Malcolm was on his own for the first time since he'd been hired. He had his JD, but was still unable to take the bar until August. Just the same, he was allowed to work in places like Teen Court, and Traffic Court. He was scheduled to take testimony from a witness to a school fight - petty kids fighting, but enough to press some criminal charges against the bully responsible.He was using an empty courtroom to take the depositions. Just questions and answers with a single witness, but no supervising attorney. The weight of responsibility was new to him, but he felt prepared. He was ready for responsibility.He put the tape recorder and his notes down at the plaintiff's bench, and headed to the lobby to meet his deposition subject. Evelyn Sheridan, high school student, witness to some kid getting his teeth knocked out. Malcolm sat on the lobby bench, checking his watch, and watching the security doors for someone who might be the right age.
OUTFIT HEREEvie usually thought that appearing in courts was funny. She usually thought that being around courts was funny. Probably because she connected it with someone she knew doing something stupid and her mother tearing them a new ass. She was sure that her father would end up in this situation at some point or another, or her brother. The latter, well she was looking forward to that. Her footsteps thudded on the steps as she dragged herself up them. She was heading into the court house for a different reason today, and she really didn't want to. Doc Martens on her feet, hands in the pockets of her jeans and hair falling all over the place, she pretty much looked like a Sheridan. She just needed to dye her hair again."Evie Sheridan here to see the guy about the thing" she said to a woman in the lobby who directed her towards a man standing over to one side. She headed over towards him, it wasn't like he looked all that scary anyway. As she got closer, however, she found her head tilting back just to look at him. She stood all of 5'4", the height from her mother's side or something of the sort. "I'm s'pose to talk to you I guess" she shrugged, not removing the aviators from her face as she looked him up and down.
Malcolm had stood around for a bit, started toying with his phone. Robbie was texting him about something at the house - their A/C unit hadn't kicked in, and Rob was whining about the heat in the apartment. He'd have to go check the units outside to make sure they weren't blocked once he got home - Robbie wasn't very technical, and was having trouble understanding how to check the A/C unit.He heard the girl talk to security and snapped his phone shut, waiting for her to come to his side of the lobby. "You must be Evelyn." He said, as she approached. "I'm the guy, with the thing. Malcolm works." He extended a hand politely. He refused to treat the kids in teen court like they were children - they got the same level of respect and politeness that he put out for every person in the courthouse.He nodded at a conference room at the side of the lobby. "We're in here. I just need to ask you a few questions and get you to make a statement for me. Okay?" She didn't have a parent here, even though she was a minor, but he just had some general questions for her. If there was a case there, he'd ask her to come as a witness. No parents needed.
OUTFIT HEREThe man addressed her and Evie raised an eyebrow, taking the aviators from her face. "Evie and I don't do that hand shakey thing, it's for old men and prim and proper ladies whose fingers look broken". She moved past him into the conference room without another thought. Yes, she was strange, that was part of who she was she supposed, but it didn't mean that she was going to change herself because someone didn't approve. She was a Sheridan and, the way she saw it, she didn't have to change herself for the good of the nation or whatever.She flopped into a chair, feet going straight for the table in front of her and crossing at the heel. "Go ahead with your questions, I've done this part before" she said, looking up at the ceiling before turning her head and focusing her attention on him. She was a little different to her father in one way; she had the ability to actually hold back the impulsive sayings, and thankfully she did for the moment. It wouldn't do to ask him about whether or not his abs were as good as his arms while he was attempting to interview her.Perhaps later, once he was done. She was curious after all.
So she didn't do the 'hand shakey thing'. "Alright then, frosty box." He snerked, before catching himself. Weeks of office discipline had taught him that he was supposed to be more respectful, not mouthing back to people. He cleared his throat. "Sorry. Go on..." Before he could finish, she'd flopped down. "...in." He rolled his eyes. Fucking teen court.He sat in one of the other conference chairs, smoothing his suit jacket before writing the date on the pad and paper in front of him. He reached to the small briefcase on the chair next to him that he'd set out, and pulled out a tape recorded and a few forms, as well as a pen. "Alright, Evie. I just need you to sign the release so I can record your deposition." He pushed the papers across to her and placed the tape recorder down, waiting for her to fill in and sign her name. "Since you're over fourteen, you can testify without a parent. So can you please also intial the line saying that you declined parental presence here today?"Once the technical stuff had been done, he pressed record on the tape recorder. "In the matter of State of California versus Dixon, D-I-X-O-N, Docket number five three three zero zero one eight Dee as in dog, Em as in Monkey, six zero three. Deposition of Evelyn Sheridan." He placed the recorder closer to Evie. "Miss Sheridan, please state all answers thoroughly and clearly, to the best of your ability. Can you please begin by stating and spelling your first and last name, and date of birth?" Technical stuff, had to get done. Then she could tell her story.
