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My Fake Fiance
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How did a lie and one car ride turn into a full-blown engagement?
You might have life figured out, but I definitely don’t.
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“And for the matter of punitive damages, we the jury award the plaintiff 7.3 million dollars.”
A gasp ripples through the courtroom behind me and I clap my client on the shoulder, a wide, beaming smile on both of our faces. We were only seeking four million in punitive damages, but the jury found the negligence significant enough to warrant almost doubling the damages we sought.
As the judge thanks the jury and dismisses them, I can’t stop myself from shooting a look of arrogant triumph across the aisle at Ray Monsol, lead counsel for the Emerson Corporation. He glares at me with a sour look on his face. He’s obviously having trouble believing that his team of overpriced legal eagles just got their asses handed to them by an upstart like me. Again.
My partner, Nate Beck, and I graduated from Stanford Law, but instead of going into corporate law, we decided to do our own thing. I’ve always had a vision of what I wanted my career to be like – one of David slaying Goliath after Goliath in the courtroom – and was excited to see that Nate shared that dream.
Together, we’ve spent the last decade or so making the lives of guys like Ray Monsol a living hell. We’ve made our mark by taking on – and taking down – big corporations who screw over people like our clients. Over the last decade, we’ve won millions of dollars in settlements and awards for those we represent – all while making a nice chunk of change for ourselves.
I don’t do what I do because I need the money though – I come from a family with more money than God. I liken my choice in career to big game hunting – except I’m not one of those assholes who runs around murdering defenseless animals because it makes me feel like a man.
No, my prey are the big companies and my weapon isn’t a big gun – it’s my wits, my smarts, and the law. So yeah, call it the thrill of the hunt that drives me to do what I do. That’s not to say I don’t care about my clients. I absolutely do. I genuinely despise seeing what these big corporations put them through. And because of that, I fight like hell to advocate for them. I fight like hell to bring them justice and to make sure they get what’s owed to them.
It also helps that this kind of work will benefit me when I run for office later in life. I’ve had political aspirations for a long time. Right now, I’m just biding my time. I’m putting in the work and building my cred as a champion of the people. Someone willing to stand up to corporate greed – which is ironic, given that my family owns a large tech company in California. But, that reputation is what will carry me into office one day, so I work hard at it.
“Thank you, Mr. Churchill,” Mrs. Winston says, tears rolling down her face.
I give her a smile and take her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. “I’m so happy for you,” I say. “Now, you can go on with your life. You can live comfortably and know that companies like Emerson have finally realized they can’t treat people like that.”
This is the standard spiel I recite to every client after a win. Not that it means much. These big companies will never learn their lesson, no matter how many hundreds of millions they’re made to pay out. Mostly because the damages almost always end up costing less than implementing the changes that brought about the lawsuit in the first place – especially since the number of people who will actually file a suit is very small. Only a lucky few are fortunate enough to punch these bastards where it hurts –their wallet.
It’s all a numbers game as far as these companies are concerned. After all, CEOs need their multi-million bonuses and luxury vacations, right? So, companies like Emerson Corporation end up cutting corners and doing whatever it takes to save a buck here and there.
No, these companies will never learn their lesson. They’ll never stop treating people like disposable commodities because it’s better for their bottom line than taking care of them is.
“I know money will never replace your husband for you, Mrs. Winston,” I say. “Again, I’m so sorry for all you’ve lost.”
She gives me a tight smile as tears continue to roll down her cheeks. “I’ll be able to do a lot of good with this money,” she sighs. “I’ll finally be able to provide for my family.”
I nod. “Yes, you will.”
“Bless you, Mr. Churchill,” she says. “Bless you.”
* * *
“There he is, the man of the hour and today’s big winner,” he calls. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Miles Churchill, champion of the downtrodden!”