I follow Mary Flood's excellent blog on Houston legal happenings, Legal Trade, because one of my closest friends is a Houston attorney. Thanks to my friend's regular updates, I know just how disruptive Hurricane Ike was for Houstonians. Yesterday, Mary Flood reproduced the text of a letter that a Houston attorney sent to a Dallas attorney regarding the Dallas attorney's demand for travel expenses for a deposition that had to be postponed so that the Houston attorney could deal with an Ike-related sewage disaster at his home. From the letter excerpts below, readers will get a general idea of how understanding the Dallas lawyer was about the postponed depo:
I am sorry that a hurricane hit Houston.
I am sorry that the Houston Public Works Department had to use a fire hose to blow human feces out of my yard on the day our deposition was scheduled.
I am sorry that the city required my presence at the debacle noted immediately above.
I am sorry that your office communicated that you would only "agree" to my rescheduling the deposition if we agreed to pay your travel expenses. I am also sorry they did not mention anything about attorney's fees in your voicemail. I am especially sorry that your associate, after I agreed to pay your reasonable travel expenses, decided to put in writing that while the deposition was cancelled it was "unilaterally canceled," and that you did not "agree" to the cancellation. I am sorry that you either went back on your word or, more likely, just do not have a word.
I am sorry that you think the judge should be involved in this matter. I wonder if the judge will be sorry about that, too.
Just remember, the next time that you're tempted to be unpleasant and uncompromising with opposing counsel, your conflict could end up on legal blogs all over the country. You can still play nice and advocate zealously for your client!