Gibson & Clarke (Failed Justice Series Book 2)

BOOK: Gibson & Clarke (Failed Justice Series Book 2)
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GIBSON & CLARKE

 

The best criminal lawyers

money can buy.

 

 

By the author of
Directed Verdict

RICK SANTINI

 

 

GIBSON & CLARKE

 

Copyright © 2016 by Rick Santini.

All rights reserved.

First Print Edition: May 2016

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-68058-624-4

ISBN-10: 1-68058-624-6

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

DEDICATION

 

As usual, to Marty. As usual, for the same reasons. Love ya, babe.

 

 

 

 

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PROLOGUE

 

 

Marta was tired. Bone tired. Tired of constantly representing the People of the Great State of New Jersey. Tired of being told by the politically ambitious district attorney what cases to try and which ones to settle quickly and quietly. She needed a break. No, she needed a complete change of scenery. The phone call came a few weeks after the murder/suicide of Judge Kolkolski, retired. She could not imagine why Billy Jo wanted to have dinner with her. Especially at a high priced steak house. The matter of Walter Kolkolski was over. There was nothing anyone could do but reminisce and dwell on all the mistakes made.

I have nothing to lose, I could use a good steak and a few vodka martinis, and Billy Jo is paying. Why the hell not?

“May I order a drink for you?”

“Keitel 1 vodka martini, shaken only, please.”

So this is going to be a cat and mouse game. Two can play as well as one.

“How’s business?”

“Good. Too good. As a matter of fact, that is why I asked you to meet me here.”

“I’m listening.”

“The publicity over the actual trial and the murder/suicide was overwhelming. My phone has not stopped ringing. I’m a one-man operation, and my main office is in Martinsburg, West Virginia. I’m now getting calls from all over greater Newark. Bottom line, I need a partner. I need you. How does the new name GIBSON AND CLARKE sound to you?”

Marta sat there in shock. It was the last thing she expected. Before she could answer, Billy Jo handed her a brand new high-quality, cream colored business card. The fine raised lettering read:

 

GIBSON & CLARKE

Criminal Defense Lawyers

1-800–ME B FREE

 

“When did this idea hit you?”

“The day you put your career on the line for me by not opposing my motion for a directed verdict. I knew right there and then you would make the perfect partner. Tough, determined, smart, and still with a twinge of ethics. You have the right combination.”

Not to mention a killer body and not being afraid to use it when necessary.

“When do we start, you slick-talking son-of-a-bitch?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

Marta now sat in her new office, less than three short blocks from the Criminal Courthouse in downtown Newark. She was amazed how quick and smooth the transition had been.

One day she was in her cubicle on the fifth floor of the Essex County District Attorney Office with a government-issued metal desk, a ten-year-old file cabinet, a chair she’d bought herself from Staples, and two uncomfortable side chairs. She shared her secretary with at least a half dozen other ADAs and could never find an investigator when she most needed one. The next—actually five weeks later—she had her own private secretary, Miranda, who could not wait to give notice at her current job working in the chambers of Chief Judge Steven Saltmeyer.

The judge had no idea who her new boss would be. He would have thrown a shit fit. Miranda knew how the DA’s office operated, who got the favorite assignments and who was merely putting in their time for a paycheck. There was not a flood of jobs out there just waiting to be cherry picked. Besides, what better ways to learn the ropes and not lose any sleep over mistakes made?

Better the prosecutor screws up and the defendant walks than the defense makes a mistake and the client, not the lawyer, spends hard time behind bars.

Miranda also knew Saltmeyer had no great love for blacks or Jews. It was not the most guarded secret in the courthouse, but Saltmeyer refused to even comment when the subject was brought up. He was a WASP and damn proud of it. Someday it would bite him in the ass.

It always did.

 

***

 

“Phone call on line two, Ms. Clarke.”

Marta assumed it was one of her colleagues offering congratulations on the gutsy move. She was already talking to Billy Jo, who was in his other office in West Virginia.

Technically speaking, it’s my other office also.

“Take a message. I’m talking to Billy.”

“I think it may be a client. A Mr. Tao Fung. The call came in from the city holding pen.”

The name was vaguely familiar; Marta knew she had heard it before. She was so excited she almost wet her pants.

“New client on the phone. Call you later, Billy. Bye.”

Fifteen minutes later, Marta had her yellow legal pad, a couple of #2 sharp pencils, and a leather briefcase that came from a horse that had probably been alive and kicking sixty days ago. She had a name, where Mr. Fung was being held, and the barest of facts.

Her cell phone rang as she was half running down the street. It was Billy.

