What will happen if I miz my deposition?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What will happen if I miz my deposition?

I am a witness with knowledge in a county court case against my previous company
about 5 years ago. They tried to schedule my deposition twice during the holidays
but I could not be available. Subsequently, other party filed the motion to
compel my deposition and court ordered the deposition to be held. I guess their
appeal was granted on the date I requested but no subpoena was issued for me.
Now, the company has lost their attorney who was going to represent me. The
company is looking for a new attorney and I have tried to find an attorney to
represent me for the deposition which I don’t want to pay for but the deposition
is upon us. I don’t want to be there without an attorney and the other party is
not agreeing to reschedule the deposition. What will happen if I miz the
deposition and explain the judge whole situation as I expect them to file another
motion against me and the company? Can they sanction me?

Asked on January 22, 2019 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be held in contempt of court for missing a deposition and could be sanctioned by having to pay expenses for the party which had requested your deposition (the most likely sanction) or even by being jailed (unlikely,  but theoretically possible). A deposition witness can have an attorney if he/she wants, but there is no right to one, and the attorney cannot even do very much for you--you have to answer essentially all questions but those which would incriminate you in a crime--and so a lack of a lawyer for a witness is not grounds to miss or fail to appear for a deposition.

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