Sunday, 30 November 2014

Change The Tide

Relocation Plans For Calderone and The Children
A couple of months after the Court ordered that the children lived with him, rather than Arcadia Thiessen, Tabernacle Calderone went to see his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic.

Calderone told Kreptic, “I have been offered a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland. I want to accept the job offer and relocate to Cairns with the two (2) children. I have family there and they can offer us support. The children and I have visited several times in the past.”

Kreptic said, “Do you realise that unless Arcadia also relocated to Cairns, it would mean her physical contact with the children would be reduced to only during holiday periods?”

Calderone: “Yes”.

Kreptic: “I will write to the solicitor for Arcadia and endeavour to ascertain her attitude to your North Queensland relocation plans. I note that we have not been provided with any significant details as to the Duckworth character with whom Arcadia was spending a considerable amount of time. She was supposed to provide you with details as to the extent to which he might have contact with your children.”

Calderone: “I am not surprised you have not heard from her”.

Kreptic: “I will let you know when I get a reply about your proposed relocation. For your sake, I hope you will not be required to make an application to the Court to approve the relocation.”

Siobhan Blanco Contacts Arcadia
When Siobhan Blanco read the letter from Zorgarn Kreptic proposing Calderone relocate to Cairns with the two (2) children, she was not surprised. She also thought the failure on the part of Arcadia to provide any significant details regarding Garlick Duckworth and the extent to which he might have contact with the children was unlikely to be helpful for her.

Blanco telephoned Arcadia and was blunt with her. “It is time you realised that you cannot do whatever it is you like, without the possibility of adverse consequences resulting. On its face, the proposal for Calderone to relocate to Cairns with your two (2) children seems worthwhile. If you wish to resist that relocation, you are going to have to do provide cogent reasons for so doing. In that regard the fact that you have effectively provided no significant details regarding Duckworth and the extent to which he might have contact with the children is definitely going to be unhelpful for you.”

“You also might wish to turn your mind seriously to how you both propose to fund the necessary air travel between Cairns and Melbourne which would enable you to have contact with the children.”

“I will contact you again in a few days, Arcadia. Hopefully you will have something useful for me.”

Blanco promptly ended the telephone conversation with Arcadia.

Augustina Fotheringham Reappears For Arcadia
Augustina Fotheringham was a friend of Arcadia from their university days. They had not been in contact with each other for several years. Upon hearing about the divorce of Arcadia, Augustina made a concerted effort to track down Arcadia. The plan was to have a serious conversation with Arcadia about the situation in which Arcadia now found herself.

Roughly two (2) hours after Arcadia ended her conversation with Siobhan Blanco, Augustina telephoned Arcadia at her home. It did not take Arcadia long to realise this was to be another taxing conversation.

After some initial brief pleasantries, Augustina shared with Arcadia her sobering view of the circumstances in which Arcadia now found herself.

“If you have designs on dating, now that you are single, you might wish to seriously consider your situation. Your dating story will be that your husband left you after twenty (20) years of marriage because you were unfaithful to him for at least the last eighteen (18) months. It is unlikely too many men are going to enjoy hearing that story.”

“Trying to hide Garlick Duckworth from scrutiny was also not a clever move on your part. Calderone is understandably concerned about whom might have contact with your children and it is hard to imagine he will give up easily his request that you to provide significant details about Duckworth or anyone else who was likely to have contact with the children.”

“You denying you were involved with anyone other than your husband when the divorce proceedings started also significantly hurt your credibility. The Judge made it clear to you and it is something Calderone will be able to use in respect of you for some time to come.”

“Apart from Calderone, none of the men you have been with are in any way good role models for your children. The few decent men who have appeared in your life, you have actively alienated.”

“You abused your work travel privileges by chasing after that ridiculous man in Sydney, who dumped you like a hot potato once you were no longer dishing out the freebies for him.”

Arcadia then told Augustina, “Now Calderone wants to take a job at a catering company in Cairns and relocate there with the two (2) children. If he does that the only physical contact I will have with the children would be during holiday periods.”

Augustina was a long way from sympathetic. “Who could blame him, after the way you have behaved? I am prepared to help and support you, but only if you are prepared to make a concerted effort to improve your situation.”

“You would do well to acknowledge the criticisms of you levelled by Calderone during your divorce proceedings. They were sufficient to convince the Judge to order that your children live with Calderone rather than you. A more prudent approach for you would be to demonstrate improvements in your life, such that those criticisms are no longer valid and you are now a much more positive parenting prospect.”

“The choice is yours, Arcadia. Let me know if you want my assistance.”

Arcadia was taken aback by this conversation and struggled to say much in response.

“I will call you again in a couple of days and you can tell me then what it is you wish to do.” Augustine then ended the telephone call with Arcadia.

Alone with Her Thoughts
It was a restless night for Arcadia as she reflected on the conversations she had with both Siobhan Blanco and Augustina Fotheringham. She could see that her current situation did not look good to the outside observer. There seemed little alternative to accepting the assistance of Augustina Fotheringham.

Early the next morning Arcadia telephoned Augustina Fotheringham and told her she would accept her offer of assistance.

Arcadia said to Augustina, “I do not know what I am going to tell my solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, in relation to opposing the request by Calderone to relocate to Cairns with the children. I also do not have anything useful to tell her in respect of Garlick Duckworth.”

Augustina replied, “If it were my decision, it would be simple. I would stop having anything to do with Garlick Duckworth and all men like him. They seem to have caused you far more trouble than any pleasure they could have given you. There also seems little constructive opposition you can mount to Calderone relocating to Cairns with the children.”

“One step at a time is the best you can do, Arcadia. I have got something I need to do. We will talk later.”

Augustine then ended the conversation.

Arcadia rang Siobhan Blanco shortly after that telephone conversation and told her, “My friend from my university days, Augustina Fotheringham, has said she is prepared to help and support me. I told her I am prepared to work with her. I cannot tell you anything more constructive at the moment in relation to opposing the request by Calderone to relocate to Cairns with the children.”

Blanco said, “I will draft a letter in reply to his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, and I will tell you when it is prepared. I have a commitment now, so I cannot talk to you anymore at the moment.”

Blanco then ended the conversation.

Calderone Takes The Job In Cairns
Two (2) days later Calderone contacted Kreptic and told him, “I am tired of the lack of any useful information from Arcadia. I have accepted the job at the catering company in Cairns and I will relocate there with the two (2) children in three (3) weeks.

At the end of the first term at their new school, Calderone wrote to Arcadia and said the children had settled in well in Cairns. This was supported by the pleasing report cards the school gave both children. He happily included those report cards with his letter.

It was about that time when a work colleague introduced Calderone to Ms Friday Rauschenberg at a small casual dinner. Calderone and Friday got on well together and agreed to meet again the following week, without anyone else accompanying them.

Calderone was fairly candid with Friday about how and why he found himself in Cairns with the children.

He told Friday, “I do not want a repeat of how I was treated by Arcadia”.

Friday replied, “I do not have any children, but I have endured my share of appalling treatment by people who claimed to care about me”.

The evening was not all heavy discussion, but their respective candour added to the comfort they felt in each other’s company. They both felt the evening went well and they continued seeing each other.

Friday and The Children Meet
Roughly three (3) months later, Calderone told Friday he thought it was appropriate for her to meet his children.

“I am aware of the significance of what I am suggesting, Friday. I have been on the other side of this discussion earlier when I said Arcadia needed to demonstrate that the people meeting our children needed to be appropriate and did not expose them to any unnecessary risk.”

Friday replied, “I am happy to meet your children and we shall see what happens. Hopefully we will all get along well.

Calderone and Kreptic Discuss Informing Arcadia
Calderone telephoned Kreptic and told him about his relationship with Friday. “It is progressing very well and she has met the children on several occasions. I anticipate she will continue to do so. I would like you to write to the solicitor for Arcadia and tell her about my friendship with Friday and her interaction with the children”.

