A few weeks later, Kat sat in a packed courtroom at the Miami Federal Courthouse on a sweltering hot and humid day. Working out of their hotel’s conference room, her legal team had finished incorporating the final changes to their Motion to Preserve Evidence just last night. A hand-delivered copy of the motion had been provided to both the judge and the opposing counsel this morning.
“Fontaine Development versus Highline Insurance Company and other defendants,” the clerk called through the microphone. At least twelve men in dark suits walked up to the podium.
“Joseph Williams for Plaintiff, your Honor,” Kat’s lawyer introduced himself as he stepped up to the podium. After seeing all the other lawyers that stood on the defendants’ side, he couldn’t help but turn and wink at Kat. They had hoped this would happen.
“Jack O’Leary for Highline and the board, your Honor.”
“Good morning, gentlemen. We’re here on a status this morning. However, my clerk has handed me a number of motions seeking to allow new lawyers to file their respective appearances on behalf of individual board members. It seems these motions were filed this morning. Gentlemen, please introduce yourselves for the record.” The judge nodded toward the other men.
One by one the lawyers introduced themselves and each stated that they represented a different member of the board.
“Mr. O’Leary, it seems you may only be left with two clients in fairly short order, the insurance company and Mr. Acker. What say you?” the judge asked.
“Your Honor, I did not receive these motions until I walked into court this morning. I would like time to confer with my clients and these gentlemen before you allow these motions.”
“Request denied. Motions to Appear are granted. Gentlemen, you have some other motions?”
“We do, your Honor. We are seeking leave to file cross claims against Highline and the chairman of the board instanter and we have provided our claims to you and to counsel this morning.”
“What say you, Mr. O’Leary? I see no reason why I shouldn’t grant their motions. Do you have any objections?” the court pushed.
“We would respectfully request time to review the motions and consult with our clients, your Honor. From my brief review this morning, they contain some serious allegations,” Jack answered, trying to stall for time.
“All matters filed in my court are serious, Mr. O’Leary. I’ll give you fifteen minutes to review the motions and consult with your clients. Then come back here and I’ll listen to any valid, and I’m stressing the word ‘valid,’ objections. I’ll rule right after our discussion. I’ll then address Fontaine’s motion. Miss Clerk, call the next case.”
Fifteen minutes later, it was done. The new lawyers were in the case, their cross claims were filed and the other board members were lining up to point their respective fingers at William Acker Senior. It was a plaintiff’s dream and more than Kat could have hoped for. The motion was granted and Highline and the board members had thirty days to produce all requested documents, including any handwritten notes. The pressure was building, balls were being squeezed and Kat was smiling as she left the courtroom.
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