Sunday, December 1, 2013

1235. Crime fiction

"All Due Respect" is a crime zine seeking stories. 1000-5000 words.
Its output is "fiction about crime". Not solving crime. NOt bemoaning crime. Fiction about people who are criminals and why they are criminals. Strong characters and criminal minds are favoured.

E-publishing format ie. block paragraphing, single spaced with a line of white space between paragraphs, no paragraph indents. email queries/submission to: Payment is NZ$10/story.

"Have you ever been committed of crime in a court of law?" the Presiding Judge interviewed the lawyer whose application to be re-instated was being reviewed.  Mr Madison, the one-man legal firm owner, was barred from practice for the last 5 years as he had advised a foreigner to buy a bungalow in Singapore. Foreigners, unless approved by the Residential Act 1988, are not allowed to buy landed properties but this lawyer advised him to buy in the name of the banker who disbursed the loan. The banker signed a trust deed and the foreigner kept it. If the property shoots up in price, the banker would get some %. Nothing but capital gains predicted.

However the Gulf War erupted. Property prices plunged. "I have lost $300,000 in the property value," the foreigner complained. His trading businesses were slimming down too. He needed to liquidate to cut loss but the banker would not release the title deeds. What can this foreigner do? He asked the Prime Minister for help.

Investigation showed that the lawyer was dishonest in advising the foreigner to act illegally. He ought to know better. His licence to practise was revoked and he had to sell his 3 Mercedes, 1 Maserati and 1 Lamborginis as he could no longer earn fees as a lawyer for convenyancing. His wife left him. A friend asked him to work for a firm but he wanted a pay of $10,000/month. The firm would not pay him this amount. In any case, he could not practise legally. An in-house counsel might be legimitate but he would not be paid that much as he could not perform.

One day, he went shopping and stole an expensive coat by wearing it. He was caught and had a criminal record.

Over 5 years of in the wilderness, he asked for re-instatement of his licence. The Court asked him to submit an affidavit. He declared he had no criminal records. He appeared before the Presiding Judge who asked him again: "Have you ever been committed of crime in a court of law?"

Mr Madison looked at the eyes of the Judge. He had not stated his shoplifting criminal record and now it was too late. He said; "I wish to withdraw my submission." So he was back to square one. Would he be given the licence had he been honest in his submission? Possibly as he had stolen when he was depressed. There are many medical precedents of adults shop lifting when their lives turn upside down in situations such as a legal personal assistant's  husband who went womanising and drinking. Once caught, the person cannot work in a law firm or be a lawyer.

But under such circumstances, the Presiding Judge would be compassionate. If the lawyer asking for re-instatement had been honest in his application for a licence to practise.  


No comments:

Post a Comment