I Hate Lawyers


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Scene Title I Hate Lawyers
Synopsis Dr. Shelby is on duty when Nalani Hollingwood's attorney shows up regarding an altercation at police headquarters on February 27th.
Date March 2, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, renovated many times over the years. The plaster walls are not as cracked and in need of repair as the various Precinct buildings around the city. The fluorescent lights give the room a rather sterile glow. Old posters, civic reminders, duty rosters and newspaper clippings are tacked up on the walls, rustling every time one of the doors opens. A high, wooden desk sits on the north wall, manned by two clerks, who records all visitors and arrests.

The way out to the street lies to the south, while doors to the offices of the Head Quarters lie to the northwest.

If he were any other detective, Dr. Shelby would likely have started complaining about all the paperwork and having to stay so late after the start of shift. But he isn't any other detective. It's nearly eight in the evening, and he's been working since six in the morning. As it stands, he is nearly finished filing his most recent report on a homicide at East Broadway and Catherine Street.

Thus it is, that poor Dr. Shelby is the first person that one of the officers from the front of the building pays a visit to. With some blue sticking out of a manilla envelope. He does not look happy in the least, not at all, and he's holding the envelope much like it's a viper. "Sir? There's a woman up at the front, a blonde, and a lawyer and she gave me this. We're being served…"

Dr. Shelby looks up from his desk, his brow quirked. He looks back down and finishes his signature before placing the report aside. "Somebody is filing suit against us?" He reaches out to take the envelope, "Let me see it."

And Felix emerges from the depths of the cubicle farms where they fatten cops on donuts until they're ready for the slaughter. He's got his suitjacket off, but then, where else in New York can you casually and openly wear a shoulder holster over your blue oxford shirt? He pokes his nose out of his cube, ears having caught that, and cranes around the edge with open curiosity, not even bothering to conceal the fact that he's eavesdropping.

"Yes, sir. One Nalani Hollingwood. The Nalani Hollingwood." But that's all he says, good little officer standing there, waiting for further instructions. As the paper is pulled from the envelope it's easy enough to see that yes, someone is suing the NYPD. Failure to Protect seems to be the accusation1. All the legalese jargon that comes with it as well and it's simply laid out. Nalani Hollingwood is bringing a civil suit against this particular NYPD for the failing to protect her and to intervene when she was assaulted by a civilian consultant.

Dr. Shelby reads the document over. He's not a lawyer, but he has plenty enough education to be able to interpret what little of the document he has to read to get the point. "O, this is ridiculous." He stands up from his desk and looks around, "Where are the cameras?"

Fel props himself against the edge of the cube, merely listening. He's got a coffee cup in hand, but no donut.

The door swings open and Agent Katherine Marks steps into the building. She seems to be intently looking for someone. Her jacket is covered in soot and she smells of smoke, part burnt fuel and part.. just burnt. She seems to be unharmed as she takes off her jacket and tosses it into the nearby wastebasket. It was a nice suit too. She'll have to go shopping now. The news would have had the report of the burning gas station out in one of the underlying suburbs, though details have been kept rather vague. She spots a familiar face as she sees Felix and, of course, heads his way.

"Where they always are Dr. Shelby." Duh. But Skippy knows what the Detective is wanting, so off he goes to where the security of the police station is, and in turn, where the documentation of the events of that evening would be recorded. No one likes what the blue of that document means, it means bad publicity, it means heads rolling and with budgets already tight, it means someones demanding compensation.

"We're clearly being Punk'd," Dr. Shelby comments to himself. As Skippy heads off, he calls out in a genial tone, "Bring me those tapes, queued up if you could. I want to see what sort of mess the department has gotten into. In the mean time, I'll go and speak with Miss Hollingwood." He tucks his chair in and heads off towards the front of the office.

"Clearly, you've been to a hell of a barbecue, Agent Marks," Felix opines. Apparently he's on his coffee-and-snark break.

Kat is apparently not amused by the wisecracking Agent. "Gasoline fires tend to be a little nasty, Agent Ivanov." Yeah, gasoline fire would be quite understating the has gone down today. It would be like saying someone spit into the pond. "Convenient store burnt to the ground. Looks like it was an evolved related arson." She shrugs. "I was looking for Officer Harrison, as I am going to need her statement on this. But, it looks like she's not here." Probably a good time to go buy a new suit. She sees the lawyer and asides to Felix. "What's this?"

Ms. Hollingwood is nowhere to be found, but one of her 'sharks' and her assistant are. Presumably the Assistant there to represent her boss, that and she was a witness to the events that unfolded that night. Both are waiting for the sign of someone doing something about what passed over in the envelope. Stephanie because she needs to make sure everything is unfolding as it should, the Lawyer, well, to answer questions.

Perhaps to his detriment, Dr. Shelby has no idea what Miss Hollingwood looks like. Hopefully Skippy will get back to him with those tapes so he can review them in the Audio-visual room so he can see an objective account of the events that took place, so he can save himself further embarrassment. Needless to say, he approaches the front desk where the shark and assistant are. "Miss Hollingwood?" he asks politely.

