judge. Right after our hearing ends, they have the courtroom for the rest of the day."
"Will the trial last all day?"
"Ah, ya…I think it’s a safe bet, Jack, considering that so far it’s been going on for four months and they’re not even halfway through."
Jack looked again at the boxes of documents the libel trial lawyers were spreading out all over the floor and the sophisticated video equipment. Each box contained manila file folders filled with documents; someone had meticulously typed labels to identify the contents of each. He then glanced at the slim, single folder that Andi had tossed on the table in front of her.
"Shouldn’t you have some exhibits or slides or something?"
She looked at him quizzically, but didn’t respond.
A man standing behind Jack began to shout out: "May I have your attention please. Everyone! Your attention please! I am Anthony Dioncony. I am the public defender who is handling the arraignment calendar today in the courtroom next door and I understand that a few of my clients were mistakenly told to come to this courtroom. We only have about five minutes, so I need to see the three fellahs who robbed the convenience store on Bedford Parkway pronto in the back of the courtroom." Three men quickly emerged from the crowd of journalists and hustled to the back of the room.
From a door behind the judge’s bench, three men and a woman entered the courtroom. They stood behind the counsel table directly opposite from the one at which Jack and Andi were seated.
"Who are they?" Jack asked.
"Prosecutor, Assistant Prosecutor, Chief Investigator, Assistant Investigator," Andi said.
"ALL RISE," a bailiff announced. A court clerk entered the room, followed by the judge.
A court clerk began speaking at a pace that was way too fast for Jack to understand. "This Court is now in session…case number…the People versus…"
Jack thought the judge looked nice enough, like a college professor. He glanced around the room and noticed that the journalists were taking notes, ostensibly about his case. That surprised him; he assumed the reporters were there just to cover only the libel trial.
The prosecutor, a clean-cut man in his forties, began: "Your honor, this is a clear and simple case of stalking followed by aggravated sexual assault and battery with the intent to maim and disfigure…"
Jack looked all around the room. "Where’s…"
"She doesn’t have to be here to accuse you," Andi replied.
"Is there a problem, Ms. Swindle?" the judge asked, interrupting the prosecutor.
"Um, no, your honor. And may it please the Court, it’s Swin-dell."
The judge gave Andi a perturbed look.
The prosecutor continued: "Your honor, the defendant knew Kelly intimately enough to know her work schedule, the health club she belonged to, the nightspots she frequented, what have you. He had the motive, the intent and the opportunity to commit this vicious and cowardly attack."
Jack was surprised that the prosecutor was calling Kelly by her first name and not "Ms. Grabowski." Maybe he knew her somehow before all of this.
The prosecutor continued: "Eyewitnesses will testify that they unequivocally heard this defendant, in his own words, say that he–and I quote–’was gonna teach Kelly a lesson.’ This cowardly attack was this defendant’s sick and twisted way of teaching a woman a ‘lesson.’ Your Honor, we’re talking about a defendant with an established history of violent behavior, especially toward women. In 1982 the defendant was involved in a vicious brawl and in 1984 the defendant assaulted a woman at a bar…"
Andi whipped her head around towards Jack. "What was that all about?" she asked, frantically.
"What? It was just a fight. I was in college. How do they know…"
"In addition, your honor, the People are in possession of certain letters written by the defendant to Kelly in which the defendant clearly admits to future violence against her and show, without question, that this man was stalking her. It’s clear from this correspondence that the defendant sought an intimate relationship with Kelly and that Kelly had the good sense to rebuff his unwelcomed and untoward advances in no uncertain terms."
"Ms. Swindle?" the judge asked.
"Your honor, may it please the Court. The prosecution has improperly withheld these alleged letters from the defense. I have no idea what they are and, even if they exist, I doubt that they say what Mr. Jackson alleges. Furthermore, no prior charges of any kind have ever been filed against my client. My client committed no crime and the prosecution has no evidence that he did. We request an immediate hearing on probable cause if the State intends to detain my client."
"Well, unfortunately, we’re guests, so to speak, in someone else’s home – or maybe since this is a criminal court, brothel is the more apt metaphor…" the judge began, pausing for a moment.
All of the lawyers and some of the reporters laughed.
"…anyway," the judge said, smiling, pleased that his joke was well-received, "because we must adhere to some extremely stringent time restraints imposed upon us while we’re over here, I’ll have to schedule the preliminary hearing for two weeks from today in this courtroom, 10:00 am. Sharp! Until such time, Ms. Swindle, your client can remain free on bond, subject, of course, to immediate revocation if he should, shall we say, fly the coop. Do you understand, Mr. Ragu? I’m letting you walk out of here today on the condition that you don’t leave this jurisdiction." The judge glared at Jack.
Andi elbowed Jack in the ribs.
"Yes, your Honor," Jack said after the prodding.
"At the hearing, I’ll expect to hear from witnesses on both sides and to review copies of the letters the prosecution referred to. Anything else counsel?"
