I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
While it is not legally an obligation that you notify opposing counsel that you will be attending the scheduled deposition, it is required by law that you do attend at the date and time set. If you fail to attend, the attorney for the other party will file a Motion to Compel and the court will order that you appear for another deposition and that you pay all the legal expenses of the other attorney in making the motion and in lost time when you didn't show the first time.
As far as protocol is concerned, it is common for one side to contact the other, the day before the deposition is set, and confirm the time of the deposition for the next day.
If the date and time set for your deposition is not convenient for you for some reason, the attorney will generally agree to reset the deposition for a more convenient time as a courtesy to you. To get the deposition reset you will have to call the attorney and then send a confirming letter of the agreed on time for the reset of the deposition.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,