Chapter Twenty-Seven

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The date for the settlement conference fast approached. I was prepared for the worst, but I was still optimistic about my chances to absolve myself from Darrell's debt. I didn't have any experience being in court, but the whole idea was exciting to me. I loved to argue and I had done nothing wrong. This should be an open and shut case.  

The elevator door opened and I walked into my lobby looking and feeling like a million bucks. I was wearing a traditional three-piece, three-button suit that I had bought on Boxing Day from a suit store in the mall located next to the Athletic Surplus. I checked my mailbox one last time for my Record of Employment I had requested from Athletic Surplus several weeks ago. A large portion of my case was resting on this document and I still did not have it.  

I opened my mailbox and was relieved to see the law gods smiling down at me. It must be my lucky day, I thought. After three weeks of waiting, there it was, my Record of Employment. I was not sure how much it would help, but I would rather have it than not. I placed the envelope in my inside jacket pocket and I marched toward the court, ready for war. 

I entered the stone courthouse for the first time and was awestruck by its size. The place was spotless and very quiet. I walked through the grand entrance to get to the map of the courthouse. I pulled out the letter I received from Mekhail and Co. LLP to confirm what conference room the hearing was being held. 

I descended slowly down the escalator and looked straight ahead at the huge floor to ceiling mirror. I made a few adjustments to my tie and suit jacket before I stepped off at the bottom. I walked towards the first hallway on my left. The walls were covered with framed artwork from elementary school children. There was a big opening in the centre of the room that extended all the way up to the glass ceiling, allowing the natural sunlight to shine through. Everything else was what I expected to see, lawyers, cops, and a group of other people who seemed like they would rather not be there.  

The first door on my left was room 135. I kept walking down the hall until I arrived at my destination, room 107A.  

Outside the room, there were a few chairs. A short man with large glasses sat beside a middle-aged woman. The man had thin blonde hair parted to one side and wore a loose fitted hunter green suit with an outdated tie. The woman wore a navy blazer and matching skirt. 

"Are you here for West Coast Press vs. Power Crew?" the man asked.  

"Yes, I am." 

"I'm Jerry Mekhail, I represent West Coast Press." The introduction was more of a formality than friendly. I didn't smile or say anything. 

I took a seat and made sure my cell phone was turned off. Darrell was nowhere in sight. He must be running late, as usual, I thought. 

"West Coast Press vs. Power Crew Services," a lady announced. 

Without saying anything, I rose from the chair and walked into the room. Mr. Mekhail followed behind me and the middle-aged woman followed behind him. 

"Please take a seat," the Judge said. 

Inside the small conference room was a large circular table with several chairs around it. The walls were white and bare. In the corner was a stenographer, ready to type everything we said. 

"Please state your name for the record," the Judge commanded.  

"My name is Trevor Morrison." 

"Jerry Mekhail, Counsel for West Coast Press." 

"My name is Wendy Strobe, advertising manager for West Coast Press." 

"Mr. Morrison, where is your partner, Darrell Channing," the Judge asked. 

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