The response from Kreptic surprised Calderone a little. “I think you could write the letter yourself. Not only would it save you some money, but it would demonstrate some relationship responsibility on your part. That is relationship responsibility between you and Arcadia.”

“Thank you, Mr Kreptic. That is an approach I had not considered, but one I will adopt.”

Arcadia Gets a Letter From Calderone
Arcadia had received several letters from Calderone since he relocated to Cairns with the children. They were all about how the children were progressing at school and in their new surroundings. She was not surprised when the latest letter from Calderone arrived. Her mood changed significantly when she read the contents of that latest letter.

Relevantly it read:
“There is a new significant person in my life. A work colleague introduced me to Ms Friday Rauschenberg at a small casual dinner. We got along well and have continued seeing each other since then. Friday works for a florist and has no children of her own. She has met our children on several occasions and everyone has got along well together. Friday and I have no significant plans for our relationship at this stage, but I expect we will continue seeing each other and I expect her to continue seeing and interacting with our children.”

“Given what has gone on between you and I, it seemed appropriate to inform you of my relationship with Friday Rauschenberg and her involvement with the children.”

It took Arcadia about twenty-five (25) minutes to read the letter. She found it hard to read through her tears. By the time she had finished, she was sobbing.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Bonham Trudeaux and Arcadia Thiessen
Unaware of her divorce situation, Bonham Trudeaux telephoned Arcadia Thiessen, with the hope of seeing her and having sex with her.

“Can I come over and see you?”, he said. Better to do it at her place, he thought. I do not want to spend any money on her.

“I cannot talk to you, at the moment. I will call you later”, Arcadia replied.

Bonham thought nothing unusual of the conversation and organised to do something else.

Stiles Parsons Contacts Tabernacle Calderone
When Stiles Parsons heard that Arcadia had separated from Tabernacle Calderone, he contacted Calderone to see what was going on, notwithstanding the difficulties they had endured in the band.

A very different picture was now emerging about Arcadia, Parsons thought. She always contended that she was a loyal wife, yet Bonham Trudeaux contended Arcadia was his girlfriend and Bonham showed Parsons pictures on his mobile telephone of Arcadia naked and also of her performing oral sex on him, with her wedding ring clearly visible.

“We have separated and I have commenced divorce proceedings” Calderone told Parsons.

Calderone continued, “It seems for at least eighteen (18) months Arcadia has been having an affair with Garlick Duckworth, a guy from Sydney. She travelled often with her work to see him and spoke with him most days by telephone. They were also very good at texting each other.”

Parsons said to himself, So Arcadia was involved with Bonham Trudeaux and Garlick Duckworth. Her loyal and faithful wife story is now in tatters.

Stiles Parsons Meets Bonham Trudeaux
Angered by the way she treated him, Parsons decided to contact Bonham to see if he could get Bonham to give him a copy of the photographs of Arcadia naked and her having sex with Bonham.  He would then give those photographs to Garlick Calderone.

Parsons telephoned Bonham and asked him if he would like to have dinner at the Hard Slog Café near where Parsons lived. Bonham agreed and arrangements were made to meet at 7:00 pm.

There were very few people at the Hard Slog Café that evening, which suited both Parsons and Bonham.

After they ordered their meals, Parsons asked Bonham, “Are you still seeing Arcadia?

Bonham replied, “I have not seen her for a couple of weeks, but yes, I am still seeing her”.

Parsons: “Have you still got those photographs of her?”

Bonham: “Yes I do”.

Parsons: “Would you mind if I saw them again?”

Bonham: “No, not at all. Here they are on my telephone”.

Parsons was prepared on this occasion to see the photographs of Arcadia. He did not find them as distressing as he did the first time Bonham showed them to him. He calmly looked at the photographs and he did not tell Bonham that he knew Arcadia.

Parsons then asked Bonham, “Do you mind giving me a copy of those photographs?”

“No trouble at all”, Bonham replied and he sent a copy of the photographs to the mobile telephone of Parsons.

Parsons looked at his telephone to confirm that the photographs had been received and then he thanked Bonham. Parsons then changed the topic and Arcadia was not further discussed that evening.

Stiles Parsons Meets with Tabernacle Calderone
Parsons decided to visit Tabernacle Calderone at his home and try to tell Calderone what he knew of Arcadia, at least insofar as the relationship with Bonham and the photographs were concerned.

Calderone agreed to invite Parsons into his house and have a conversation with him about Arcadia.

Parsons said, “We have had our differences in recent times. I do not wish to cause any more aggravation. However there is something I thought you should know in relation to your separation and divorce from Arcadia. A guy I know has some photographs of her and I got him to provide me with a copy of them. I think you should see them. I doubt that you will find them pleasant viewing.”

Parsons then showed the photographs he had on his telephone to Calderone.

Calderone looked at all of the photographs. It was apparent to Parsons that Calderone found them upsetting. Parsons did not say anything, he waited for Calderone to speak.

After several minutes Parsons noticed Calderone seemed to be trying to speak, but could not get out the words. Parsons then said to him, “If you like, I can give you a copy of photographs and then I will leave”.

Calderone said, “I will take a copy of the photographs, but please do not leave. I would rather you stayed and kept me company than be alone this evening”.

Parsons was surprised to hear that response from Calderone. It was a very long time since he had shared emotions of that kind with Parsons.

Once the logistics of sharing the photographs had been negotiated, Parsons told Calderone briefly what he knew about the photographs and then changed the topic of conversation immediately.  He did what he could to not discuss Arcadia in any way for the rest of the evening. Calderone was unusually and understandably subdued in his interaction that evening, but Parsons was not going to use that as an excuse to leave early.

After about two (2) hours he thought they had spent enough time together and Calderone said he was leaving. Calderone did not object and thanked Parsons for visiting him and supporting him. Parsons then walked to his car and drove home.

Tabernacle Calderone Meets with His Solicitor
The next day, a still unsettled Calderone contacted his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, and told him about the photographs of Arcadia and Bonham Trudeaux.

Kreptic said, “Those photographs may strengthen your contention that the focus of Arcadia was on her social life, not her children. It is also the case that denial by Arcadia of this affair with Bonham Trudeaux would further erode her credibility.”

Kreptic continued, “I will add them to the draft affidavit I have prepared for you. They will augment the telephone records and room service bills which suggest Arcadia was having an affair with Garlick Duckworth. We will use them to support your contention that the focus of Arcadia was on her social life, not her children”.

“As we have discussed previously, Mr Calderone, it is my view that the denial by Arcadia of the affair with Duckworth hurts her credibility. Her involvement with this other guy, Bonham Trudeaux, adds to her difficulties.”

“In the profile of Garlick Duckworth we had compiled for your matter, we have discovered that he is a vain, self-promoter, who likes to put other people down and who apparently has no interest in anyone but himself, especially the children of Arcadia.”

Calderone said, “I still believe what I have said many times before, the primary focus of Arcadia is her social life, not the children. Her involvement with these men confirms that view, in my opinion.”

After discussing the situation with Kreptic, Calderone said he wanted Arcadia to clarify her relationship with Duckworth.

“I do not want Arcadia to have contact with the children, if there is a chance Duckworth will see them, because Duckworth is an unknown and a risk. In my view it is dangerous to expose the children to any significant relationship with Duckworth, when he has not been tested with them or as a parent”, Calderone said firmly.

“Arcadia also has low self-esteem now, which is bad for the children to see”, he added.

Kreptic replied, “I will write to the solicitors for Arcadia and outline your position in relation to Arcadia having contact with your children, bearing in mind her involvement with Duckworth. If and when we get a response, you and I can discuss that issue further.”

