Authors: Sawyer Bennett
Tags: #funny, #humor, #Contemporary, #legal, #romance, #erotic, #adult, #lawyer, #steamy, #love, #sexy, #law
By Sawyer Bennett
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2014 by Sawyer Bennett
Published by Big Dog Books
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the express written permission of the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book would not
have been possible to complete without my amazing group of beta
friends who helped critique this manuscript, chapter by chapter. Lisa
Kuhne, Kristin Blakely, Janett Gomez, Bethany Guerrero-Carrigan,
Darlene Ward Avery and Jackie Tonella-Fiorentini. You gave me such
wonderful feedback on every single chapter, helping me tweak and mold
Matt’s story until it was just perfect. More importantly, you
kept me enthused and motivated which I can never express to you how
important that was. I’m so fortunate to have you ladies in my
life and I love you hard!
Your Honor. Mr. Connover is badgering the witness!”
I lean back a little
further in my chair and look casually over my shoulder at my opposing
counsel. Simon P. Leftwich, Esquire is a douche. He’s been
practicing law for about ten years, about the same amount of time
that I have, but he thinks by wearing a bow tie with his cheap suit
and black, tortoiseshell glasses that he looks more sophisticated and
I’ve wiped the
floor with him on three prior occasions and yet, he still wants to
tangle with me.
His face is mottled
red as he looks to Judge Farber for a ruling, but I just don’t
get what the problem is. All I did was question the bias of his
expert medical witness.
It went a little
something like this.
Drumley, your opinion in this matter is that the defendant, Dr.
Carrolton, did not commit malpractice in this case?”
Dr. Drumley sat up
straight in the witness chair, puffing his chest out a little. His
snowy-white hair sparkled under the harsh, fluorescent lights of the
courtroom and his wire-frame glasses reflected a glare from said
lights, making it hard for me to see his eyes.
No matter. I knew
they’d reflect a false sense of security at this point.
“That is my
absolute opinion,” he said confidently.
operated within the standard of care?”
right,” he said, lifting his chin up in defiance.
I leaned back in my
chair, casually propping one leg over the other. Drumming my pen on
the table, I asked, “Even though our experts—that would
be Dr. Franklin from Duke University, Dr. Parikh from Johns Hopkins,
and Dr. Jacobs from Cedars Sinai—all disagree with you?”
His chin sagged a
little, his voice not so self-assured. “Yes. I disagree with
them. I’ve read the medical records—”
so have they, Dr. Drumley. But more importantly, have you read the
deposition of Dr. Carrolton?”
“Did you read
the medical journals that Dr. Parikh testified about that support our
The bottom of his
chin hit his chest. “No, but—”
“Did you even
bother to talk to these doctors… consider their opinions?”
admitted, his voice strained. “But that’s not—”
I talked right over him. “You operate a private practice in
“And at one
time, Dr. Carrolton actually practiced medicine with you?”
to this day?”
he said in a whisper.
Carrolton is actually paying you for your testimony here today?”
face went a lovely shade of fire-engine red. I think my ex-wife had a
nail polish that same color. I hated it on her, but I liked the color
on him. “Yes, but as an expert witness, I’m allowed to
get paid for my time,” he said testily.
I shuffled some
papers around, acting a bit disorganized, but I knew exactly what I
was doing. I grabbed a paper and perused it. It was not what I was
looking for, and I think it was actually a document from another case
I read during a break, but it made a good prop.
I held the document
up and waved it around in the air, the jurors’ eyes all pinned
to me. “In fact, she’s paid you five thousand dollars so
far for your ‘opinion’ in this case?” And yes, I
made little air quotes when I said the word “opinion” and
laced my voice with the appropriate amount of subtle sarcasm.
Dr. Drumley nodded
his head, his lips in a flat line.
sorry, Doctor… you need to give a verbal answer for the court
he said, so very quietly. While I knew the jury heard him, I wanted
them to hear him again.
he growled, getting extremely pissed off at me.
Which was fucking
I whistled through
my teeth and shook my head in bemusement. “That’s a lot
he said arrogantly, trying to pick himself up with some false
I grabbed another
document from the table. “May I approach the witness, Your
I didn’t wait
for the Judge to say ‘yes’, because I knew he would, so I
got up and stalked confidently up to Dr. Drumley, handing him the
handing you what’s been marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit 32,
Dr. Drumley. Can you identify that for me?”
I looked over at the
jury and every one of them was leaning forward in their chairs. But I
knew they’d be doing that. This was too juicy not to.
a copy of my tax returns from last year.”
“And how much
cashola did you make last year?” I asked with a smirk.