"I'm not sure," Fel admits, as Shelby passes. "Looks legal, and unpleasant," he adds, before eyeing her. "What happened, exactly?"

There's a coughing fit from the Homeland Security agent as she tries to clear her lungs out. She talks over and takes a drink from the fountain and regrets it almost immediately, spitting the acidic water back into the drain. She turns and leans up against the fountain as she looks back at Felix. "Well, got a call about a building on fire. Turned out to be a gas station. All signs point to arson, as it seems an evolved decided to flame on, either accidentally or on purpose. We won't know until we get the investigation report back from the Arson Investigator."

"Ms. Hollingwood is not Present, my name is Mrs. Mason. I advised her not to be present. This is a representative of Ms Hollingwood as well as a witness to the events of February 27th Mr…?" The lawyer is the one who speaks, the pretty petite blonde just watches for now. Head to toe couture, and looking like she's not going to take any shit. Both of them, who stand before him.

"Doctor Coren Shelby, Detective-Investigator," Dr. Shelby says in introduction, stretching out a hand to greet them both. "Missus Mason. I'm afraid I have not been apprised of the particulars of the incident, only what I read in the legal documents just recently handed to me, so I apologize in advance for not being entirely up to speed. I was not aware of any incident for which we would be liable for, though I have a uniformed officer retrieving video surveillance from the date in question for the purpose of review, and I will be certain to hand over the legal documents to my superiors. I'm certain they'll make their way up to the commissioner before long. I'm sure she'll have some rather strong words and actions for whomever was involved in the actions for which the claimant is filing suit, provided there is in fact an act or lack thereof for which we are liable."

Felix desperately wants to nose in on what Shelby's doing. But….not his business yet, so he's silent. But he nods to Katherine, expression going rather grim. "Pyrokinesis. Man, that's one of the most dangerous abilities. I'm glad they're rare."

Kat nods. "You're telling me? The guy is still out when we had him transported, so we've not gotten any sort of explanation from him. Unfortunately, we're going to need to keep him sedated until we figure out what the hell to do with him." Her composure has been chipped away, piece by piece, so that professional exterior has cracked, letting some of the real Kat peek through from the inside out. She doesn't mention the battle of words she had with Officer Harrison either at the scene. Of course, that's not an usual occurance either. Those two will probably never be on the same page.

"Doctor Shelby, I assure you that there is. You'll find attached a list of those who were witness's to the event including Ms. Aberdeen here. A Rebecca Nakano, two other detectives… Roberts and Poulin as well as a Officer Johnson." But Skippy is coming to the rescue to save the Detective from the clutches of the evil lawyer. "Doctor Shelby, it's waiting for you. The tapes are queued up for viewing." The lawyer looks so smug. "I'd like a chance to view them as well, if you'd please?" Officer skippy is waiting at the door to a conference room where the security footage is lined up and waiting for it's couple of vantage points.

"By all means," Dr. Shelby states, as he gestures towards the door and then begins to head there himself. When he takes a seat, he's already pulled a notepad from his inner suit pocket, along with a pen to jot notes on as he watches the footage.

"Glad to know you caught him then," Fel says, with palpable relief. "Rather than chasing a pyro around the city, waiting for him to go off again."

A little circus it's becoming, the lawyer, the assistant, skippy, a tech and two more who are curious to it all file into the room, take up seats to witness The Event tm. It's queued up, Nalani walking down a hall in her finery, hands moving, unhappy, Stephanie following behind her holding files. The situation unfolds, Grace coming out, words exchanged, and Grace moving off. There though, Nalani stumbles it seems, into Grace, who promptly crouches down and does her thing with her foot. Nalani, in her high high heels topples, and the detectives assistant rush forward to help the woman as Grace moves off screen.2

Katherine mmhmms to Felix, though her attention is drawn to the video that's being played. She finds herself moving, surely subconciously, towards the open door where she gets a look at the happenings from the other night. When Grace knocks Nalani down, the agent winces and leans to Felix, "Any idea who that one is?"

Dr. Shelby watches the surveillance footage attentively, jotting notes down as he does so. Once it has concluded, he remains silent for a moment. "Roberts, Poulin, and Johnson,"3 he says, reading from his notepad, "Are not on duty at present, so the only person who can clue us in as to what Miss Hollingwood and the assailant were discussing so heatedly before the incident in question … is you." He turns to Nalani Hollingwood's assistant, "Miss Aberdeen? Would you care to tell me what you recall from the 27th regarding the moments leading up to the assault?" Then he quirks his head towards Mrs. Mason, "Provided your boss's attorney has no objections to the question?"

