Chapter 50 - Double-Edged Sword
Deep in thought, Yoonshin decided to call his client first. She picked up after the phone rang three times. Yoonshin cut to the chase and said, “I’m Attorney Yoonshin Do from Doguk who called you last time.”
“Yes, I know. What made you call today? If it’s important, should I go to the firm like the first meeting?”
“No, you don’t need to. Are you at home by any chance?”
“Right now? I am, but…”
“Great. I’m going to send you a document by courier right now. If you could confirm what you can, return it. Then I was hoping to plan a strategy from there.”
“What kind of document is it?”
“It’s about corruption at your company. I was thinking of negotiating a settlement using it. Of course, upon your consent.”
The woman didn’t seem to quite understand Yoonshin. “Settlement? I’m not a whistleblower. I just want a legal affirmation of what happened to me. I want to return to work instead of being indefinitely suspended. Last time, you said you were almost done tracking the president’s trail of evidence destruction.”
“This might sound cold, but you wouldn’t be able to get back at the president as well as you hope to, based on the limits to our country’s laws. I considered how a lawsuit would go and concluded that, despite the other side obstructing justice, his sentence will still be disproportionately low because this will be his first offense on paper.”
“I heard that sexual assault for a first-time offender once got a jail sentence. The lawyer who helped me file the suit said so,” the client said.
“That’s only when you have clear-cut evidence. But the law that prescribes that isn’t very reliable. This is a matter of which path you choose—you make him miserable for a short time or receive compensation in a different form.”
Above all, if the matter closed without scratching the other party at all, it was highly likely that the other party would strike back in a bigger and more covert way before the client could even react. This was possible because the woman was already a heretic in her industry.
There was no way for Yoonshin to help after the matter was closed. He couldn’t clean up after this case forever. As Yoonshin deliberated over how to explain this in a rounded manner, the woman said, more agitated than before, “I testified consistently and precisely explained the situation. Are you trying to get me monetary compensation because my statement isn’t good enough to prove my injury? Is that what you’re telling me?”
“Paying for your damages is implicitly acknowledging the crime. Going through with settlement doesn’t nullify your injury,” Yoonshin replied calmly.
“Isn’t it because you’re too lazy to do the hearing because I can’t even pay the retainer?”
“There’s no way that’s the case, ma’am. I’m not bothered by that at all. This case is important to me too.”
“Then you should punish that man. I thought you were a nice person, but how could you stab me in the back like this? I thought I met a good lawyer this time…” The dwindling voice of the client conveyed her anger and sorrow. Yoonshin squeezed his eyes shut and genuinely thought about what he should do.
He then said, “If you truly wish to go through with litigation, I can do that. However, you told me you wanted to go back to work. You want to do that because you’re innocent, and you want to prove it. I’m simply telling you that you can do that in a different way.”
“Just how much are you saying you can get me? Like in the ten thousands?”
“I can get you more than that. Not just compensation, but I could even get you a public apology.”
The client didn’t seem to process this as she fell silent. Her heavy breathing evened out, and Yoonshin could hear her calming down. She was probably thinking over his words as she caught her breath. Then she snapped sharply, unable to fully grasp his words, “The law is too weak to punish him properly, but he’ll give me a lot of money and apologize? That doesn’t make sense at all.”
“That’s why I called you. The law can’t reach him, but the document I’ll be sending you can do that, but only if you are willing to help. Could you look over it at least once?”
The client finally seemed to regain her cool and understood the pith of Yoonshin’s words. As if recounting the conversation when they first started the call, she mumbled to herself inaudibly. Yonshin waited patiently instead of pressing her on.
Not long after, she spoke up. “What if I wanted to go through with the trial after I looked over your proposal enough times?”
“Then I’ll proceed with the trial.” Yoonshin would clearly get failing grades from Sehun if he didn’t use the documents. But if this was the client’s ultimate instructions, Yoonshin couldn’t help it. Yoonshin quietly stared at the windows on his computer screen.
The other person on the line asked in a much more composed tone than before, “Can I trust you?”
Thankfully, she was trying to understand Yoonshin, who was genuinely thinking about her best interests. He held back his sigh and replied, “You don’t have to force yourself. It’s my job to earn your trust.”
“I’m sorry for lashing out earlier. I just felt so upset.”
“I understand. It’s all right.”
“You wanted me to look over the parts that I know about in the document you’ll send me, right?”
“Yes, and after I organize the facts, let’s brainstorm together about what we can get and how much you want to get from the opposing party. Oh, you have to receive the document personally and return it through the courier that I send, okay?”
“I’ll do that. Thank you.”
“Then, take care.” After hanging up, Yoonshin rang up Secretary Tak. He asked to send the documents, which he prepared in advance, to the client, then he saw the secretary off. Secretary Tak waved his hand reassuringly, and Yoonshin could lean back comfortably in his chair.