“I expect to have your draft affidavit ready for you to read in a couple of days. I will include in it the new information you have provided to me today.”

The telephone call then ended.

Arcadia Meets with Her Solicitor, Siobhan Blanco
When Siobhan Blanco read the letter from Zorgarn Kreptic in relation to Arcadia Thiessen and Tabernacle Calderone, she was surprised by its contents. Blanco was completely unaware of any involvement on the part of Arcadia with Garlick Duckworth. The letter did not have all of the details of that involvement, but it had enough for Blanco to treat it very seriously.

Shortly thereafter Blanco contacted Arcadia and expressed her anger about the dishonesty of Arcadia proved by Calderone and his solicitors.  Arcadia had no good answer for her deception regarding her relationship with Duckworth.

Blanco told Arcadia, “It seems to me that you are going to have to provide significant details about Garlick Duckworth to satisfy Calderone that it is appropriate for you to have contact with the children, if there is a chance Duckworth will see them. Your credibility is also now squarely an issue in this matter.”

This news surprised Arcadia and she was struggling to say anything in response. The divorce was not going according to her plan, she thought.

Arcadia provided some sketchy details of Duckworth to Blanco, but very little of substance.

Arcadia Contacts Duckworth
Arcadia decided to telephone Duckworth and inform him of the developments in her divorce. She said to him, “My solicitors have received a letter from the solicitors for Calderone and they seem to be completely aware of my relationship with you over the last eighteen (18) months

“My solicitor said that I will have to provide significant details about you to satisfy Calderone that it is appropriate for me to have contact with the children, if there is a chance you will see them”

Duckworth was of little help to Arcadia with his reply, “I guess with losing your job, you will not be coming to Sydney any time soon?”

Arcadia became angry with him, “Can you stop thinking about yourself for a while and try to concentrate on what I am saying?”

The response from Duckworth was again unhelpful, “I am not in a position to have a discussion with you at the moment. I have something that needs my attention. Perhaps we will talk later.”

Duckworth then ended the telephone call.

Arcadia was stunned by the response of Duckworth and it took her some considerable time to compose herself after the telephone call with him.

Arcadia Seeks Out Stiles Parsons
Stiles Parsons may be helpful, Arcadia thought, so she contacted him in the hope of obtaining some support from him. Arcadia told Parsons the hard-done-by story. She was unaware Parsons knew about her affairs with Garlick Duckworth and Bonham Trudeaux. Parsons was no longer buying her hard-done-by story. To his surprise, Arcadia revealed that the divorce litigation with Calderone had uncovered her affairs with Duckworth and Trudeaux. She did not reveal any other lovers, but Parsons suspected that there would be more.

Parsons was somewhat subdued in his conversation with Arcadia and he ensured he did not reveal the assistance he provided to Calderone in relation to her. He thought, it was noticeable that her conversation with him lacked any apology to him for all the previous deception she had perpetrated upon him by continually contending she was a loyal and faithful wife. Arcadia was still only thinking of herself.

After a short time, Parsons found a way to politely end the conversation with Arcadia.

Parish Garner Rang Arcadia
Several days later Parish Garner from Perth rang Arcadia on her mobile telephone. He said, “I really enjoyed meeting you at the Adelaide Business Development Conference. Are you going to be in Perth any time soon? I also have a friend who knows I shared you with Thackery Versailles, he would like to meet you too”.

Arcadia did not want to have this discussion, nor did she want to reveal that she had lost her job and her divorce was now rather difficult for her.

She told Parish, “I am not in a position to speak with you at the moment. I might call you later.”

She then ended the call.

Interim Court Hearing
Tabernacle Calderone filed an Application for Interim Parenting Orders and it subsequently came on for hearing.

After reading the affidavit material submitted to the Court by both Arcadia and Calderone and then hearing submissions on that material by their respective barristers, relevantly, the Judge hearing the Application found that:
  • The telephone records, room service bills and photographs were compelling evidence of the involvement of Arcadia with other men
  • Arcadia was not a witness of credit
  • The primary focus of Arcadia was her social life, not the children
  • Arcadia has no job
  • It was in the best interests of the children that they live with the father, Tabernacle Calderone
  • Arcadia is to tell Calderone whenever Duckworth is to have any contact with the children.

Arcadia was devastated to hear the decision of the Judge. In contrast Calderone was very happy.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Second Opinion

Daniel Soames was in his Chambers when he received a telephone call from a woman whose business provides him with some of his office supplies.

Brenda said, “I am involved in some litigation where I am seeking a little short of $6,000 and I would like a second opinion as to whether the case was viable.”

Daniel said, “I will happily look at the matter for you. Can you provide me with all the relevant material from that litigation.”

Brenda said, “That will be no trouble. I will courier the material to you this afternoon.”

When the material arrived it took Daniel just under an hour to read and come to terms with it. Once he had done so he had a chat with a colleague in Chambers as to what he made of the facts as told to him by Daniel.  Both barristers agreed that the litigation was in two (2) parts and the legal proceedings drawn by the solicitors were defective in not making the dichotomy in respect of those two (2) parts to the litigation.  The trial was listed to proceed in about two and a half (2 ½) weeks time and the small amount of money the subject of litigation meant it was really not commercially viable to redraw those legal proceedings. In pragmatic terms, it was really best to just proceed with the matter in its current form and endeavour to perhaps make an application to correct any errors at the trial.

Armed with that appreciation of the case Daniel telephoned Brenda.

Daniel: “I have read the material and believe I understand the issues involved in the litigation.  In my view it would be prudent for you and your solicitor to attend my Chambers and have a conference with me to discuss the litigation in some detail.

Brenda replied, “I agree. I will contact the solicitor to see if that conference could be arranged and occur by the end of the week.”

Daniel: “I am happy to leave you to make those arrangements. I expect I will hear from you shortly.”

Within half an hour Brenda had again telephoned Daniel to tell him that the conference could occur at his Chambers in two days time at 3:00 pm, subject to his availability.

Daniel said, “Those arrangements suited me fine and I will note my calendar accordingly.”

Brenda and her solicitor arrived at the Chambers of Daniel shortly before 3:00 pm and the conference proceeded without delay.

Daniel said, “As I understand the matter, the litigation was effectively in two (2) parts, the major part for just over $5000 and the minor part for just over $500. There was then also the issue of costs.  The matter had already endured an application for summary judgement by Brenda, which was unsuccessful. It seems me that a significant consideration for the Court during that application for summary judgement was the way the Court documents had been drafted.  In articulating the claim of Brenda the documents did not make the dichotomy between the two (2) parts to her claim.

“On the material supplied to me, it seems that the Defendant really had no defence to the major part of the claim and the only reason she ought not be successful was that the Court was not minded to give her the justice she sought. The lesser amount of the litigation was less certain in terms of the ability of Brenda to obtain judgement in her favour. There were certainly some arguments the Defendant could raise in response to her claim and they may well be found to be valid.  Nevertheless the Court documents being drafted the way they were, it appeared that the defence of the Defendant in respect of that lesser claim may well be a defence to the entire claim, so no summary judgement could be awarded at that time.”

“There were good reasons to think that the trial on the larger amount would largely mirror what Daniel expected would have been discussed during the summary judgement application, because nothing had really changed in that regard and the real question continued to be whether the Court was minded to give judgement in respect of Brenda.”

“Interestingly the part of the litigation over which the controversy would be the greatest was the lesser amount and it hardly seemed worth spending the money it was likely to cost in pursuing such a small amount.”

Daniel asked, “Brenda, how much have you spent on the litigation thus far?”

Brenda replied, “Including the cost of the present conference, $3,000.00.”

Daniel: “If the matter were to proceed to trial, you could expect to spend that much again and, for the reasons that have already been outlined, there is no guarantee you would be successful. The outcome in those circumstances may very well be you would spend $6,000.00, effectively speculating on being awarded a judgement in the sum of $6,000.00 by the Court. Does that seem to make any commercial sense to you?”

