Don't Be A Bully

The other day, I got an email from an opposing counsel who wanted to take a deposition of a fact witness. Normal stuff, except for an insistence on an immediate response to the message and a directive that the deposition had to be done in the next six or seven business days.


Sorry, absent some actual emergency - or a persistent delay from the other side - such a demand is per se unreasonable. I responded accordingly. You can guess how that went over...


If the other lawyer had some real need for the urgency - even one that was his own fault - I would have tried to accommodate him. All of us get in a bind now and then. If the witness were going out of the country or something like that, then I would have tried to accommodate him. We've all had that happen.


No. This was just a unilateral demand. One might even call it bullying.


I loath bullies.


Being a trial lawyer is not always easy. This is a hard business. It's adversarial. There is plenty of stress even when everyone is behaving.


Don't make life harder than it needs to be. Be reasonable about logistics, scheduling and other such side issues.


Don't be a bully. That's never okay.