Book 1 - Active Trust
Victoria looked down at the
street from her office window. She had always wondered what the
view from the corner office looked like upstairs. She was on track
to make partner at Briggs & Trice, and thought the name Briggs,
Trice & Strauss had quite a nice ring to it. Having an office
on the twentieth floor of the most elite law firm in the city was
already an accomplishment in itself, but Victoria wanted more.
    Where the partners holed up on
the 21st floor was where Victoria aspired to be. The corridor
leading to the vast offices was lined with expensive paintings and
the entire floor reeked of snobbery at its finest. Victoria had
chosen commercial law as her field of practice and being an
associate at Briggs & Trice afforded her opportunities to sink
some pretty large fish. She was the head of the food chain in her
own respect, but she’d always wanted to break the glass ceiling of
the law firm headed by Mack Briggs and Nathan Trice.
    “Send them in,” she snapped at
the little black box on her desk after being alerted to her
client’s presence. Just then, her large door opened up and her
Secretary Matthew escorted in a wealthy client from an investment
company. The client was accompanied by a well dress middle-aged
woman who had slick, black hair and glasses covering her striking
blue eyes.
    “Mason Janus, I presume,”
Victoria said as she offered him a seat. Mason sat down after
unbuttoning his suit jacket and began speaking immediately.
    “This is my assistant, Marie. We
can speak freely in front of her. Listen, I’ve got a lot of trouble
brewing over an investment our company made. We learned that our
competitor, Fassett & Lews had gotten into some trouble with
insider trading. We made the same mistake, but no one is the wiser.
We want to keep our names out of the media and try to brush this
under the rug, legally. Can we amplify their bad news while keeping
our noses clean?”
    He spoke quickly and to the
point and Victoria’s response was on the same wavelength. “Sure,”
she said as she agreed to do business with Mr. Janus.
    “I can downplay your legal woes
in the media, highlight your accomplishments and plead your
innocence.”
    She pulled out a piece of paper
from her desk and had him sign at the bottom. “This will be our
retainer of services. My billing hours are steep, but you won’t
find a better lawyer experienced in this field in the city or
state. What I’m telling you is that I’m worth it.”
    “Agreed,” he mumbled as he
scribbled his name down on the paper. He knew that fast action was
necessary in this situation and that if an indictment came down, it
would cost his company three times what she billed per hour just to
clean up the mess.
    Victoria smiled, “It is
certainly better to be proactive in these situations, so we have to
act fast. If you aren’t already doing any community involvement,
you need to pick a cause and throw some money at it today. Shake
hands with the mayor; get some good press. This needs to happen
now.”
    Marie fiercely took notes as
Victoria laid down the rules of escaping an insider trading scandal
for the biggest investment company in their state. She readjusted
her glasses once, but never spoke and followed Mr. Janus around
closely wherever he went.
    Victoria stood from her chair
and meandered toward the window. She told the investment firm’s
CEO, “Whoever said that all publicity is good publicity lied. You
need all of the good publicity surrounding you so that it melts
away the negative view of your company in the eyes of the media.
Promote a few of your interns and make a big deal about it. Also,
pick a hardship case within your company and throw some cash at him
or her. All of these things will trickle down to the media and will
help promote your good name. Meanwhile, I will see to it that no
charges are filed and that there is a lid put on all of the legal
matters involving your company.”
    Victoria had always been a force
to be reckoned with and

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