OUTFIT HEREEvie decided pretty quickly that she hated these things. She made herself comfortable and relaxed back in the chair, eyes on him as he smoothed his jacket out. "Looks better rumpled, like you've got that just fucked look" she said, idly, as she inspected her nails, pretending that what she said was the every day. Ok, so perhaps it was the every day where she was concerned, but she wasn't about to let him in on that. She signed the paper he set in front of her, twisting the page back to him and drumming her nails lightly on the table as she waited for him to continue. She knew that there was going to be a recording of what she said, she knew that he was going to use her full name, and it wasn't that she hated the name but she preferred it shortened."Evelyn Sheridan. E-V-E-L-Y-N-S-H-E-R-I-D-A-N. July 31st 1995." She said, looking at him with a small smirk. She tugged her lip ring in between her lips and started toying with it as she waited for the next no brainer. She was bored, that was for sure. It was all technical and all boring and she would reiterate the story and it would all be over and done with in a matter of seconds. She tilted her head to the side and watched him for a moment, her nails drumming against the table once more. She wondered, briefly, what it would sound like on the tape recorder if she kept doing that.
"Looks better rumpled, like you've got that just fucked look." He paused, looked at her, and back to his briefcase. That was a little... fucked up? Forward? She was a cute girl, but she was also very much underage. As the 1995 birthdate would just confirm for him. He decided to let it go, and get focused on the reason they were there. Malcolm start prosecuting to protect women and kids, not to try to figure out why sixteen year old girls made comments like that to him."Thank you." He said, spelling her name on his sheet as well, and making a small note. "Can you please give me a rundown of what you saw on April 12th, 2012? With Ben Dixon and Michael O'Reilly, and the alleged fight on the high school grounds? Just a detailed story, in chronological order, please." He looked back at her, relaxing in his chair, pen in hand. Ready to take notes if she said anything significant to the case.
He said nothing about her comment and Evie had to admit that she was a little disheartened. She expected some sort of reaction and, yet, she got none. She was forward, there was no doubting it, but when you looked at who her parents were it wasn't any wonder that she was. She winked at him for a little added effect and simply made herself comfortable once more, switching her feet over so that they were sitting in the reverse position on the table.Evie sighed and started on her story, even though she really couldn't remember much. "I don't remember a hell of a lot, I just remember Dix was laying into this kid. Pounding his face. It started over something stupid, they were yelling and screaming at each other. I was kind of sitting off to the side with Drew at the time and they started talking but then Dix started raising his voice, something about Mike betraying him or something. I didn't even know they were friends but then everyone sort of started watching as they tackled each other to the ground and Dix started laying into Mike's face". She imitated the action with her hands, almost like she was pounding into something herself as she continued. "One, two, three, like that y'know. Then one of the teachers came over and shoved them apart but they were still trying to get at each other."Evie was a little animated, showing just how idotic they looked as she flailed her arms around a little before resting back into the chair. She sat quietly from then on, simply tilting her head to the side to watch him "and that's how it happened". She wasn't the best at recounting things that happened. She could see the picture clear in her head but she couldn't say it clearly enough to make it make a lot of sense, even if it did to her and those who knew her.
By the end of her account, he was nearly grinning. She was an engaging storyteller, if nothing else. He just needed a few more specific details. He wrote down a few words, and considered the next few legal options. "So they were shouting about betrayal? Can you elaborate more on that?" He waited for her response, ticking off a few more words on the legal pad as she spoke."Did you see who attacked who first, Evie?" "And... do you know either of these guys personally? What are they like, what are they known as around school?" He wrote a column for each boy on a separate page, taking notes."Did you see which teachers broke up the fight?" He wrote the heading "Other Parties", and kept a running list for the next few questions."Did you see the aftermath? Any bloody faces, any medical personnel there? School nurse, even?" They were nearly done. "Any other details you remember, Evie? Be as specific as possible, okay?"
Evie rolled her eyes knowing that he was about to ask more. Everyone did, it was irritating to say the least. "So they were shouting about betrayal..." Evie rolled her eyes a little "I said I didn't know what sort of betrayal, that's all I heard, didn't hear anymore" she said, trying her best not to let her need to be sarcastic float away from her. "I wasn't about to stop and listen, I really don't care about their problems". Evie hardly listened to anything that was said around her unles someone actively sought out her attention to talk to her. "Did you see who attacked who..." Evie sighed again "I just said that Dix tackled him to the ground... So Dix attacked first..." There it was, that little bit of sarcasm she was trying to hold back as much as possible."And... do you know either of these..." "I don't know them at all I just know who they are. You'd have to actually ask their friends, I don't associate with morons" she said, shrugging a little bit. She really didn't care about those outside of her little group, she didn't even want to be here, well except for the fact that she was now eyeing up the man across from her."Did you see which teachers... Did you see the " "Nope, didn't see which teachers just heard someone said the teachers came out. Look at me, I'm too short to even see past other people when they move in front of me. And I didn't see what happened afterwards either, I lost interest. I don't watch fights all the time. Nothing else to add either, I told you all I remember" she said. She was fast getting bored, trying not to sigh as she realised that there was going to be more.
