Chapter 22.1

After Jae-young’s whirlwind visit, the pace of things accelerated dramatically. Hyun-seong had not disbanded the dedicated team, anticipating that Jae-young would return, and surprisingly, he did so even sooner than anticipated.

In the wake of this development, Hyun-seong swiftly summoned the team members to the conference room, where six associate attorneys and Seo Jae-young assembled, capturing his attention. Embodying his unique approach, Yoon Hyun-seong initiated the discussion with a question, seeking the input and viewpoints of his colleagues.

“Now, what direction should we pursue in this case?”

Unlike leaders who wielded their own opinions as a directive, Yoon Hyun-seong was an inclusive figure, valuing the perspectives and suggestions of his team. As the saying goes, a boat guided by many oars finds its way to the shore. Nonetheless, no matter the number of oars Yoon Hyun-seong entertained, he always steered the boat resolutely in the right direction. While he welcomed diverse viewpoints, he had an uncanny ability to arrive at a clear and decisive conclusion.

In the conference room, the other attorneys exchanged glances, hesitant at first. But it was Cheol-yeong, the seasoned attorney sitting on the right side of the table and Hyun-seong’s fellow from the Yoon & Kang days, who boldly voiced his perspective. Renowned for his proactive sharing of ideas among the six attorneys, he offered his suggestion.

“How about pursuing a ‘not guilty’ verdict?”

The task of claiming innocence proved to be an arduous one, particularly when the victim had endured twelve weeks of injuries. The less experienced attorneys in the room looked perplexed, their heads tilted in uncertainty. Amidst the contemplative atmosphere, Min-joon, a second-year junior attorney known for his quiet observation, finally spoke in a hushed tone.

“But wouldn’t it be simpler to approach it as a case of simple assault instead of asserting ‘not guilty’? Even if the evidence is weak, aiming for a complete acquittal…”

Cheol-yeong, gathering his thoughts, interjected, countering Min-joon’s suggestion. “But there’s the black box footage, CCTV, and eyewitness accounts. The prosecution’s case relies mainly on circumstantial and victim testimonies; they haven’t found any substantial evidence. Arguing that the assault was limited to the victim’s face won’t hold up in this situation.”

“Yeah, and even if it’s not a grave offense like assault, it still counts as a prior offense,” another attorney chimed in.

Min-joon surreptitiously glanced at the silent figure of Jae-young, who had remained contemplative throughout the meeting. The implications of a blemish on his record, considering the future relationship between Yoon & Kang and Geumsel Construction, were certainly worrisome.

As the discussion carried on, the rhythmic tapping of Hyun-seong’s pen on the table underscored the contemplative atmosphere. His well-groomed nails emitted a soft sound upon contact with the desk. Encouraged, Cheol-yeong touched his own chin, his confidence rising as he proposed an alternative approach.

“How about undermining the credibility of the victim’s testimony? The medical report mentions symptoms of a concussion. We could argue that the victim harbored negative feelings towards Seo Jae-young and plotted this incident to tarnish his reputation.”

“Well… It’s fortunate that Jae-young didn’t suggest a settlement. It could have dealt a serious blow to our argument,” Min-joon remarked, voicing a sentiment shared by many in the room. In most cases, pursuing a swift settlement would be the prudent course of action. However, seeking a settlement while simultaneously asserting innocence seemed inherently contradictory. How could one engage in negotiations when they adamantly denied any involvement in the alleged crime?

Hyun-seong’s earlier decision to keep the argument open-ended had played a pivotal role in dissuading Jae-young from proposing a settlement. As the discussion unfolded for about twenty minutes, opinions gradually converged in a unified direction. While it may not have been a perfect winning strategy, it appeared to be the most fitting conclusion given the current circumstances.

Finally, after keenly observing his team’s deliberations, Hyun-seong spoke, and his words resonated with charisma, filling the expansive conference room. The undivided attention of fourteen pairs of eyes fixated on Yoon Hyun-seong.

“We will pursue the ‘not guilty’ claim,” he announced. 

His statement was succinct yet powerful. The attorneys nodded quietly, each one organizing their respective documents. A sense of foreboding hovered in the room, as if they all sensed that the impending trial wouldn’t be an easy one.

Yet, they took comfort in knowing that the man leading them was capable of achieving the seemingly impossible. He was known for making impeccably wise choices, as attested by his unblemished record since becoming an attorney. His track record was evidence of his remarkable abilities.



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