Scheduling is always a fun issue when it comes to my professional responsibilities. Typically, I’ll ask opposing counsel for when she is available to present her client for deposition…and I’ll get no response. I’ll ask again and the same thing happens. Finally, after having enough of the silent treatment, I’ll just schedule the damned deposition and let the other attorney fall all over herself rescheduling the damn thing. After this song and dance goes on for weeks on end, the deposition approaches and nine times out of ten, it gets rescheduled.
Most clients understand that scheduling is a fickle beast. But not all clients are this enlightened, especially when it comes to the scheduling of their deposition.
To: Client, Jane
From: Pamby, Namby
Subject: Deposition Scheduling
I hope that you are doing well. I just wanted to let you know that the other side has asked to reschedule your deposition due to a scheduling conflict that has recently occurred for their office. As your deposition was set for late next week, please let me know when you are available during the first two weeks of December. As always, I look forward to hearing from you and I want to apologize for this unplanned change.
Professional, apologetic and working towards a solution that makes life the least difficult for the client.
To: Pamby Lawyer, Esq.
From: Client, Jane
cc: Managing Partner, Other Partner, Named Partner
Subject: Re: Deposition Scheduling
I do not understand how this could continue to happen. This has been going on for two months now and it is the second time that the deposition was scheduled to occur and it DIDN’T HAPPEN. I don’t understand what you are doing as my attorney or why I have retained your firm in the first place. This case is taking entirely too long to conclude and you are not doing enough to bring about a resolution of it. I have given you my availability and I expect you to honor my scheduling needs. If you are unable to comply with this simple request, I will have no choice but to ask that your partners reassign you from this file…
What makes dealing with clients as persnickety as this one is that emails like these come after I’ve left the office. The latest one, like the above, tend to show up in my email inbox after I have left the office. And have made my way to a bar.
The above referenced email showed up after several beers and I started my drafting my response in the presence of my friends who helped add creative invective. I got only as far as “Go F*** yourself you big fat f***” when I realized that (a) this could cost me my job and (b) I wasn’t really able to expand upon the opening line. It’s at that point I texted my partner and asked for a partner-level response to this special situation.
And went back to drinking.