Now that I have put the nitty gritty of the Power of Attorney concept to rest, I am skipping ahead six days to January 28. The pre-trial hearing – where the judge would decide if the evidence collected was strong enough to move the case to trial or not – was set for that date. After 14 months of worry, fear and battling my misgivings about what I had gotten myself into, I had relief knowing that I’d have some semblance of a timeline for when it would all be over.
Furthermore, I was relieved that I would be able to better plot my time off, finances and workload once a trial date was set. My attorney had hypothesized I’d be in trial that June (2010). He told me this on email shortly before January 28. He also told me that when he presented the Power of Attorney document, he would request anywhere from 60-80,000 Euro to settle the civil part of my case against Marco. Believe me when I tell you that I NEVER believed I would see money like that. Things like that don’t happen to me. I tend to break even in most things, and to me, at least it’s an honest way of living.
Just knowing my fate – I had told myself – would be a refreshing change of pace. So, on the morning of January 28, I got ready to go to the gym, waking up around 5:20 a.m. I was afraid to look at my email because I didn’t know if I wanted to know before or after my workout. My indecision lasted all of a minute before I raced to my PDA. And there it was, an email from Valentino:
I have to write you about a not good news, but not a bad one.
Yesterday– late afternoon –the (Italian) National Association of Criminal Law Attorneys (Camera Penale Nazionale), proclaimed a general strike for today, tomorrow and Friday, in order to protest against the project of reform of the Italian criminal procedure proposed by the Government (in fact the target of the project consists in saving our Prime Minister – Mr. Berlusconi – from two/three trials actually pending against him).
If a lawyer defending a charged party takes part in the strike (he/she sends a fax to the chancery of the Judge, communicating his/her will to strike), the Judge can only reschedule the hearing.
Marco XX’s lawyers will both strike, so tomorrow nothing will happen and Mr. XX and I decided to ask our lawyer in Rome, Mr. XX to the take part to the hearing, in order to have notice of the new rescheduled hearing.
As the majority of my colleagues, I do personally agree with the reasons of the strike, so is not strange that Marco’s lawyers take part to the strike (in other trials where we defend the charged parties, the lawyers of our law firm will strike).
The power of attorney that you have sent me is – of course – still good and valid for the next hearing.
I’ll let you know the rescheduled date.
Ciao, indeed. Ciao to my excitement. Ciao to my hopes. Ciao to any possible relief. Of course, I cried. I wanted to punch Silvio Berlusconi in the face. I wanted to scream. And then, I put my workout clothes on and met my friend Jessie for our ritual walk to the gym (in the freezing cold, of course). And I babbled all my fears and worries out all over her and our workout. I got back to the apartment, cried some more, put bags of frozen fruit on my puffy eyes. And then, I went to work, per the usual.