The lawyer doesn't seem to, though she's listening, watching the events that unfolded over again. "Ms. Hollingwood's vehicle as well as a few grand of Couture were stolen from a photo shoot. She was required to come down to the police station herself instead of myself. She was conversing with the officer who was having her follow him so that she could fill out some reports and get the fundraiser that she was to attend. The lady come from one of the other rooms and complained to Ms. Hollingwood about her attitude and to suck it up, file the reports and quite wasting officer manpower. Not word for word but it was the jist. She berated Ms. Hollingwood, who objected to the womans treatment of her, the woman left and Ms. Hollingwood tripped as the consultant was going by. At which point I was moving forward to help her and the consultant.." There's a gesture to the screens.

Dr. Shelby nods his head as he listens to Ms. Aberdeen's account of events. "Procedure does require the statement be taken from the individual who filed the police report, yes. Having said that, had Miss Hollingwood requested it, an officer could have come to her place of business or home to take her statement, as we typically inform anyone who files a report. If you were not informed of that any of the times you tried to give her statement, I apologize on behalf of the department." He flips his notepad closed.

Kat asks the lawyer. "You said there were three officers in the room, along with 'whoever that is'," meaning Grace, whom Kat has never seen before, "and Ms. Hollingwood?"

The lawyer looks over to Katherine. "May I ask your business in this matter Ms…." The lawyer looks over at Katherine as she speaks up. It's seen on the screen, the two officers watching on from where they were standing during Nalani's approach with the Officer. Stephanie just wisely stays quiet now.

Dr. Shelby turns and gazes at Katherine, who he does not recognize. It's an odd thing, having been with the New York Police Department for nearly five years. He leans back in his chair, as the lawyer has already asked his question.

Katherine holds up the melted remains of her Homeland Security badge. "Katherine Marks, Homeland Security." She does love saying that. She reaches over and picks up the remote and rewinds the tape. "So, who's that?" There's no one else on the tape, but Grace is seen turning around and speaking to someone behind her who is off camera. "She's talking to someone. You've got another witness." She steps back into the hallway and glances in the general direction. "Probably someone who was in the lab."

"Yes, I believe that's who was within the lab, may I ask Agent Marks what Homeland Security's interest is in the case, or are you.. here on your own time?" That's the Lawyer, turned to look at Katherine.

Katherine shakes her head. "Sorry. Just passing through on another matter. You left the door open and I was curious. And I'm heading out now. Find that witness." Maybe she'll stick it to Hollingwood good.

Dr. Shelby watches with more scrutiny as Katherine indicates something he may have overlooked. Her badge does get a rather curious look from him, but he remains silent about it. "Ah yes, I see. I believe Rebecca Nakano works in the lab," he says, opening his notepad and going over the names of the witness Mrs. Mason gave him earlier.

The laywer nods, clearly not pleased that the HomeSec agent is there, so she ignores the woman, turning to Shelby. "I trust that I'll be sent a copy of these videos. I expect to hear from the precinct's legal department. My card is attached to the envelope. Ms Hollingwood realizes that the NYPD might not want this to be made public that someone was assaulted by a civilian consultant on NYPD grounds and that the officers did not stop the assailant, nor provide adequate safety and expected protection from such an incident while complying with the NYPD's requests made of her, a tax paying citizen who heartily supports the hard working men and women who keep the city safe, but cannot seem to keep their own hallways safe. She's seeking damages for bodily harm, everything legal needs is in there." The lawyer looks over to Stephanie, a motion made to head for the door while she waits for Shelby.

Kat turns to leave. "Maybe the department should counter sue for having to put up with that b—" that last word fades out as the door to the building opens and closes, the agent leaving the building and heading towards her car.

"Considering the nature of the crime and the speed in which it happened, there would have been nothing reasonable the officers could have done to prevent the assault. On the other hand, they should have stopped the consultant and detained her until Miss Hollingwood decided whether or not she should press charges. Other than that, there is little the department can do. We cannot detain a person for more than seventy-two hours without pressing charges, which have to be filed by the victim, in this case." Dr. Shelby's demeanor remains fairly unchanged, although he is somewhat concerned about the matters at hand. "My advice would be to have Miss Hollingwood press charges against the consultant, where the blame truly lies, rather than wasting money seeking restitution that will likely be a long six-month legal battle that will leave both parties with a bitter taste in their mouths. I've seen this plenty of times. And, you can be sure that I will be seeking a statement from Rebecca Nakano4 as to the matter of conversation and the emotional state of the consultant, and I will also be calling in Miss Hollingwood to give her statement as well. If she refuses to come down, I will be happy to visit her at her convenience."5 He stands and tucks the chair he was using towards the table.

"Then the department is on the same page with us then." The lawyers smiles. "Have a good evening Dr. Shelby" Agent Marks's comment is heard, though not acknowledged very much. "I'll co-ordinate with your legal department." The shark-like blonde turns away then, gathering up her briefcase and she with Stephanie, start to head out to somewhere else, other than here.

Dr. Shelby pockets his notebook and collects the video recording from the machine. Then he turns to Skippy, a while after the legal monster is out of ear-shot. "I hate lawyers."

March 2nd: Growing Up Is Such Barbarous Business
March 2nd: Jasmine, Rims, Cardinal And A Brit
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