- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 27, 2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) A software consultant who responded to a jury summons by demanding $100 an hour for his services showed up for duty yesterday after a judge's warning compelled him to lower his rate.
David Williamson, like everyone else in the jury pool, will receive $40 a day, plus mileage.
"I don't know if there was a misunderstanding about his obligation, but he is doing his duty and complying," U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said yesterday.
Mr. Williamson, of San Antonio, was called in to be part of the jury pool for a seven-week trial. He sent the court an invoice for $16,800 for "court-ordered professional services for the entire month of August 2002."
He also warned officials that the bill would start accruing interest if not paid by the end of August.
Then came the topper: "If you would like to meet and discuss this, please have his honor call and schedule an appointment."
"The Court is happy to accommodate Mr. Williamson's suggestion for an appointment," Judge Biery's faxed response read. "Mr. Williamson is hereby ordered to appear … to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of the court and jailed accordingly."
The judge said Mr. Williamson apologized during the early morning hearing and agreed to serve on a jury if needed at no charge.
Judge Biery said that because Mr. Williamson drew a low number, he probably will not be selected for the jury, and likely will lose less than a day of work.
Mr. Williamson, wearing a court-provided tie and sport coat over his white golf shirt to comply with the juror dress code, stood patiently in the courthouse rotunda awaiting the jury call with the others.
He declined to comment.

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