"Your honor, there is one matter we’d like to take up with you at this time. It’ll only take a New York minute of your Honor’s precious time," the prosecutor stated. "We have it on good authority that the defendant maintains a daily log or journal and that such log or journal contains discoverable information which is relevant and probative to this case. We request an order that the log or journal be turned over to us immediately. Frankly, we’re afraid that it may already have been destroyed."
"Miss Swindle?" the judge asked.
"Your honor, this is the first I have ever heard of such a log. I…"
"Miss Swindle, I suggest that you spend a little more time talking to your client. If a log or journal exists, either produce it or be prepared next time to argue against the motion I’m sure the prosecution will be filing in my office in about three minutes. This Court is adjourned until two weeks from today!"
With those words, the entire contingent of lawyers, paralegals and clerks involved in the libel trial flooded the vestibule of the courtroom.
Andi grabbed Jack by the hand and pulled him through the throng of libel lawyers, saying only: "C’mon. We have to talk." They eventually made it back to the witness room.
"Why didn’t you tell me about all that shit?" she asked, lighting up a Marlboro light.
"The bar fight. The assault on the girl in college. Christ! The letters to Kelly! Letters which implicate a defendant are about the worst thing you can have in a criminal case."
"Andi, the bar fight–c’mon. Some drunk guys picked a fight with us. It happens every Friday night in every city in America. The girl in college poured a beer on my head so I punched out her boyfriend who got in my face afterwards. I didn’t touch her."
"You can try to explain them away bickering about the details, but any prior violent act doesn’t look good…"
"And the letters–I don’t know what they’re talking about."
"Please tell me you never wrote Kelly a letter."
"No. No. No letters. Maybe a note or two."
"What kind of notes? Why were you sending her notes?"
"We were friends; you know, co-workers. So, sometimes we’d exchange notes when we took a telephone message for each other. It was just a joke. Just to make the day pass a little faster. You know. We had a little connection."
"What did these notes say?"
"I don’t know. That the boss sucks; that Kelly has great legs; that I hear her laughing too much; that I was gonna get her back for stealing some of my commissions on a coupla sales…"
Andi looked at Ragu like they had just lost the case.
"Did you retain copies of these notes?"
"No. Why would I?"
"Look, Jack. I’ve got to get to the other side of the courthouse fast. Let’s meet at my office tomorrow morning to go through all of this point by point. I’m not gonna be humiliated like that again. Oh, and by the way, bring that journal the prosecutor was talking about so I can see how incriminating it is. This way I’ll know how hard I’ll have to prepare to keep it from being admitted into evidence."
Andi didn’t wait for Jack’s response. She bolted out of the room and down the hallway. It occurred to Jack that Andi had assumed a journal existed, without even asking him. Spending so much time around the courthouse must have made her cynical.
Jack took his time, sauntering out of the witness room and down the hall toward the elevator. He paused for a moment in front of three young lawyers from the libel trial who were sprawled on the floor on their hands and knees, desperately trying to rearrange the order of the pages on the "A" frame. Jack recognized them as some of the lawyers he had seen in the courtroom earlier. The four foot-long "blow-up" exhibits were strewn all over the hallway, blocking everyone’s path.
Seeing that Jack had stopped to observe them, one lawyer said to the others: "Turn those exhibits face down. We can’t afford any leaks at this point."
"These aren’t for public review," one of the lawyers said to Jack, who was trying to read some blurred text on one of the exhibits. "They’re confidential and attorney-client privileged." A heavy-set lawyer who was sweating profusely knocked Jack backwards with his butt and hurriedly shielded the exhibit with his body by spreading his stomach on top of it. "I’m glad I graduated at the top of my class at Harvard Law School so that I’d have the opportunity to bust my ass doing the job of a moron," the lawyer mumbled, as Jack moved away.
"What a bunch of dorks," Jack said to himself as he waited for the elevator. He made his way back to the first floor and noticed that one of the larger witness rooms had been converted into a snack bar. Upon entering the room, he saw a row of vending machines against the far wall – everything from a coffee machine and a Lance snack machine to a machine that dispensed six ounce cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew and Campbell’s Pork ‘n Beans. About six tables with plastic chairs were arranged in the center of the room. A huge microwave oven, which looked like a cable-ready television set, sat on top of a white counter, which doubled as a condiment station. Jack made his way to the coffee machine but had to wait while two young men conversed in front of it.
Both of the men were in their late-20′s; however, one was dressed in a $1000 Louis, Boston suit and Gucci loafers and the other wore a flannel shirt and baggy jeans. Jack assumed that the man in the fancy suit was an attorney and that the other young man was his client.
"Extra cream and extra sugar?" the young man asked the lawyer.
"It’s the only way to drink it," the attorney replied.
After dropping 35 cents into the machine and simultaneously pressing three buttons, a paper cup dropped to the bottom of the compartment and burning-hot coffee streamed down into it, spraying drops all over the man’s jeans. The young man handed the cup to the attorney.
"Hey, what happened to my extra cream and extra sugar?" the attorney immediately complained, observing black coffee.
"I dunt know. I pressed all the buttons," the young man replied in his defense. "I didn’t do anything wrong."
"You must have; a machine just doesn’t ignore you if you press the right buttons," the lawyer argued.