Brenda: “No, it did not”.

Daniel noticed that during this conversation the solicitor was sitting and listening, but not actively participating in the conversation. There was very little he could say to change the course of the conference and the conversation, Daniel thought.  It was his inept drafting that put billable hours and his ego ahead of the interests of the client and that led to the situation that was now confronting this litigation and therefore Brenda.

Daniel continued, “In the circumstances, Brenda, now might be a good time for you to consider cutting your losses in respect of this litigation and endeavouring to move on with your life.  Perhaps through your solicitors you might contact the Defendant and offer to settle the litigation by discontinuing it and each side being responsible for their own costs incurred thus far?”

Brenda said, “That advice makes sense. It is an approach I will to seriously consider.”

The solicitor spoke for the first time, also agreeing there was some sense to adopting that approach.

Spotlight On The Solicitor
Having arrived at that position Daniel thought how lucky Brenda was to have contacted him and asked him to provide a second opinion on her litigation, an opinion different to and independent from the advice she was getting from her solicitors.  Daniel also thought it was typical of so many solicitors to have taken the best part of $3,000 in legal fees from the client in respect of some litigation, hardly advanced her case at all, perhaps even hurt it, and want the client to continue to retain them and fund that obviously ineptly prosecuted litigation.

Given his good business relationship with Brenda, it was taking Daniel some effort to not make his feelings in that regard public, but rather keep them to himself.  However several times during the conference he looked at and thought of the solicitor and said to himself, you are not entitled to any fees in respect of this, because your work has hampered it, rather than helped it.

Brenda then said she needed to go to the toilet and she asked for directions as to the location of the ladies toilets.

Daniel gave her those directions and the conference was adjourned to accommodate Brenda.

Whilst she was attending to nature there was no conversation about the litigation between Daniel and the solicitor. There was some general conversation about their respective practices other than that litigation and that conversation merely served to confirm the view Daniel had of the solicitor, his ability and his contribution to this case.

Conference Resumed
Upon her return to the conference Brenda said, “I have considered your advice about trying to settle the litigation by discontinuing it and each side bearing their own costs. Seems now is an appropriate time to cut my losses and move on with my life, so that is the approach I wish to take in respect of this litigation.”

Daniel suggested that the solicitor then write formally to the Defendant and make an offer of settlement in those terms.  Both Brenda and the solicitor were happy with that approach.  There was then some discussion as to what might be the contents of that letter, notes of which were taken by the solicitor, and at the conclusion of that discussion the conference ended.

Brenda and the solicitor then returned to their respective places of work.

Three Days Later
Three (3) days later Daniel received a telephone call from Brenda about the conference and the litigation.  She was a very happy woman.

Brenda said, “I have been contacted by the solicitors, both on the telephone and in writing, informing me that a settlement had been reached with the Defendant in the terms we proposed.”

“Plus I have more good news.  When the letter from my solicitors arrived informing me of the settlement I was also pleasantly surprised to read that, as the matter had proceeded in the way it did, the firm felt it was not appropriate to charge their normal fees for the work they had done in respect of this matter, but rather a fee of $500.00 would be all they would seek from me.  They enclosed a cheque for the balance of the money I had paid to them up to that point, less the cost of the fees for you, Daniel, for the conference.”

“I was very happy to have involved you in the matter, Daniel. Thank you for all your assistance.”

Daniel said, “It was no trouble, a pleasure in fact. I am happy you got an outcome to her satisfaction.”

After the telephone conversation with Brenda was over Daniel reflected upon her situation. He was happy for both her and himself that he was apparently able to assist the solicitors in arriving at the correct decision in respect of Brenda and her litigation.  He did not expect to get any further work from that firm of solicitors, although stranger things have been known to happen in the law.  At least he was able to put his mind skills to good use on this occasion and for a very deserving recipient.

Lunch with Morris
Shortly after telephone conversation ended Daniel saw one of his Chambers colleagues Morris and shared with him the developments in relation to the Brenda litigation.  Both of them were happy with the outcome.  They took their glee with them as they had lunch together discussing the Brenda case at some length, as well as a few other tasty morsels they found amusing.

During that lunch Daniel noticed Derek, the solicitor colleague with whom he had a conversation a few days earlier, walked past and say hello to him. What was surprising was that Derek then came over to him.

Derek said briefly, “I have a matter I would like to discuss with you with a view to briefing you in it. Are you available for me to come and see you about it this afternoon?”

A more than a little surprised Daniel said “Yes, I am available all afternoon. Is 2:00 pm convenient for you?”

Derek said “Yes, it was”.

Daniel said “I will see you my Chambers at 2:00 pm”.

Derek then left Daniel and Morris to their lunch and went on his way.

Daniel then said to Morris, “Who can understand the reasons that motivate a solicitor to brief a barrister?”.

Morris said “The sun will stop rising in the East and setting in the West before that enlightenment arrives.”

They then continued their lunch and after about half an hour returned to Chambers.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Fools Gold

Danesh Selkirk
“I am 5 hours from most places of significance, but tomorrow I will be in your City. Can we get together? Danesh Selkirk said to Arcadia Thiessen when he rang her Monday morning. Danesh had heard about Arcadia through work and he wanted to meet her.

“We will see. Contact me when you get here. I have to go to a meeting now,” Arcadia replied.

Another brief telephone call, we have had several of them. Will we ever meet?, Danesh thought to himself.

Garlick Duckworth
During her meeting Arcadia was thinking about her Sydney boyfriend, Garlick Duckworth.
Unperturbed by her ongoing divorce proceedings, which she was going to discuss with her solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, later that day, Arcadia decided to concoct another flimsy excuse to justify her employer sending her on a business trip to go Sydney to see Duckworth. She planned to tell him she does not intend to reveal him to the world as her boyfriend until her divorce is finalised.

Arcadia was well aware that her plan would deny any consideration of her relationship with Garlick Duckworth in the divorce proceedings and his suitability to have any interaction with the children. She decided that was something that the divorce proceedings did not need to know.

When her meeting ended, Arcadia returned to her office and asked her assistant to make the usual arrangements for her to travel to Sydney tomorrow. Ninety (90) minutes later she received an e-mail from her assistant, confirming that the requested travel arrangements had been made.

Meeting with Siobhan Blanco
At her meeting with her solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, Arcadia did not tell Blanco about all her boyfriends and sex partners. She maintained the line that she was a faithful wife and her husband had been cheating on her for many years. She proffered a couple of historic stories to support her claim, but nothing in recent times. Blanco and Arcadia prepared affidavit material to file in the Court to support the case of Arcadia. It contained the same narrative as Arcadia told Blanco, that she was a faithful wife and her husband had been cheating on her for many years.

In the process of preparing the Court material Blanco told Arcadia how an alternate argument to hers may see her spend less time with the children. Arcadia ignored the advice and maintained her position.

Danesh Selkirk
As Arcadia was walking to her car after seeing Siobhan Blanco, she received a telephone call from Danesh Selkirk.

“You know from our few telephone calls that I have been trying to meet you for some time. I will be flying home tomorrow. We can meet at my hotel tonight.”, Danesh tells Arcadia.

“You are trying not to waste the opportunity, are you? I can be at your hotel in forty (40) minutes”, Arcadia replied.

Arcadia sent Danesh a text message as she approached his hotel. When she arrived, he was waiting for her in the foyer. There was a brief greeting and then they proceeded to his hotel room. Once inside his hotel room, Arcadia put her handbag on the table.

Danesh then asked Arcadia about dinner.

“Food is not the real reason you invited me here, is it?”, Arcadia asked.

The initial response of Dinesh was stunned silence.

Arcadia continued, “We can deal with food afterwards”.

