Natural Disasters

Ike Sewage Woes Chronicled in Lawyer’s Angry Letter


A sarcastic letter being passed along by e-mail chronicles the woes of a Houston lawyer who couldn’t make a deposition after Hurricane Ike.

The letter (PDF) by Jeff Murphrey of Tekell, Book, Matthews & Limmer takes issue with his opponent’s request that he pay travel expenses for a rescheduled deposition. Murphrey explains that he had more pressing matters at home in a mock apology.

“I am sorry that a hurricane hit Houston,” he writes. “I am sorry that I had no power or water at my house as a result of the hurricane. … I am sorry that upon returning to my home on Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, I discovered a roughly 50-foot by 6-foot swath of human excrement, used condoms and all other niceties that come with a raw sewage leak in one’s backyard. …

“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.”

The letter, addressed to lawyer Dale Markland of Dallas, was posted on Above the Law and mentioned on the Tex Parte Blog.

Markland told Tex Parte Blog that he takes issue with Murphrey’s version of how his office requested travel expenses. He said he has sent a response but it doesn’t have the flair of Murphrey’s letter.

“I am not that kind of guy,” he told the blog. “I just responded factually to what the circumstances are.”

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