Chapter 29 - New File
“I quit my job and went back to school for a long time. After years of hardships with no results to show, our tension just kept accumulating. So we decided to take some time for ourselves first, organize our thoughts, then start fresh. I finished collecting myself, so I went back home, but I haven’t heard from my wife since. I found out she quit the part-time job she did in her spare time and changed her phone number.”
“So, at this point, you haven’t put together any documents and your wife one-sidedly… Sir, what do you want to do? I see you wrote down what you want, but it is a bit abstract.”
“I want to make her return home. But my wife’s family keeps saying that since we decided to live separately, wasn’t our relationship over? They started talking about divorce settlements. I don’t want to do that.”
Hearing the man’s story so far, Yoonshin, as he did for the other clients, showed the other man the legislation on his screen. Then, he explained to the other, who was staring at the monitor. “You might have heard of this before. Married couples are obligated to live together. You had agreed to live separately for four months, so because twice the agreed amount of time went by, your wife is not fulfilling her marital duties. Cohabitation has a psychological and physical aspect.”
“It means we have to live together, right?”
Yoonshin calmly nodded. “Yes. It seems like your wife has not fulfilled her duties, while you have attempted to. If you don’t intend to divorce, you’ve done well. If you ultimately cannot come to an agreement and go to trial, you will have concrete evidence that you intended to maintain the relationship, so it’ll be difficult for your wife to win the litigation.”
“But in this case, I recommend trying to have a conversation first. If you try to force your wife to come back because she went against the law, there’s a chance that she may retaliate further. Nine times out of 10, the relationship becomes worse. I would advise you to go to a couple’s therapy before going to a lawyer. There are a few decent places in your neighborhood.” Yoonshin was about to sincerely convince the man without hurting his feelings when he heard an urgent knock. A familiar face popped in through the door soon after—it was a senior lawyer under Sehun. He seemed to have business at the annex.
Yoonshin glanced at the client to excuse himself for a few minutes, but the senior lawyer spoke up first. “Attorney Do, Senior Attorney Kang is looking for you urgently. You need to go back to the main building. He said he’ll give you 10 minutes.”
“I was just finishing up with my last consultation. Please let him know that I’ll go after finishing up.”
“I don’t mean to meddle, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s better to run when he calls. He has a team meeting shortly.”
“A meeting? I didn’t hear about that.”
“It’s not for the entire team. It’s corporate/commercial, so he only called a few seniors from each expertise.”
Based on when Yoonshin timed himself before, it took about nine minutes to walk from the annex to the main building. He had to take into account the time that passed since he received the senior’s directions, plus the time taken in the elevator. If he didn’t run at full speed, it would be a close call.
“Oh, then I’m sorry, but could you finish up for me, please? The wife isn’t returning after the agreed separation period. He can only contact the in-laws, and this man doesn’t want a divorce.” As he pointed to the monitor and briefly explained, the experienced senior understood the situation and signaled that he got it. The senior probably agreed because Yoonshin was summoned by Sehun and not that he wanted to do Yoonshin a favor. In any case, Yoonshin was grateful for the assistance. He gave the client a very apologetic look and asked for his understanding. “He’s also a lawyer at our firm. He has more experience, so he’ll take good care of you. I’m sorry, but I need to leave first.”
Thankfully, the client agreed. He bowed respectfully to the two in the interview room and swiftly left the room. Then he slowly started to jog and checked his watch.
“Ten minutes… I’m not sure if I can make it.”
His pace quickened, and his breath started to fill his lungs.
* * *
The main conference room on the seventh floor was filled with hubbub.
The meeting about their corporate commercial lawsuit was impending, and the team of lawyers was hustling with the preparation.
A certain private equity firm wanted to sue another company, which was a part of a consortium, for damages for failing to exchange shares. The meeting was in preparation for the lawsuit. Normally, it would have gone to the litigation group, but Mihee knew the clients well and personally gave the case to Sehun.
Yoonshin was out of breath by the time he arrived from the annex and stood before the conference room. Sehun wasn’t at his office, but he didn’t even see the other’s shadow in the conference room either. Yoonshin reached out to grab a senior lawyer to ask where Sehun was, but he soon quit that thought. Everyone looked extremely busy. This was no different from a battlefield. However, the room was abuzz with more vitality than he expected.
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