She removed her shoes and started to remove her dress. Danesh said nothing, but he too got undressed.

Their sexual encounter lasted about twenty (20) minutes. As they were putting their clothes back on discussion ensued about going down stairs to the restaurant in the hotel and eating dinner. They then made their way to the restaurant.

During dinner Arcadia told Danesh that she would have to return home straight after dinner. Danesh did not try to persuade Arcadia otherwise.

As she was leaving Arcadia said to Danesh, “Thanks for dinner. I guess we will speak again, sometime”.

Arcadia then left the restaurant, walked to her car and drove home. Danesh stayed at the restaurant for a little longer, then returned to his hotel room.

Tabernacle Calderone Meets with His Solicitors
In contrast to Arcadia, her estranged husband, Tabernacle Calderone, did not think he knew better than his solicitors when it came to their divorce. He did not try to control the narrative. They had long discussions on what might be included and what might be discovered in the process.

Calderone was uncertain as to whether he wanted to follow the suggestion of his solicitors and obtain surveillance video of Arcadia to see if it would support any of his claims of Arcadia having extramarital affairs.

It was a much easier decision for him to allow his solicitors to search the hotel records of where Arcadia had stayed on some of her business trips. That investigation proved fruitful, insofar as several of the room service bills showed that Arcadia ordered meals consistent with two (2) people being in the room. By the size of the meals, it appeared that her companion was male.

It was also an easy decision for him to allow his solicitors to obtain the telephone records of the second mobile telephone Arcadia had for some considerable time. In the process he said he was happy to disclose his telephone records, because they revealed no improper behaviour on his part.

Calderone was surprised to see that those records revealed almost daily contact between Arcadia and Garlick Duckworth, both by telephone calls and text messages. They also revealed every time she was in Sydney, she had contact with Duckworth.

When his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, revealed this information to Callderone, they discussed the use to which it might be put in his case.

Kreptic asked Calderone, “Do you know Garlick Duckworth?”

“I have no idea who he is”, replied Calderone.

Kreptic: “Would you like me to make some further enquiries in relation to him? I do not expect it to be an expensive exercise.”

Calderone: “Yes.”

Kreptic: “In all the correspondence I have received from her solicitors, no mention is made of Arcadia being involved with Garlick Duckworth in any way, shape or form. I suggest we not say anything about him, at least until I have completed my enquiries in relation to him.”

Calderone: “I am happy to adopt your suggested approach in relation to him.”

Kreptic: “When I get the results of those further enquiries in relation to Duckworth, we can also discuss the utility of obtaining surveillance video of Arcadia.”

Calderone: “OK”

The conference with his solicitor then ended and Calderone went home.

Upon arriving in Sydney Arcadia checked into the same hotel she always stays at when she sees Garlick Duckworth and as usual she proceeded to her room where she made herself reasonably comfortable.

Not twenty (20) minutes after checking into her hotel, Garlick Duckworth sent a text message to Arcadia asking if she had arrived at her hotel.

“Let me know when you are in the foyer and I will come down and get you”, Arcadia wrote in reply.

Arcadia had just got out of the shower when she received a text message from Duckworth telling her he was in the lobby of the hotel. She put on some casual clothes and went down to the foyer to meet him. Then they proceeded to her hotel room.

As they had done many times before, almost as soon as they entered the hotel room their sexual encounter commenced. Whilst enthusiastic, it was a far from torrid encounter and it ended unremarkably after about fifteen (15) minutes.

Arcadia ordered room service for dinner because she wanted to talk with Duckworth about her plans to keep him secret from her divorce proceedings. It was obvious from the room service bill that Arcadia had company for the meal. Discussion ensued during and after dinner, as Arcadia wished, however whilst Duckworth listened, it was clear to any independent observer that Duckworth really only wanted to talk about himself. That was absolutely in keeping with his character.

Before they went to sleep Arcadia ordered room service for breakfast in the morning, as she had an early start for her work meeting, ostensibly the reason she was attending Sydney. Again it was obvious from the contents of the room service bill that Arcadia had company for the meal.

The next morning was like an instant replay of many of their previous encounters. They awoke and there was another brief sexual encounter. They then had breakfast. After she finished her breakfast, Arcadia had a shower, then got dressed and left for her work meeting. At the end of her work meeting, she would return to Melbourne.

As she left for her meeting Arcadia left Duckworth in the hotel room to finish his breakfast.

Tabernacle Calderone Again Meets with His Solicitors
Calderone met with his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, again and discussed the new information which was to hand.

Kreptic said, “I have some results of those further enquiries in relation to Duckworth I can share with you. We have a modest profile on Garlick Duckworth. It seems every time Arcadia went to Sydney in the last eighteen (18) months, she met Duckworth. It seems he also spent quite a bit of time with her in hotels. That is in complete contrast to her story of being a loyal, faithful wife. I believe we can use this information to support your contention that the focus of Arcadia was not primarily on the children and parenting the children, but rather on her social life. Accordingly you should have more time with children than is currently being offered.”

A somewhat stunned Calderone said: “It is one thing to suspect this stuff. It is quite another to have it confirmed. How do we go about this?”

Kreptic told Calderone, “I already have a draft statement from you. I will use the information and knowledge we have obtained to develop and support your arguments in the affidavit material we will file in the Court for you. I will prepare a draft affidavit for you and you can see then if it is the approach you wish to take.”

“Also given that you and Arcadia are now separated, surveillance video of her now is unlikely to reveal much useful evidence, unless it concentrated upon Duckworth.”

“I will also try to frame your material so as to put the credibility of Arcadia in issue and help you in the process. It seems to me Arcadia is going to have to concede at least some involvement on her part with Duckworth. The process may appear uncomfortable for Arcadia, but I do not intend to lose focus from our ultimate goal, which is to present your case in the best possible way and to achieve the best outcome we can for you.”

Calderone replied, “By the time you have a draft affidavit ready for me to read I will have processed the news you have just told me a little more and will be in a better position to decide how I wish to proceed with the case. At the moment I am happy with your suggestions.”

The conference then ended and Calderone went home.

Arcadia Returns To The Office
Arcadia returned to work after her Sydney business trip. In making her way to her office, she walked past several colleagues gathered around a computer screen.  She could see that something had captured their attention, however she was not able to see what they were watching. Things became a little clearer in that regard when she arrived at her office. She noticed there was a video playing on her computer. The video was of her having a sexual encounter with Bonham Trudeaux, her Melbourne boyfriend. She felt numb, put her bag down and slumped in her chair.

Within moments her assistant approached her and handed her a piece of paper. The message on the paper was simple, it was from the big boss, “Clean out your desk”.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Look at Me

Daniel Soames was in Chambers Monday morning pondering which of the variety of matters on his desk would receive his immediate attention and therefore determine how he would commence his working week.  At about 9:25 am that decision was largely made for him when he received a telephone call from Derek Winthrop, solicitor.

Winthrop said, “Mr Soames you may be aware of the new laws that were recently introduced in relation to clothing.  More specifically that if a male was seen to be wearing his cap sideways or backwards, he faced immediate imprisonment of a month.  A similar sentence would be imposed for males who were dressed such that their underwear was showing. Further if the male in question had both of those conditions, the punishment would be six (6) months imprisonment.  If he challenged the offences in Court and lost, he would face two (2) years imprisonment.”

Winthrop continued, “I have been approached by a young man who was charged with the combined offences of:
(a) Wearing a cap backwards; and
(b) Wearing exposed underwear in public.
He wants to challenge the matter in Court and accordingly wants a bail application made in respect of him.  I hold considerable funds in trust to cover the fees of both of us for the bail application and the substantive Court challenge.  I have given him little substantive advice in relation to his position. In essence I have said he would be best placed me to consult you and then we can talk further with him as to his prospects. Is this something that interests you and are you available to take it on?”

