This post is used as source material for Prof. Blankenship’s courses.
Naomy was working 412 files in the prosecutor’s office. The caseload was heavy but she never complained. Many of her friends she went to law school with took months to get a job and some still didn’t have one. She felt blessed to be working as an attorney. She and Rafi could use more money, but the money she made plus the benefits (like health insurance) made their life better.
The file that took the most of Naomy’s time was one Charles Alexander Scott who was known in the neighborhood as “Axx.” Axx associated with a long list of known criminals. He had a reputation of being someone that should be taken seriously. He was suspected of almost every crime in the book but he had never been convicted. Axx was represented by a somewhat academic attorney. He was soft-spoken, early to court, and polite. He never missed the opportunity to challenge the prosecution’s case and most of his challenges – he won.
In her first courtroom battle with Axx’s attorney, Naomy lost. It was a motion to suppress evidence. Naomy had worked hard, fought hard. She had done everything she knew to do. She just lost the hearing. As a result of her loss, the murder weapon in a murder case that Axx had been charged with Not come into evidence. Without the weapon, her boss, the District Attorney, did not believe a jury would convict Axx for murder. The case would most likely be dismissed.
After the loss, Naomy returned to her office and found a bulging envelope. When she opened it, it was full of cash. With a quick count, Naomy estimated there was about $5,000 in the envelope. The envelope was anonymous. There was no note. In fact, there was no writing at all.
Naomy put the envelope in an old lunch bag in the bottom right drawer of her desk, in the very back. She needed time to think about what the envelope might be. About what it meant. After all, several of her co-workers knew that she and Rafi were barely getting by financially. Could it be a gift?
Two days later, Naomy’s boss poked his head in her office door and said, “we have someone in lockup who says he can put the murder weapon in Axx’s possession on the day of the murder. He, of course, wants his charges dropped in exchange for his testimony.”
“Do you believe him?” Naomy asked.
“Not really, but there is something about the fact that he knows about the murder weapon.”
“What do you want me to do?” Naomy asked.
“Interview the witness, see if he is credible or not. Right now, the murder weapon is suppressed. If you want to use his testimony to try to get the murder weapon back into evidence, file a motion to reconsider the judge’s ruling on the motion to suppress. I will leave it up to you.”
As her boss walked down the hall, Naomy thought to herself, “if I filed a motion to reconsider, and lost again, I wonder if another anonymous envelope would show up.”