"Yeah, but I…"
"Forget about it. Forget about it," the lawyer said, waving his hand across his face, dismissing the young man’s protests.
Growing impatient, Jack moved in closer to the attorney, hoping that he would feel Jack’s presence and move out of the way. Jack noticed that the paper coffee cup the attorney held had four playing cards printed into the pattern on various spots around the cup. Jack spotted two two’s, a four and a king.
"I’ll tell ya what," the lawyer offered to the young man, holding the coffee cup up in front of him. "Right now, I’ve got a pair of deuces. I’m a nice guy, so if I come up with three two’s I’ll file that Writ of Mandamus on behalf of your brother free of charge. I’ll include it in the retainer."
"Really? That’s great," the young man said, enthusiastically, but appearing confused. He poked his head around all sides of the cup and studied the four cards.
"What’s a matter?" the lawyer asked, raising his eyes and laughing slightly.
"I only see four cards. Do I have to buy another cup to get the fifth card?"
"No. It’s on the bottom of the cup," Jack said. "Look on the bottom of his cup."
Giving Jack a dirty look, the lawyer gently grabbed the young man by the arm and pulled him away. "C’mon. Let’s go sit down and discuss this in private."
Jack got his coffee and sat down at a table by himself. He looked around the small room. Thus far, his experience with the legal system had been confusing; it apparently had rules and a language all its own. This required that anybody who entered into it have at least one lawyer at his side to interpret the strange vernacular and procedures, and steer him through the twists and turns successfully. Jack had some confidence in Andi – she had come highly recommended by Jack’s uncle, a successful businessman – but the hearing hadn’t gone as well as he had expected. It seemed to him that the charges should have been dropped – either because Kelly came forward and cleared him or due to a lack of evidence. What Jack couldn’t figure out was who or what was the driving force behind the charges. Kelly? The prosecutor? The judge? If he knew who it was, he could make a direct appeal to that person and speed the whole process up.
He pulled out his Composition Book and wrote "The Trial" on the front cover. On a new sheet of paper, he put the day’s date and the heading: "Questions For Andi." Underneath, he listed: "#1. Who is the driving force behind the prosecution?"
Jack calmly sipped his coffee. There was no reason to panic. The prosecutor expected and was accustomed to the defendant losing his composure and shouting out some incriminating statements. Jack grew up in the City, and no one was gonna bully him like that.
At the table next to him were two well-dressed lawyers, one in his mid-40′s and one in his mid-30′s. Jack was certain they were part of the libel trial. He eavesdropped on their conversation, which wasn’t hard to do because one of the lawyers was practically shouting (although talking in his normal speaking voice).
"This twenty minute recess is a Godsend. I’m getting to a key portion of the argument, and I’m looking for a certain word and I just can’t remember it. There’s a word I’m looking for that’s synonymous with ‘voluminous’…"
"Numerous, sundry, multifarious…" the other attorney quickly suggested.
"No, no, no. It’s a completely different word. Listen, Bill. We don’t have time to fuck around with this. Tell Arthur to take one of the cars and get his fat ass back to the office and check my form files. I know I’ve used this word in a brief we filed on another case in the last few years. I don’t remember which one, but tell him we need it now."
"Right." The younger lawyer sprang to his feet, but stopped short when he heard his boss speak.
"I can’t be in a position where I have to rely on the word ‘voluminous’ all the time. I can’t say ‘a lot’ and those words you mentioned just don’t have the subtle connotation I need. I don’t want to use one of them in the wrong context. I might step on a land mine in there."
"And tell Arthur to have the car wait for him; this is no time to be cost-conscious."
Jack chuckled as the two attorneys rushed out of the room, leaving uneaten microwaved croissants and nearly full Styrofoam cups of tea. What a complete waste of time, Jack thought. How could one word possibly make any difference in the outcome of the case?
He downed the rest of his coffee. He glanced over at the young lawyer in the Louis, Boston suit. Jack had noticed that the lawyer had been watching him the entire time. Examining the coffee cup he held in his hand, Jack saw that he had two aces, a four and a seven.
"Hey," Jack said in the direction of the Suit. "If I get three aces, all charges against me will be dropped."
Holding the cup above his head, Jack wasn’t the least bit surprised to see the Ace of Diamonds.
"Yes!" Jack yelled, making a fist and thrusting his arm back, Kirk Gibson-style.
"You’re California dreamin’," the Suit said, resentfully.
Jack leaned back in his chair and tossed the coffee cup far across the room in the direction of a large rubber garbage can, attempting an impossible shot. "Ragu – at the buzzer," he said, watching the cup fly. "Yes! Yes!" he yelled, as the cup hit high off one wall, into another, and then miraculously rebounded directly into the can.
"The game’s far from over," the Suit said, vindictively, as Jack left the vendomat.
Exiting through the front door of the courthouse, Jack saw the prosecutor in his case surrounded by the journalists and camera crews perched on the front steps. Jack walked right past them, unnoticed. Despite the fact that the media wasn’t the least bit interested in him, Jack felt supremely confident that he would be able to beat the legal system at its own game.
END OF CHAPTER 1 OF TRIAL OF THE CENTURY