Daniel said, “Mr Winthrop once again you have opened your bag of interesting and shared with me some of its relevant delights.  Yes, I am interested in the case of the dreaded backwards-cap wearing, underwear-flashing hooligan.  Sometimes I think it is great that we get paid to do this stuff.  I am also available to take on this matter, in fact you can enjoy my immediate attention.  Perhaps before we proceed to Court in any fashion for this chap, we should have a conference with him at the jail, with a view to obtaining very careful, specific, signed instructions from him that he understands precisely what it is he is risking in challenging these charges.  What has the Crown got in terms of evidence against this chap?”

Winthrop offered, “Mr Soames, perhaps it would be easier if I bring my file to you this afternoon, at say 2:00 pm, and we can have a more detailed conference about what we have, what we need and how we should approach this particular matter?”

“Excellent suggestion, Mr Winthrop, I will see you here at 2:00 pm.”

Just before 2:00 pm Derek Winthrop attended the Chambers of Daniel Soames and their conference commenced without delay.  As Soames was perusing the material Winthrop had provided to him, Winthrop said to Soames, “Provisionally I propose that we have a conference with the client at the jail tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday.”

Soames replied, “That is a good idea, particularly because we should probably try to get this matter listed for the bail application on Thursday or Friday of this week.”

Crown Case
Soames continued, “I see that the Crown case consists of:
Statements from two (2) uniformed police officers who followed the Accused for three (3) blocks in the Brisbane City precinct (along Adelaide Street, from Edward Street to George Street).
Closed circuit television of the Accused for several blocks clearly showing him with his cap on backwards and his trousers worn so low his underwear was clearly and significantly visible.
A report of the Public Transport Travel Card of the Accused showing that he was at Central Train Station at the time the surveillance video of him commenced.
“It looks to be a pretty strong case in the circumstances, Mr Winthrop. Are you aware of the basis upon which our client wishes to challenge this prosecution?”

Winthrop replied, “I get the impression his defence is based on how apparently unfair of all this is in his life.  Accordingly the conference at the jail tomorrow should be very useful all-round.  I will have a draft of the instructions I understand we need with me, so we can deal with that aspect of this matter tomorrow as well.”

“Excellent Mr Winthrop.  We will leave from here at 1:00 pm tomorrow.”

“Yes, Mr Soames, I will see you then.”

Tuesday - Conference at The Jail
Soames commenced the conference immediately. “Mr DeShaun, Mr Winthrop tells me you wish to challenge the Crown case in respect of the two (2) charges you are facing?”

“That is correct”, Stransky DeShaun replied.

Soames outlined the Crown case to Stransky and then said to him, “As I see it, the Crown Case is strong and almost certain to result in your conviction on both counts. On what basis do you wish to challenge this prosecution?”

“Prosecuting me and sending me to jail for what I may have done is unfair”, Mr DeShaun responded.

“We are unlikely to be successful running an ‘Unfair’ defence, Mr DeShaun. I notice you want an application for bail made, as well. We could use the bail application to test the Crown case, but you are unlikely to enjoy any success with it. Especially as you have no evidence to provide to the Court to improve your position.”

“Do you have anything to add, Mr Winthrop?”, Soames asked.

“I agree with your assessment, Mr Soames”, replied Winthrop.

“Bearing in mind our advice, what do you want to do, Mr DeShaun?”, Soames enquired.

“I want to go ahead with a bail application”, Stransky DeShaun said, confidently.

Winthrop then said, “Mr DeShaun, I have prepared some written instructions that whilst bail is unlikely to be granted to you in your circumstances, you wish to proceed with a bail application. It will enable you to test the Crown case and the attitude of the prosecution and the Court to your situation. Please read those instructions and sign them, if you agree with them.”

DeShaun read the instructions prepared by Mr Winthrop and then signed those instructions.

“There is not much more we can do here, Mr DeShaun. We will chat with you again after the bail application”, said Soames and the conference ended.

Bail Application
The Judge wasted no time in the bail application. She spoke politely to Soames, but it was clear she was in no mood to spend any more time on the case than was absolutely necessary.

“Mr Soames, as I understand the facts and circumstances of the case:
The Case is unlikely to get any better for the Accused.
The evidence against him is overwhelming.
His substantive case seems to lack anything remotely like merit.
It is hard to understand why he would unnecessarily risk a certain two (2) year jail sentence being imposed upon him, rather than the six (6) months jail sentence he is currently facing.”

“Have I missed anything?, Mr Soames”, the Judge asked.

“Nothing relevant, Your Honour”, Soames responded.

“Mr Soames, given the consequences that flow from a bail application being refused and given the extreme unlikelihood that this application will be successful, might I suggest you consider withdrawing this application and re-agitating it, only if your client is able to provide something more substantial in terms of its merits. I understand he may have wished to test the attitude of the Crown and the Court in relation to his prosecution. That has occurred today and the news is not good for him. Would you like to confer with your solicitor?”

“Thank you, Your Honour. If I may have some time to confer with my solicitor?”

“Certainly, Mr Soames. Madam Prosecutor, it seems we will not be hearing from you today.”

“Yes, Mr Soames.”

“Thank you, Your Honour. I have conferred with my solicitor. If the bail application could be adjourned to the Registry to a date to be fixed?”

“That seems a sensible approach, Mr Soames. The Order of the Court is that the bail application be adjourned to the Registry to a date to be fixed. Thank you for your appearances and your assistance Madam Prosecutor and Mr Soames. You are both excused.”

“Thank you, Your Honour”, they replied in unison and then promptly left the Court.

“Our client has his answer, Mr Soames and the news is all bad.”

“He is unlikely to be happy with that news either, Mr Winthrop.”

Post-Bail Application Conference
“The bail application did not go well, Mr DeShaun. However the Judge was not entirely unkind to you. She enabled your bail application to be adjourned to the Registry to a date to be fixed, thereby preserving your rights, such as they are, and not punishing you by refusing your bail application. Her Honour also clearly set out her view of the case against you and your likelihood of success. She saw no merit in your challenge to the Crown case whatsoever. Clearly the “Unfair” defence would not work with her.”

“What are my options, Mr Soames?”, Mr DeShaun enquired.

“You can withdraw your application to challenge your prosecution on these two offences and accept that you are guilty of them. Ultimately that will save you some aggravation and also some money. It will also save you some time in jail. At the moment you are looking at imprisonment for six (6) months. However if you unsuccessfully challenge the prosecution, the sentence will be two (2) years imprisonment and there are no reasonable prospects of you successfully challenging the prosecution.”

“Despite your reticence to withdraw your application to challenge your prosecution, ultimately you cannot deny wearing your cap backwards or having your underwear exposed, as alleged. You accept that your Public Transport Travel Card history puts you at the train station at the time when the closed circuit television surveillance of you commences. It is hard to see anything remotely like a plausible defence that you can realistically run in this case,” Soames told Mr DeShaun.

“None of that is good news”, Mr DeShaun said in response.

Winthrop added, “The legislation is drafted in such a way that mitigating circumstances effectively do not apply. Once the offence has been proved, the sentence is imposed. It seems to be designed to discourage the commission of the offences and to save time and money in court proceedings. None of which you will find comforting, I expect.”

Mr DeShaun sat silently looking at the table and shaking his head.

Soames told Mr DeShaun, “Your sentence will start from when you were first taken into custody. It will also be a straight sentence, without remissions or parole”.

Winthrop said, “Mr DeShaun, If you wish to withdraw your application to challenge your prosecution for these offences, I have prepared draft instructions for you. Please read them and, if you agree with them, sign them.”

“Seems I really do not have any other option. Losing the challenge application adds eighteen (18) months jail to my sentence”, Mr DeShaun said forlornly.

He then read and signed the instructions prepared by Winthrop.

