Once I retrieved my vehicle from the area designated for non-cronies, I made my way down Brandywine Boulevard for about a mile and a half, until it intersected with the Interstate. Upon journeying onto the federally-funded Interstate, I felt as if I had extracted myself from a lawless, Wild West environment. It seemed incredible to me that in less than a half-hour, I would be in Center City Philadelphia. Th at such blatant, overt and unlawful favoritism was displayed in a suburban jurisdiction just 20 miles from the nation’s fifth largest city was incomprehensible to me.

It wasn’t as if I were an Armani suit-wearing Los Angeles attorney with slicked-back hair, who had fi led suit in a jurisdiction well out of his realm. I was a Philadelphia-based attorney who had filed suit in a county bordering Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia skyline soon came into view. At that moment, an odd emotion overcame me. The feeling was similar to that which I had experienced during the times in which I had traveled to Europe. During a trans-Atlantic journey originating in the northeast United States, one boards an aircraft in a metropolis where American English is spoken and gas guzzling SUVs dominate the thoroughfares. Seven hours later, one is transplanted into an alternate culture in which the inhabitants speak a different tongue, and all of the cars are of the econo-box, fuel-efficient variety.

When I saw the Philadelphia skyline, I felt as if I had been rapidly transferred back home from a very foreign, scary place.

Since I was on official firm business and knew that I would be reimbursed, I opted to splurge and park my car at the One Liberty Place garage, where the daily parking rate was $34.00. While New Yorkers might consider such a daily parking rate in the very heart of the business district to be a steal, by Philadelphia standards, 34 bucks for a day of parking was extraordinarily steep. What the hell did I care, though? The Lubranos were paying…

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CHAPTER ONE

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Adam Barrist, a practicing attorney based in Center City Philadelphia, is licensed in the courts of Pennsylvania...

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