She was getting bored and feisty. Obviously trying to hold a little snarkiness in, but Malcolm could see it pretty easily. "Just making things clear for the record, okay?" He offered her a cocked eyebrow in response to her slipping sarcasm into the record. "Keep those sassypants off for a few more minutes, okay?" He wrote "Sassypants" on the legal pad, reminding himself to try to get that stricken from the record as an offhand comment he'd made."As far as their friends, can you just name a few for me? Please." He needed to summon other parties, if he was going to paint a certain picture for the judge later on in the week. "So. Nothing afterwards." Well that was a bust. He needed more information about that point in time. "You remember any other students that were standing around."As she finished her brief account, he realized that he needed to figure out a few other involved parties for better information. He concluded the deposition, re-stating the docket number, and switched off the tape recorder. "Well... now we're off the record. Any names of anyone else involved? Mike and Ben's friends, teachers, anything?" He was nearly pleading for information, the name of someone who could better answer the questions he needed answered. "Also... if this thing does go to some sort of hearing, would you be willing to come address the court? Be a witness for me?" He fished around in his suitcase again, looking for his business card holder.
Evie looked at him for a moment and tilted her head to the side. "I thought you'd rather I keep my pants on" she said, seriously, forgetting the fact that she was being recorded and could, potentially, cause some trouble. Of course, she didn't mind too much, he was a good looking man, but she wasn't about to drop her pants and beg for him to... Well there was no need to explain the thought that ran through her teenage mind as she laughed a little under her breath, her hand covering her mouth. She made a mental note to change her screenname on her IM server to see if she could find him."I don't know if they had any friends but that idiot Jackson Walker was always tagging along like a lost puppy with no home" she said, shrugging a little. Evie didn't pay attention to the others around her, she was worried about her own little group and nothing more. "The whole school was out there in some capacity or another but I remember that teacher's pet bitch, Nanette Babun, was screaming at them to stop or she'd have them expelled or something. That's all I got" she shrugged a little. She really should pay more attention to things but the moment Nanette had shown up she'd wanted to barf in her own mouth and spit it at the girl.He switched off the tape recorder and asked her another question "well I don't know if they'd swing that way but we should be involved in something" she said before she could stop herself. Covering the words up with a cough she shook her head. "Just teacher's pet Nanette and tag-a-long Walker" she said. She couldn't remember much else and it didn't help that she was completely distracted. He asked her about testifying and she slid her legs off the table, leaning forward. "Depends on what I get for it. I don't care if a couple of morons kill each other in the school yard as long as my friends and I aren't harmed, it's why we stay out of this shit".
"I thought you'd rather I keep my pants on." His eyes widened. The comment nearly rendered his speechless. "Well, yes, that would be helpful." He cleared his throat, a little flustered. Somehow, the kid was managing to throw off his mojo completely. Things had been going well in his first real solo deposition, and he was going to have a scrap valuable seconds of tape time.He took down the names she gave him as they closed out the interview process. He'd have to call the school and summon some records, so he could call the involved kids and figure out what teachers he could talk to. Evie had been a bit of help, but not nearly as much as he hoped. And she'd potentially been coming on to him for the past few minutes, or so, which served to make him feel sufficiently awkward.He asked if she'd testify. "Depends on what I get for it. I don't care if a couple of morons kill each other in the school yard as long as my friends and I aren't harmed, it's why we stay out of this shit." "I understand. I can keep you anonymous as long as possible, but if I have to summon you, you'll be known. But there should be a resource officer at the school, and you call tell them if you don't feel safe?" He said quietly, capping his pen. He found his business card holder and tugged it out of the briefcase. Inside were his simple, printed cards. "So these still say 'Malcolm Vitale, J.D. Candidate', but I promise, I've actually got the J.D. now." He handed her one of his business cards. "Also, the number on there is my cell. Please don't prank call it, but give me a call if you remember anything else? Or if you need anything." He made a mental note to have 'Malcolm Vitale, Attorney at Law' cards made once she left.
Evie glanced down at the card he'd handed her, raising herself to her feet. She realised that she had his number now and it made her smirk just a little, albeit internally. "Nice to meet you, Malcolm Vitale" she added, twisting the card between her fingers. "Perhaps I'll give you a call if I think of anything else I need to tell you". She turned on her heel and exited the room, leaving him, she hoped, to wonder just what she had meant by the statement.