I will formally notify the Crown and the Court of your instructions to withdraw your application to challenge your prosecution for these offences.

Soames added, “Your formal sentencing for these offences will be listed shortly and I expect the proceedings will last no more than fifteen (15) minutes. You will be arraigned, you will enter your plea of guilty and you will be sentenced to six (6) months imprisonment, commencing from the time you were taken into custody.

Returning To The City
As they made their way back to the city from the jail, Winthrop said to Soames, “Clients like Mr DeShaun would do themselves a significant service if they bothered to think before they acted, if they considered that their actions may have consequences they do not like.”

“Quite so, Mr Winthrop. But unless and until such enlightenment occurs to them, they will continue to contribute to criminal jurisprudence.”

Monday, 3 November 2014

A Dish Best Served Cold

Another day at the office, another story from Gwendolyn Jasper about the challenges of living with Thaddeus Jasper and their food allergies. This time about the rigours of labelling food in the pantry and refrigerator. Peanuts and soy seem easy enough to avoid, she said, but add that to her need for gluten free bread and eating can be a complicated exercise. They have both reached 40 years of age and both learned to manage it successfully, together and individually. However, it can be draining on them, she said. And it remained the case that there was some food Thaddeus Jasper ate that Gwendolyn Jasper did not.

Tales of the diet complexities of Thaddeus Jasper and Gwendolyn Jasper were of little interest to Garlick Elderberry. However he knew as a 19 year old probationer, directly supervised by Gwendolyn Jasper, it was in his interests not to upset her, as his probation was shortly to come to an end and her input would be significant as to whether he would become a permanent staff member.

He was always diplomatic whenever the topic of Gwendolyn Jasper was discussed with his work colleague, Tiffany Blackbriar, even though Tiffany made it clear she knew Gwendolyn Jasper did not like Elderberry. Tiffany had said several times there was no work-based reason for Gwendolyn Jasper to dislike Elderberry. Tiffany also knew not to make her feelings known in the office or amongst other work colleagues.

It came as a great surprise to Tiffany Blackbriar to arrive at work on Thursday and learn that Garlick Elderberry was no longer employed there. Gwendolyn Jasper had ended his probation and terminated his services. Whilst there was discussion about it amongst some of the other staff, no one complained to Gwendolyn Jasper about her decision. No one seemed to be showing any real support for Garlick Elderberry.

Tiffany Blackbriar was privately furious about the injustice that had be occasioned to Garlick Elderberry and it took great restraint from her to not express her feelings publicly in any way. Later that evening Tiffany Blackbriar telephoned Garlick Elderberry and said both how sorry she was for him losing his job and how angry she was about the way it happened.

Tiffany enquired, “Are you going to take any action in relation to your dismissal? It is obvious the only reason Gwendolyn Jasper ended your probation and your employment was because she did not like you.”

Garlick replied, “Thank you for your concern and support. I am very upset about what happened. But I have decided not to take any action about my dismissal. Rather I will try to put it behind me and seek work elsewhere.”

“I understand and respect your decision, so I will not push the matter any further. If you ever want to talk about it, feel free to call me”, said Tiffany.

Garlick thanked Tiffany again for her kindness and support and with that, the telephone conversation essentially ended.

Five Months Later
At about 10:30 am Tiffany Blackbriar was asked to see the big boss. When she got to his office he said to her, “Gwendolyn Jasper is having another one of her significant migraines. Can you drive her home, please. I have written her address on this paper. Here are the keys to my car.”

Tiffany looked at the address and realised that Gwendolyn Jasper lived near a colourful chemist she knew.

“Yes, certainly”, Tiffany replied.

There was no conversation between the two women during the journey from the office to the home of Gwendolyn Jasper.

Home of Gwendolyn Jasper
Tiffany thought this was a golden opportunity to exact revenge upon Gwendolyn Jasper for ending the employment of Garlick Elderberry.  From all the stories Gwendolyn Jasper told at work, Tiffany knew about the food allergies of Thaddeus and Gwendolyn Jasper.

Her plan was to put poison of some sort in some of the food in the house, which Gwendolyn Jasper would ultimately provide to Thaddeus Jasper and slowly kill him. Because Tiffany was an apparently insignificant person in the life of Gwendolyn Jasper, no one would suspect anything untoward in respect of her. The act of Tiffany driving her home the day of the migraine would seem an innocuous event and not one to be subsequently remembered.

Once Gwendolyn Jasper was home and laying down in her bed, Tiffany said she would drive to the chemist to get Panadol type drugs for Gwendolyn, in case they were needed. Gwendolyn did not object.

Tiffany immediately drove to the shopping centre nearby, where Hieronymus Treadstone, the colourful chemist she knew, worked. She then went to see Hieronymus Treadstone.

She waited a few moments until she could get him alone and then asked him for some arsenic.

“Why do you want arsenic?”, Treadstone enquired.

“It is best you do not know,” Blackbriar replied.

“OK then. Wait here.”

About three (3) minutes later, Hieronymus Treadstone returned. “Here is your Arsenic. I hope you know what you are doing.”

“Time will tell”, Blackbriar said, as she paid Treadstone and then left the store.

She then walked a few hundred metres to another chemist and bought Panadol for Gwendolyn Jasper, as she said she would. Blackbriar promptly returned to the home of Jasper.

Gwendolyn told the office many times that Thaddeus Jasper only drank coffee and she only drank tea, so putting some of the arsenic in the container storing the ground coffee was an easy option for Tiffany Blackbriar. The labeling of the food in the pantry and the refrigerator made the arsenic distribution job easier for Tiffany.

The Prosecution
Subsequently Thaddeus Jasper died and Gwendolyn Jasper was charged with his murder.

Daniel Soames was in his Chambers and he took a telephone call from Derek Winthrop.

Winthrop said, “Mr Soames, if you are available, I have a matter I believe may interest you? A wife has been charged with the murder of her husband. The death occurred by way of poisoning, according to the prosecution case. The wife vehemently protests her innocence and claims she has been framed. At this stage, no independent evidence supports the contention of the wife in that regard.”

“That sounds very interesting, Mr Winthrop. I am most definitely available. How do you propose to proceed?”, Soames replied.

“The first court appearance is scheduled in four (4) days time. I will send you a brief containing what material I have thus far and I will update the brief as more evidence comes to hand. You may wish to have a short conference the day before the court appearance.”

“A sensible approach, as always, Mr Winthrop. We can chat further when the material arrives and I have read it” Soames said.

“Thank you, Mr Soames. I will be in touch with you again shortly”, said Mr Winthrop and the conversation ended.

Later that day a brief from Winthrop arrived for Soames. It contained no real surprises, as Winthrop indicated. Soames then telephoned Winthrop, “Conference in my Chambers Wednesday 3:00 pm?”

“Thank you Mr Soames. I will make the necessary arrangements”, Winthrop replied.

Winthrop was on time for the 3:00 pm conference.

“This lady is in some trouble, Mr Winthrop”, Soames said.

“That was my view too, Mr Soames”, Winthrop replied.

“Mr Winthrop, Can she point to any evidence to support her contention that she was framed?”

“None that I have been so far able to identify or locate, Mr Soames.”

“She will need that evidence if she is to entertain any prospects of being acquitted of this charge.”

“Yes and the future looks pretty grim in that regard.”

“We will have a chat with her before Court tomorrow. Perhaps she will be able to shed some light on to this problem, Mr Winthrop.”

“I will meet you here at 8:30 am tomorrow, Mr Soames, and then we can go off to court.”

The conference ended and Mr Winthrop returned to his office.

8:30 am Thursday arrived and Winthrop and Soames were together again. This time it was off to the Magistrates Court to confer with and then appear for Gwendolyn Jasper. After enduring the rigours of court and holding cells security, Winthrop and Soames were able to speak with Gwendolyn Jasper.