“Can’t talk now, Billy. About to meet my first big client. Possession with intent. Looks like we may have caught a big fish. The guy hardly sounds like a minnow. Don’t want to be late.”

“Slow down, girl. Relax. Take a deep breath, and turn around. Go back to the office, and have Miranda call and say you’ll be there first thing in the morning.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know you don’t. That’s why I’m suggesting you take this one slowly.”

Billy then went on to explain the reason she had gotten the call was the word was out. The hotshot ADA was on her own and had an inside track to make things disappear. She was the defense flavor-of-the-month.

“If you show up a half hour after he calls, he owns you. All he has to do is whistle, and believe me, he will. He’s not going anywhere, and twenty-four hours makes him think you’re more important, like he’s not your only case.”

Marta liked his thought process. That was one of the reasons she’d agreed to leave the district attorney’s office in the first place. The other two reasons were money, big money, and not being told which cases to try and which ones to toss.

The DA was dirty; he had to be. There were too many big cases that got lost in the shuffle and then mysteriously dismissed for lack of prosecution. No way was it a coincidence.

She was pacing the floor, praying Mr. Fung would not get another lawyer. She remembered hearing his name before. She just couldn’t remember where or why.

“Sorry, Mr. Fung. A judge called yesterday, letting me know my request for a bail reduction hearing had been granted. It’s the old story, first things first.”

Fung was not impressed, or at least that was the attitude he was trying to convey.

“Now let’s talk about your case. First, tell me which assistant district attorney is assigned to your case.”

She didn’t have to mention she too had been an ADA for the past twenty-some years and had worked with each and every soul in the department. That was a given. That is why she probably got the call in the first place.

“Ronald Rosenthal.”

“Oh, Ronnie can be a horse’s ass when he wants to. He thinks a conviction on a case like yours will push him up the ladder a lot faster. He’s got another thing coming. I have read your file—what little there is—but I need to hear what went down from you. Don’t leave out one single detail. Nothing. You’d be surprised what can be important.”

Although immaculately dressed in a pale cream colored silk blouse and a charcoal gray business suit, her skirt had a tendency to slip up when she crossed her legs and was apparently not paying attention. Fat chance of that.

If he wants to look, let him look. He’s got nothing else to stare at; I shaved my legs this morning and put on my sexiest black panties.

Fong knew attorney/client privilege applied and Clarke was no rookie. Nothing he said could ever be used against him.

“I am a member of the Yeung Syndicate, the warlord family. I report only to Mr. Xiang Yeung. No one else. Do you understand what that means?”

It all came back to Marta in a mini second.

Of course I have heard the name before. The Feds have been trying to pin something on the family forever. Now I’m sitting opposite Number Two. How the hell did he get caught with more than a kilo of horse?

“Certainly I know what that means; obviously I know who you are. When I was with the DA’s office, half our resources were devoted to trying to put Mr. Yeung behind bars. I am honored you chose me—I mean our firm—to represent you.”

“We move most carefully, Ms. Clarke. Perhaps you should pull your rising skirt down before I am charged with another type of crime.”

Marta did not bat an eyelash as she subtly smoothed out her skirt.

“I should think your concentration should be on more important matters, mainly where you will spend the next ten years, rather than my thighs. Now would you like to tell me exactly what happened, or would you prefer I raise my skirt all the way up? Your choice. It’s your money. By the way, my retainer is fifty thousand against an hourly fee of four-fifty an hour. I don’t have to tell you this is a Class A felony, do I?”

Tao Fung merely glared at Marta but raised his eye level to meet hers. He had to find out if she could be intimated and did so—quickly. She was one tough broad who had looks and moxie. Exactly what he had been told when he had been given specific instructions by Mr. Yeung to hire her.

“I accept your terms. I’ll have one of my associates contact you immediately. Now, how soon can you get me a bail hearing? I could die from the slop they are feeding me here.”

“What about tomorrow morning? I assume you have a passport that you will volunteer to surrender and arrangements can be made for whatever dollar amount the judge sets.”

Again, the glare.

“I will see you in the morning, Counselor.”

Marta had picked up her cell phone that was being held at Central Booking and was about to call Billy to tell him the fantastic news.

We have landed a big one; a real big one.

“Ms. Clarke?”

“Yes.”

“Mr. Yeung wondered if you could spare a few minutes of your valuable time. It will take less than an hour, and you will be adequately compensated.”

The right hand rear door of the black Mercedes 600 was being held open by a giant of a chauffeur. It appeared she had little choice—that is, if she wanted to see some kind of retainer.

BOOK: Gibson & Clarke (Failed Justice Series Book 2)
13.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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