One Flew Over the Law Firm (The Promotion Excerpt #5)

In Which the Narrator Hears the Name That Will Forever Alter His Future

We started, as lawyers always do, by defining ourselves according to our practice areas. She nodded when I gave my little sentence about being a specialist in government and internal investigations, some white collar, a lot of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act work lately…

“We have overlap,” she said, nodding. “I do compliance for investment advisers.”

I couldn’t think of much else to talk about except recruiting, a topic I was trying to hold in reserve, because once we finished with that we’d head back to the office, where I had nothing to do. I asked her how things looked in the “compliance space” these days.

“Awesome,” she said. “Everyone is scared shitless.”

I was struck by how the word shitless emerged through her perfect white teeth, which did not ever open very far when she spoke, as if she were thinking hard about each word or had some kind of pain in her mouth.

It turned out we had some clients in common, including Fortinbras Capital Management, a very large investment firm I had helped with an FCPA matter involving a woman they’d hired in China who had stolen money and—it turned out—was having an affair with the mayor of Shanghai. The matter had taken a year to resolve and had resulted in a thirty-slide PowerPoint and a decision by the DOJ not to prosecute.

“That was you?” she said, displaying a level of surprise that another person might have found offensive. I merely nodded and asked how the CCO was doing.

“She was fired,” Linn said. “Too many bad emails at that place.”

I said that it hardly seemed fair to hold a chief compliance officer responsible for the emails of hundreds of employees, especially in a place like Fortinbras, where pushing the envelope was standard among the business folks.

“They were her emails.”


Linn went on to describe an examination that Fortinbras had just gone through. Overall the exam had gone well. The SEC had cited them for a few deficiencies, which was expected, but these were minor and had not led to any enforcement actions. Management was pleased, except for one thing.

“And what was that?” I asked.

Linn’s eyes narrowed. “Mina Meinl,” she said.

Next: In Which the Narrator Tiptoes into the World of the Mysterious Mina Meinl

Need to Catch Up? Check out The Promotion Minisode #4: In Which the Narrator Meets the Deputies Who Will Make or Break His Fortune

Can’t wait to read the whole thing? A full version of The Promotion is available on in paperback and Kindle versions.

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