Soames commenced, “Good morning Mrs Jasper. Mr Winthrop has provided me with all the material he has to hand so far on your matter. We have had discussions about the evidence and your attitude to it.”

“What are my chances of getting bail?”, Gwendolyn Jasper enquired.

Soames responded, “Not very good at this stage. We expect that The Crown will provide us with more evidence closer to the committal hearing. On the small amount of evidence provided to us so far, the case against you looks reasonably strong.”

Soames continued, “Today will be largely administrative and will set the date for the committal hearing, which is when Tthe Crown will present its evidence against you to determine whether you have a case to answer. If a bail application were to be made today and we were not successful, it would be much more difficult to successfully apply for bail in the future, unless your circumstances have significantly changed. We do not recommend making a bail application today. We recommend waiting until all of the evidence has been provided to us and we have conferred with you in respect of it.”

Gwendolyn took a few moments to reply. “It seems the best approach at the moment is to wait until closer to the committal hearing to make a bail application. Whilst that is not very comforting for me now, I understand why that is the better approach.”

The conference with Gwendolyn Jasper, Mr Winthrop and Soames then ended and Derek and Daniel made their way to the court room where the matter was being heard.

The court appearance took less than five (5) minutes from start to finish. The committal date was set, no application for bail was made on behalf of Gwendolyn Jasper and she was remanded in custody to appear again at her committal hearing. At the end of the court appearance, Soames and Winthrop returned to their respective offices.

Committal Hearing Preparation
When the evidence against Gwendolyn Jasper for the committal hearing arrived, it confirmed all the fears of Derek Winthrop. The Crown case appeared solid, perhaps even strong, and there was nothing to indicate that Gwendolyn Jasper had been framed in any way. It seemed a simple case of a spouse poisoning a spouse over time by putting arsenic in their food.

Winthrop telephoned Soames and told him of the news in relation to the evidence. “I will attend the jail and obtain the instructions of our client. I doubt she will be happy with the news I have for her.”

Soames replied, “Those conferences are always difficult.”

“Indeed they are. When I have our committal hearing instructions, I will provide an updated brief to you.”

A few days later, Winthrop rang Soames, “Mr Soames the committal hearing brief of Gwendolyn Jasper is available for you. I thought I might deliver it to you and we have a chat about it. I can be there in about forty (40) minutes, if that is convenient?”

“Thank you, Mr Winthrop. That will be convenient”, Soames replied.

When Winthrop arrived he told Soames, “There is no good news for our client in this brief of evidence from The Crown. Further we have nothing to support the claim of the client that she was framed for this offence. I think you can see how this is going to play out.”

Soames replied, “Thank you, Mr Winthrop. Looking through this brief quickly, there certainly seems to be no comforting evidence for our client. Add in an unsupported ‘I was framed’ claim and you have a recipe for disaster for our client. You and I have been in roughly similar situations previously, Mr. Winthrop. They are generally unpleasant experiences and I suspect this one will be no different.”

“I was thinking along the same lines Mr Soames and our client getting bail seems a highly unlikely prospect.”

“Completing the bad news feast, Mr Winthrop. So, a conference with the client on the morning of the committal hearing?”

“Yes, Mr Soames and hope that cross-examination improves what appear to be barren prospects for our client.”

Committal Hearing
Soames opened the conference with Gwendolyn Jasper on the morning of the committal hearing bluntly, “The news we have for you is unlikely to be comforting. There are no surprises in the evidence produced by The Crown. Their case appears strong and nothing appears to support your contention of being framed. The prospects of you being committed for trial are very high and it is most unlikely cross-examination will reveal anything to change that outcome. There also appears to be no reasonable prospects of you successfully applying for bail.”

“That is not good news”, Gwendolyn Jasper replied.

“No, and at this stage, it is not going to get any better at trial”, Soames continued.

“Time for us to make our way to court, Mr Soames”, Winthrop added.

“We will see you in Court, Mrs Jasper”, said Soames, ending the conference.

Outside court, after the committal hearing was over, Winthrop said, “That went as well as could be expected, Mr Soames. Unless some evidence appears to support the contention that our client was framed, she is more than likely going to be convicted of murder. The prospect of her giving evidence and claiming ‘I was framed’ is not one that provides me with any joy.”

“An accurate assessment, Mr Winthrop”, Soames replied.

“I will contact you when I have our trial instructions, Mr Soames, and I will then provide you with an updated brief.”

“Thank you, Mr Winthrop. I will return to my Chambers.”

“And I will return to my office, Mr Soames.”

The Trial
In conference with Gwendolyn Jasper, Soames continued his blunt assessment of the case against her and her prospects of success. “There is no evidence to support your contention you were framed for this offence. Giving evidence exposes you to cross-examination on all the issues and provides The Crown with an opportunity to reinforce its case, whilst seemingly destroying any credibility you might have, because of the lack of evidence supporting your claim of being framed. The alternative of challenging The Crown to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and suggesting someone else might have committed the offence, without you giving evidence, has a higher prospect of success in my view. But it is still not likely to impress the jury sufficiently to acquit you of the murder charge. Criminal jurisprudence is littered with unusual verdicts. Perhaps one will come your way.”

After taking some time to consider the advice, Mrs Jasper said she did not wish to give evidence at her trial. She preferred the option where the Crown case was challenged and the suggestion made that someone other than her committed the subject offence.

Diligent as always, Winthrop recorded those instructions and had Gwendolyn Jasper sign them.

After the trial Winthrop and Soames went to a café near the Court. They had something to eat and drink and reflected upon the case.

“Who knows if Mrs Jasper was telling the truth, Mr Soames? The Crown case appeared to make sense and nothing supported the contentions of our client. Twelve (12) good men and true, some of them women, found her guilty, after a trial that seemed to be fair and run properly.”

“Hard to argue with your assessment, Mr Winthrop. Mrs Jasper will now endure the rigours of being convicted of murder. We can endeavour to pursue an appeal against conviction for her, but I see no realistic prospects of success on that front.”

“Tomorrow is another day and who knows what it might bring. I prefer not to think too much about it at this juncture and just try to enjoy this meal with you, Mr Winthrop. Call it one of my ways of coping with what it is we do.”

“I am with you, Mr Soames. I will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Now I am happy to do no more than enjoy this meal with you.”

Lunch with Soames
On the day of the hearing of the appeal Daniel Soames had a pleasant and uncontroversial  lunch with Tiffany Blackbriar.

Soames asked Tiffany, “How are your parents, I have not seen them for some months?”

Tiffany replied, “They are well Daniel. They both asked me to say hello to you today for them. Have you had any interesting court cases recently?”

Daniel replied, telling her about Gwendolyn Jasper and how her appeal against conviction for murder of her husband roughly four (4) years ago was dismissed earlier that morning, so she now faced life imprisonment. That meant at least 15 years in jail before she could be considered for parole.

Tiffany gave no indication to Soames that she had any knowledge of the matter involving Gwendolyn Jasper. She did her best to appear to be listening to his story, as she had done many times in the past.

The lunch ended without incident and they parted company, happy to catch up again sometime soon. In reality that means months for these two, rather than days or weeks.

As she walked back to her work Tiffany Blackbriar felt very happy. She had managed to take away from Gwendolyn Jasper the one person in the world she really loved, apart from herself of course, that is her husband, and in the process frame Gwendolyn for his murder. She realised that she had got away with his murder and that even someone as clever as Soames was not able to discover the real cause of the subject death. Tiffany thought in all the circumstances that was an appropriate outcome for Gwendolyn Jasper, after causing Garlick Elderberry to lose his job for no good reason.

Tiffany decided she would not tell Garlick Elderberry of her contribution to what had happened. They had had no contact for some considerable time and she was not going to make any attempt to contact him now.