Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pecaw's Gift / Chapter 23 - Suits

Bev picked up the pile of mail that lay on the floor at the base of the door. It as Wednesday, food coupon day. She always waited for the specials before shopping. Thumbing through the stack, her eyes quickly focused on one of the envelopes. It was addressed to Sinclair. The return address was from the law firm of Downey, Chilton and Howser. Thinking of the morning DJ's on her favorite radio station, she could hear them as they made fun of law firms in general. “From the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe . . . “, their voices would chortle as they prepared another salvo of fun in the morning.

“I better open this now; Sinclair would want me to.”, Bev thought out loud to herself as she felt the woven texture of the envelope. Hesitating as she held the letter opener, Bev thrust the clear plastic blade into the crease along the back seam. The neatly folded letter was menacing in a cold impersonal way. Bev studied the form, not sure how to take it. It was clear that she should show it to Sinclair’s attorney. The phone number was easy to remember; it was almost the same as Sinclairs badge number, 222-0908. Dialing the number slowly, she tried to calm her nerves. It wasn’t everyday that Sinclair was named in a million dollar law suit.

“Good morning, Leonard and Associates; hold please.” Bev didn’t want to hold please; but she had no choice. A couple of minutes past and the receptionist got back to her. “How may I help you?”

“I would like to talk with James Leonard please; he is my husband’s attorney.”

“Who may I say is calling?”

“I’m sorry, tell him its Mrs. Dosilmeyer.”

“One moment while I ring his office; hold please.” Bev had only met Mr. Leonard once. He was a young man, possibly in his early thirties. He and Sinclair seemed to get along all right.

“Leonard here, what can I do for you Mrs. Dosilmeyer?”

“Sinclair is still in the hospital and today, in the mail, I got a notification that he was being sued for a million dollars from the lawyers that are representing the family of the guy that died.”

“Slow down a little. Start at the top and tell me what it says.”

“Well, it says that they . . .”

“Who is they?”

“The law firm of Downey, Chilton and Howser.”

“Okay, so they sent you a notice that they were filing a suit against you husband. That’s to be expected. I, myself, have already drafted a suit against the owners of the apartment project for failing to properly maintain the premises. I even took the liberty of including the family of the deceased in the wording of the suit to share equally in any actual or punitive damages that may be rewarded.” Bev listened and felt a little better just hearing James rattle his saber.

“Will you need a copy of this letter?”

“Not necessary, I’ll get Bill Downey to send me a copy; he and I were both Assistant District Attorneys together. You just take care of Sinclair and let me do all the worrying.”

“Thank you Mr. Leonard; I was just so upset when I saw it that I . . .”

“Its all right; nothing to worry about. I’ll take care of it. By the way, I have those tapes
along with a complete copy of all the computer messages that were sent by any of units the night of the accident. I’ll have one of our couriers drop them by for you later on today.”

“Sinclair has been waiting for them. He’ll be wanting to have them as soon as possible; thank you.”

“I think it will help us in our suit against the City also, so make sure that he understands that he is not to talk about the contents of them to anyone; especially the news media.”

“What about those people from Internal Affairs? Should he talk to them?”

“They already have a copy of everything so it really doesn’t matter as long as he keeps it short and simple. He’s had a few go rounds with Internal Affairs; I’m sure he will handle himself well.” James thought for a moment, “On second thought. . .”, remembering how Sinclair had articulated his thoughts regarding insubordination to his supervisors, “Have him call me after he writes his rough draft letter to the Chief; just to go over a few things.”

“Thanks again, bye.”

“Your welcome Mrs. Dosilmeyer, goodbye.”