|"I may not be a very good artist, but at least I know how to draw a person!"|
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- You may be looking for Zacharias Barnham's dog "Constantine" from Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
|She may have taught the judge course, but she had a huge impact on me. She was fond of saying, "The end is only justified through proper means." She wouldn't tolerate dishonesty and always revered what was right beyond all else.|
Constance Courte was a teacher at Themis Legal Academy who taught the judge classes at the school, with Juniper Woods and Myriam Scuttlebutt being two of her students. Her corpse was found during a mock trial being held at the school.
History with the academy
Courte was herself an alumna of Themis Legal Academy and was the valedictorian for her graduating class. She was awarded a special notebook reserved for students of that honor. She would later hold cases in court, frequently clashing with Aristotle Means, who was also an alumnus of Themis and valedictorian of his graduating class. Eventually, Courte returned to Themis as a teacher in the judge course and the Fine Arts Club adviser, with Means also joining the staff as a teacher in the defense attorney course. As a teacher, she was well-liked by students and faculty, including those outside her course. Prosecutor Klavier Gavin credits her for shaping how he thought about law.
The law's dark age
In the wake of the dark age of the law, an unspoken rift emerged between students and teachers. Those who believed in finding the truth through honesty were at odds with those who believed in obtaining victories by any means necessary, even those considered illegal. Rumors begun circulating of teachers accepting bribes from students, prompting Courte to assign Juniper Woods as her "snitch" to find the culprit. Woods subsequently gave Courte monthly reports on the goings-on at the academy.
- Main article: Turnabout Academy
The 67th school festival in 2027 featured a mock trial between defense attorney student Hugh O’Conner and prosecutor student Robin Newman. The winner would receive a special lecture from one of two visiting attorneys: Phoenix Wright for O’Conner and Klavier Gavin for Newman. Courte held a contest for her judge students to write a scenario for the mock trial, picked Woods's script, and made preparations for the trial with her. Courte would play the part of the victim, while Woods would play both the judge and the defendant.
The mock trial preparations were not without their problems, however. When Myriam Scuttlebutt published an article claiming that O’Conner planned to confess his love to Woods if he won, Woods tried to revise the script to favor the prosecution, but Courte noticed this revision and reverted it. Moreover, Newman managed to snap a photo of Courte's notes on the mock trial to gain an advantage, and Aristotle Means had seen the notes as well. Nonetheless, the preparations were completed, and Courte and Woods snapped a photograph together in the art room the day before the mock trial, at 6:05 p.m.
Courte also learned from Woods that O’Conner's parents had been bribing faculty for better grades. She met with him and learned that Means was the one taking the bribes. Courte confronted Means over the bribery at the Outdoor Stage. Cornered, Means stabbed Courte in the abdomen with his staff, leaving her to bleed to death.
Means decided to replicate the mock trial to throw suspicion off of himself. He told Newman that he would finish the statue of Wright that she was sculpting, and tied the body up in such a way that it would mimic the shape of Wright's "Objection!" pose when covered up. He also planted Courte's blood on an awl that was supposed to be used as the murder weapon in the mock trial, as well as planting blood in the mock case's crime scene, the art room.
The following day, Wright and Athena Cykes were waiting for Courte during the mock trial, as Wright was scheduled to have a meeting with her. In the art room, Means, having set up an alibi, used a rope-and-pulley system set up between the art room and the Outdoor Stage to send a statue of Themis hurtling toward the "Wright statue", making a noise as the body was knocked over. Wright and Cykes heard the noise and soon discovered the body. Means's efforts to replicate the mock trial resulted in Woods being arrested for the murder, but Cykes took her case and exposed Means as the true killer. After the resolution of the case, the school festival was extended by one day in Courte's honor.
Courte was widely regarded as a fine teacher and example for the judiciary students. She valued honesty above all else, believing that trials should be conducted with the intent of finding out the truth, and not for the sake of self-interest. Her belief in honesty made her unafraid to confront wrongdoers, a trait that ultimately led to her demise. Courte was also known to have a love for art; she was the head of the Art Club and had a highly abstract artistic sense.
- Her Japanese surname comes from "michishiba" (道芝), which means "guidance". If combined with "masa" (正) from her first name (which means "precise"), the result would be "precise guidance", as expected from her role as a teacher.
- Her English given name "Constance" stems from the word "constancy", meaning "constant" or "steadiness or faithfulness in action/affections/purpose". This is likely intended to be a reference to her steadfastness in the face of the encroaching "dark age of the law".
- "Courte", her English surname, is a play on the word "court" (i.e., a courtroom).