“Mr. Lieberman, call on line two. She says she's your aunt.”
“Fine, I'll take it.”
As soon as he heard the voice on the other end he knew he should have asked, “Which aunt?”
“Did you hear that your cousin Drew has been arrested?”
“Yes,” he admitted.
“So I was wondering…”
David Lieberman knew exactly where this call was going. Would he defend his cousin, and surely he had a family rate. Despite the fact he specialized in tax law every relative he knew called him for legal advice -- he blamed the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”
“David! Mother called and said you'd be in to see me.”
“What happened to your leg?”
“It was broken -- or rather smashed. The doctors are surprised by how well its knitting.”
“Congratulations. I never expect to see you. What happened to the green woman? Doesn't she normally break you out?”
“I'm afraid she's in the hospital at the moment.”
“I'm sorry to hear that.”
“You should be, it means I'll be going to trial this time.”
“Cousin Drew really needs a criminal litigator rather than a tax attorney,” David thought as he looked through the list of crimes that would be included at the trial. He should probably ask for a delay, but the government seemed eager to move ahead before Shego got out of the hospital and, potentially, escaped and set the Doctor free.
David, of course, had no way of knowing how many crimes were not on the list. The Defense Department had not publicized Drakken's attack on Area 51 with a giant, mutated poodle, for example. And Kim had sometimes stopped his plans too early for serious damage to be done or charges to be filed. Still, the list of criminal charges was long enough for a tax lawyer to know he was in way over his head.
“Really, I'm not what Drew needs.”
“Nonsense, David, your father tells me what a great attorney you are all the time. You're too modest.”
“Sorry, David. I've got to get the knishes out the oven.”
He rested his head on his desk. It could be worse. At least he wasn't blood relation to his aunt's husband's brother's son -- Ed Lipsky, Motor Ed.
Two days later his mood improved when a letter arrived from the legal division of Kitchen Aide, offering help in the defense. The same afternoon 3Gen, a company which manufactured equipment for skin graft patients, offered to aid the defense team in return for information on Drew's cloning techniques -- they hoped to find medical applications for his work. Then the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation sent word they wanted to help also -- in return for Drakken's help with a new model, which appeared suicidal.
The prosecutor scowled as David entered the Judge's chambers for the pretrial with his defense team. David smiled back, the beatific smile of a man holding four aces.
The judge kept the meeting informal, “Mr. Lieberman, we apologize for wanting to reflect the 6th Amendment's right to a speedy trial. Is your team ready for the court date or will you need to ask for postponement? Has the prosecution done a good job with disclosure?”
“No complaints on disclosure. They've done a great job -- but I'm pretty sure they're going to lose. And we aren't asking for a postponement -- the sooner the better as far as the defense is concerned.”
The researcher hired with Kitchen-Aide funds spoke up. “We have quite a list of actions by our client the prosecution chose to ignore. When we present them to the jury they will see our client's activities not as criminal but as part of a pattern of erratic behavior.”
“Even in the crimes he's charged with we can demonstrate a lack of rational thought,” the litigator hired by 3Gen said. “Did he really believe that bargain brand shampoo could be used to take over the country, let alone the world? We've got psychiatrists lined up to show that, despite his brilliance, Drew Lipsky can't separate his fantasies about world domination from reality.”
“Hell, we don't even need the psychiatrists,” the second litigator said. “Just put our client on the stand. With his blue skin, ponytail, and wild eyes he'll convince a jury he needs counseling by being honest. We'll tell him to answer your questions and he'll never see a day in prison.”
The judge turned to the prosecutor, “What do you think, Steve?”
“I think Drakken is guilty as sin.”
“Personal feelings aside, will you be able to convict? Would the trial be worth the costs -- and you'll look bad if the jury finds against you.”
“How should I know what the jury would decide? For all I know Drakken is crazy.”
“Can we quote you on that at the trial?”
The prosecutor scowled at the defense lead.
“We would like him sent to Innsmouth Institute for evaluation and treatment,” the lawyer on the Sirius Cybernetics expense account suggested.
“You seem pretty damn sure the Institute will find him incompetent to stand trial and in need of psychiatric care.”
“Innsmouth offers the best care available for restoring our client to a productive life. We think he is a brilliant man with a lot to contribute to the world when he gets better.”
“Contribute to the world or your companies”
The lawyer funded by Kitchen Aide smiled at the prosecutor, “Do you remember the quote from a former Secretary of Defense?”
“No idea what you're talking about.”
“What’s good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa.”
“The Innsmouth Institute? Wait, we won't fund sending Drakken there.”
“Ah, the more beauty to our suggestion. We have private funding for his stay at I.I.” David told the prosecutor; “there are companies interested in Drakken's research. As he gets better they plan to have him work on projects for them while he's in rehabilitation. It won't cost the government a cent.”
“Steve,” the judge asked, “do you want to take a couple days to think about the government's case?”
“I'll talk with my boss. We really want to prosecute this case if we have any chance of winning.”
Five days later the prosecutor watched glumly as Drakken, on crutches, was helped into a limo.
“Cheer up, Steve,” David said, patting the prosecutor on the back. “You couldn't have won, and you're saving the taxpayers a lot of money.”
“I hope they appreciate that next election and don't go for my boss's neck. A lot of people will think Drakken got off too easily. Couldn't Innsmouth have at least sent an ambulance instead of a limo?”
“Don't worry, no one from the press is here. And look at it this way -- it's an old limo.”
“If a woman claiming to be my aunt calls, I'm not in. Ever.” David instructed his secretary. “She's the woman in the flowered dress in this picture -- keep it for your desk. She may show up some day asking why I'm never in.”