Trifecta 89 – The Final Judgement


Robert William Xavier Mallard had long been regarded as one of the finest Judges in the state. Many an aspiring Johnnie Cochran had run aground on the rocks of Mallard reef. He took no nonsense; nobody knew the law better than Bob.

Only one local firm thought they had the better of Judge Mallard – Cressmans. To give them their full names, Cressman, Fernandez & Cressman. For every criminal the Judge had banged to rights there would be another the damn Cressmans would get off. Grudging professional respect aside, he loathed them.

Any Client, Any Case’ was their motto. Most of their clients were as guilty as sin. Weak excuses, even weaker legal arguments – it didn’t matter. The gleaming smiles and razor sharp Cressman suits worked their magic more times than the Judge cared to forget.

And there they were at his retirement party. Fernandez didn’t show – Bob wasn’t absolutely sure there was a Fernandez. He wouldn’t have put it past the Cressmans to add the name simply to appeal more to Hispanics. It’s the kind of thing the shysters would do.

‘No hard feelings Judge, I mean Bob’ grinned Wally Cressman as he approached the bar. His pearly white teeth and recently acquired suntan glowed as he sat on the stool next to Bob.

‘Not many’ Bob replied, barely looking up from his cocktail.

‘That’s the spirit, and hey if you ever need a solicitor…well, maybe not, eh Bob?’

‘No, I’ll take a card. You never know.’

As Wally reached into his jacket pocket Bob pounced. The punch came from way back – delivered with the zest of a young sweetheart defending his maiden’s honour. Wally didn’t see it coming. It landed flush on the nose, blood splattering against his tanned cheeks. Bob calmly removed his phone and dialled.

‘Cressman, Fernandez & Cressman. Any Client, Any Case. How can I help you?’

‘Yes, I need a lawyer,’ Bob replied, a satisfied grin on his face, as he resumed sipping his Manhattan.


These 333 words form my entry into the Trifecta 89 writing challenge.

For those who don’t know, the picture used is of Saul Goodman from ‘Breaking Bad’. Saul is the archetypal shyster lawyer, and one of the stars of the show. If you haven’t watched ‘Breaking Bad’ then I suggest you make plans to do so!

24 thoughts on “Trifecta 89 – The Final Judgement

  1. jannatwrites

    Love the bit about Fernandez being added to appeal to Hispanics! That’s just the smarmy thing I could picture them doing, based on the rest of your story here 🙂

    Good for Bob. I hope his lawyers see his innocence!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks. The Fernandez bit just fell onto the page as I was typing, wasn’t planned. Sometimes that’s the way it happens…which is good 🙂

  2. Brian Benoit

    Ha! Love it. From the great way you revealed the backstory between Bob and Cressmans, to the totally unique and satisfying twist at the end. Up there with my favorites for this week, that’s for sure.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Steph. Yeh, at the end Bob was so pleased with himself he couldn’t just return to any old drink – needed to be something memorable. Pleased that a few people have commented on the drink. Cheers.


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