Shitty smiled down at Becka in her carrier as he walked into Gamble & Row. He’d been working there for a year and still hadn’t had his own case so bringing his daughter to work might not have been the best idea but Lardo needed to herself.
“Who’s going to take this case Derrick?” Shitty heard as he passed by Richards’ office. Richards was one of the partners but his office was by the door. He said he liked to see who was coming and going.
“Knight!” A voice from the office called just as he had passed. Shitty turned and Becka hiccuped at the sudden change in motion.
“Yes, sir?” Shitty queried as he stepped into the understated office. Steven Row was standing at Derrick Richards’ side a stack of files in front of him.
“What are your opin-” Row stopped short. “Is that a baby?”
Shitty smiled down at Becka, “My daughter. My wife needed the day off so it’s take your kid to work day.”
Shitty’s superiors looked at Shitty and then looked at each other and nodded.
“We have a case for you.” Shitty perked up that. He thought having his own case was at least a year away. “Twenty-seven women are coming together to sue Media-Mart over sexual harassment and unfair practices in regards to promotions. You can’t win the case, but it’s high profile and we needed to put someone on it that would at least appear to try. You’re the best we’ve got. Here’s the file.” Richards’ held out the file and Shitty took it with his free hand. “The clients, well three of them, will be here in two hours.”
“Okay.” Shitty nodded. Row gave him a pointed look and Shitty fled to his own office with his file and his baby.
“Daddy’s got a case.” Shitty cooed as he wiggled Becka’s toe. She smiled, gummily, at him and he marveled at how much like Lardo she looked. Then she tried to stuff her fist in her mouth and Shitty was reminded of the time a particularly high Lardo had been persuaded to try the same thing her freshman year.
Shitty wiggled Becka’s toe again and then looked back down at his page. Turned the page. Flipped it back. Read it again.
“I think I could win this.” He grinned and look down at Becka. “Daddy has a shot of winning his first case.
The women arrived exactly on time and Shitty is glad he’s meeting them in the conference room because they all wouldn’t fit into his office. Becka’s was sound asleep in her carrier on the table against the wall by the water.
“Hello, Ms. Amato, Ms. Willet, and Ms. Washington.” Shitty put his hand out to shake. “I’m Mr. Knight, I’ll be your lawyer.”
“Oh, please, that will get very old very quickly and this is going to be a long process.” Ms. Willet rolled her eyes as he shook her hand. “Call us by our first names. And we’ll call you,” she paused realizing that she didn’t know Shitty’s first name, “What do your friends call you?”
Shitty, thought about his response. He could tell them his awful first name which still no one at the firm knew, or he could tell them the truth. “My friends call me Shitty.”
The women winced and he could see their opinion of him lessen. “What kind of frat bro nickname is Shitty?” Ms. Washington, Amina, raised an incredulous eyebrow at him.
“Hockey bro, actually,” Shitty tried to control his surliness: he was not a frat bro.
Ms. Amato, Emily, scowled. “I haven’t known one bro, hockey or otherwise, that would care one whit about this case. About any women’s issues for that matter.”
“We should have gone with Smith.” Ms. Willet, Calara pushed a piece of hair out of her face disdainfully, “She was expensive but we could have come up with the money some how.”
Shitty was going to try to reassure them when Becka woke up with a mewling cry. “Oh, hey don’t cry,” Shitty soothed as he went over and picked her up. He patted her bottom. “You’re just a little wet. We can fix that.” He scooped the diaper bag up off the floor with his free hand.
“That’s a baby.” Emily stated the obvious.
“My daughter,” Shitty explained, “My wife needed the day off, so I’ve got her.” He spread out the changing pad with one hand.
“And you think we’ll like you because you gave your wife the day off.” Clara, snarked.
Shitty groaned. “My wife is Becka’s primary caregiver because she likes it. Also because it’s easier for her since she works from home.” Shitty changed the diaper like a man who’d changed diapers hundreds of times before. He straightened up, Becka in his arms. “My daughter is not here as a prop. She’s here because I love her and Lardo has been working on her pieces for a new gallery showing and is stressed and needs some time to herself.”
Becka made a face and Shitty bounced her times to keep her from starting to actually cry. “I think you’ll like me because one of my majors was Gender and Sexuality Studies. I keep up with what is happening in feminist theory not because I have a wife and mother and daughter but because I believe that women are people. Also I’m the only person at this firm who thinks we can win this.”
All three women stared at him. “So you’re not the average hockey bro.” Amina nodded, smiling slightly.
“I think we have the right lawyer.” Clara nodded at him firm but tentative like she still hadn’t completely passed judgment. Emily shrugged in agreement.
“I think now is the right time to tell you that this is my first case on my own.” The women looked like they had guessed as much and then Becka looked up at her father, who had not bounced her in entirely too long and started to wail.
Shitty started bouncing her again immediately, “Oh, hey, who is going to grow up to be a big strong hockey player because they have huge lungs, all the better to do sprints on the ice with, yeah, it’s you, Becka, why don’t you save those lungs for the ice.”
“Rookie Lawyer B. Knight is taking on the powerhouse Media-Mart on behalf of a group of women the company allegedly abused. It’s not the first time a case of this type has been tried but it’s the first time it’s been tried against a company as big as Media-Mart...”
“...B. Knight and the Women of Media-Mart might actually stand a chance of winning…”
“These women and their lawyer, B. Knight, are looking like less of a longshot and more of a 50/50 shot.”
“This could go either way, but those women sure have made their point. I don’t think they’d have made it this far without their lawyer B. Knight though.”
“B. Knight is looking like he’ll have a fine career in human rights cases.”
“B. Knight wins it for the ladies of Media-Mart who will each be taking home a nice settlement.”