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“I want you to consider Victor Marin for the Perry case.”
Samantha Rawlings stiffened, and forced her fingers to finish removing the dark fuzz of lint from her cream linen skirt. With cool precision, she settled both arms along the wide fabric armrests of her chair and locked her attention onto her boss, Raul Martinez. “Not necessary, Raul. It’s covered.”
“He has experience in the area.”
“As do I,” Sam replied, wondering why he would suggest involving a new hire on the firm’s powerhouse complaint. Raul may be the senior partner of Baker, Schofield, Martinez and Brown—one of Miami’s top legal firms—and he may have the authority, but this was her case and she would try it as she saw fit.
“I’m merely suggesting you take advantage of his insight. It may prove fruitful to your case.”
“I’m always willing to listen.”
Raul’s dark brown eyes registered the deflection. “But not inclined to include him for trial?”
The Perry Fitness case was hers, and there was no room for the new guy to work it with her. She might want to get close to Victor, but only in the most personal of terms. Her business affairs were something else entirely.
“Victor won a substantial settlement from a casino out of New Jersey. One of their patrons died on the premises.” He paused. “From sudden cardiac death.”
Sam shifted her weight and fought a rising tide of misgiving. Heart attacks were not rare occurrences. People collapsed in all sorts of places unfortunately, casinos notwithstanding. “I’m well versed in the arena, Raul, from the statistics to the complications and I’ve already consulted Diego on the case.” Diego Rodriguez was her in-house ally and extremely skilled in trial work. “We’re still working up the history now, but if Perry has been found culpable before, as I suspect, it’s going to cost them.” Cutting corners to boost profits shouldn’t come at the expense of people’s lives.
Not in her courtroom.
Raul interlaced his fingers and set them to rest on a manila folder. Despite the steam of summer, his formality seldom changed. From his cufflinks to the perfectly formed knot in his silk tie, the man reigned supreme over Baker, Schofield, Martinez and Brown in both title and appearance. A full head of gray hair and expensive haircut only accentuated his vitality.
“I know you and Diego work well together, but he’s heavily involved in the Esposito trial. You may need the extra hand.”
“Diego says that’ll be wrapped up within the month.”
Curiosity churned in Raul’s eyes like a storm on the horizon. “Is there a problem, Sam? I was under the impression you were pleased with Victor’s performance.”
“I am. He’s sharp, aggressive, and I think he’ll make a great lawyer someday.”
Raul’s brow raised in question.
Sam pulled her top leg in, bracing her body against the chair as she leaned forward. “I want to nail this one, Raul. It’s an important case and likely to be precedent-setting. I can’t be distracted by training the new guy—not on this one.”
“Besides, my understanding is that as soon as we tie up Morgan-Baxter, Vic’s digging into an HMO case. Vic doesn’t have time to work Perry with me.” Nor the experience, but voicing that would only insult Raul.
“I’m not asking you to recuse yourself. Simply bring him up to speed and consider what he has to say. Listen to him. Allow him to assist you with discovery, pretrial motions, sit alongside you in court when the time comes.”
Alarms started to sound. She needed no assistance. Where was this coming from?
“It’s worth a listen. His experience could prove invaluable.”
She heard a distinct retreat in Raul’s voice.
Good. Sam pulled back into her chair and relaxed her demeanor. The air-conditioner kicked on. Her tension eased. “I appreciate the advice Raul and I’ll take it into consideration. I’ll talk to him, though I reserve the right to try this case my way.”