Dr. Drumley glared
at me briefly before looking down at the document. He took a moment
to search for the correct field and said hesitantly, “$620,313.”
said as I leaned my elbow up against the witness box, looking down at
the tax return he held. I noted his hands were slightly shaking. “And
of that $620,313, how much of that did you earn by testifying on
behalf of other doctors like your good friend Dr. Carrolton?”
He swallowed hard,
his eyes roving over the return. The number wasn’t there, and
he probably knew it wasn’t there either, but I had him so
flustered he was searching vainly for it. I knew he was starting to
hit overload with me, so I decided to help him along.
I said, turning from him and walking back to the counsel table. I
picked up another document and spun back on him. “This is
Plaintiff’s Exhibit 33. What is this?”
He took the paper
from my hand and peered at it, his face now a lovely green tinge.
“It’s my profit and loss statement from last year.”
document has all of your income broken down into tidy little
categories, doesn’t it?”
He swallowed hard
there a category on there you have labeled ‘Expert Witness
Fees’?” And yes, I used air quotes again around the words
“Expert Witness Fees”.
“So, let me
ask again… how much of your total income from last year did
you earn by testifying on behalf of other doctors?”
His eyes scanned the
page. He knew where the number was, but he didn’t answer right
away. I could see the wheels spinning in his head while he
frantically tried to come up with a way to spin this in his favor.
But there was no
way, so he said quietly, “$73,422.”
I was quiet for a
moment, gently taking the documents back from Dr. Drumley. I let that
number sink in… let the jury calculate it in their head.
I turned away and
walked back to my table thoughtfully, considering his answer. “A
little over $73,000 for testifying?”
legitimate expert witness fees,” Dr. Drumley threw out at me.
I asked with a slight sneer to my voice, but I sat back down at my
table casually. “Tell me, Doctor… out of all of those
‘legitimate fees’, how many of those times did you ever
testify for the person who was injured or killed due to a doctor’s
answer me because he knew the answer was damning. I decided to help
him out again… out of the goodness of my heart, of course.
zero, Dr. Drumley? Zero times you testified for the plaintiff.”
He nodded his
embarrassed assent and I merely pointed to the court reporter, who
was taking down the testimony word for word and couldn’t
memorialize non-verbal answers. He flushed hot and whispered, “That’s
said in surprised disbelief but, in truth, I had practiced that
bewildered look on my face in the mirror this morning as I shaved and
mentally went through my cross-examination. “Just wow.”
eyes narrowed at me, because yeah… I was sarcastically making
fun of his bias.
say, Dr. Drumley, you’re kind of like a jukebox doctor.”
he asked, confused and potentially offended, but he didn’t
really understand what I was saying.
a jukebox doctor. Put a quarter in you… or rather, $5,000, and
you’ll play whatever song the defendant chooses.”
I waited for it…
only took a second, and Simon P. Leftwich, Esquire was exploding out
of his chair. “
I heard a few
snickers from the jury and responded with a satisfied smirk pointed
at the doctor. He looked like he wanted to murder me.
going to sustain that objection,” Judge Farber says, his voice
only slightly chastising to me. He’s seen me do this type of
thing to a witness plenty of times, and he knows I’ll keep
doing it. “I’m going to instruct the jury to disregard
that last comment by Mr. Connover.”
I shrug my
shoulders, as if I don’t care. And I don’t. No way is the
jury going to disregard that, no matter what the judge tells them. I
guarantee you they’ll be laughing over the term ‘jukebox
doctor’ during deliberations.
I am riding on a
super fucking high right now. After the good Dr. Drumley got off the
witness stand, the judge gave us a fifteen-minute recess. I wasn’t
surprised when at the ten-minute mark, Leftwich approached me with a
settlement offer. I knew it was coming… after I shredded their
main expert witness.
But, the offer was
missing a zero on the end, so I politely declined and told the judge
at the fifteen-minute mark we were ready to resume the case. Leftwich
then asked the judge for an extended recess so he could talk further
with his insurance carrier to determine further settlement
The rest of the
afternoon turned into a major negotiation, with the judge only all
too happy to let the jury sit in seclusion while this went on. If we
settled the case, Judge Farber could schedule a tee time for the
following morning so he wanted us talking numbers.
settled… with the appropriate amount of zeroes, at 4:15 PM.
I was back at the
office by five PM, accepting high fives from various colleagues.
Back to my apartment
by 5:30 PM where I showered, but didn’t bother to shave my
late-afternoon stubble. I’ve had more than one woman tell me
she liked the way it felt between her legs.
As I stare in the
mirror, rubbing my fingers over the scruff on my face, I try to see
myself for who I really am. The Matthew Connover staring back at me,
with his dark hair and whiskey-colored eyes, was a fucking litigation
god today in the courtroom. I get off on that stuff so much, I’m
surprised I didn’t bust a load in my pants by the time I
finished with Dr. Drumley.