There is nothing to stop you from calling your adversary on the telephone. There is nothing to stop your opposing counsel from not taking your call. There is nothing to stop you from alerting the court that you attempted to contact your adversary but he neither took the call nor returned the call. And whatever flows from this scenario is up to the court.
But what if your adversary has rules?
Crazy, right? Surely this is the height of entitled narcissism. But what if, hear me out, the explanation for this absurd expectation was that his time was dedicated to work for his clients, that his time and attention were precious to him and that he was not inclined to have them squandered by others? What if this is just his way of saying “respect my time”?
Now consider a small change in the rules, that he would refuse to speak to opposing counsel who failed to use his preferred pronouns. Is that similarly a demand that people respect his views, even if it’s an expectation that he is entitled to dictate what other people do?
Of course, there is a distinction in that the telephone rules don’t implicate what some call “bigotry” or “discrimination,” in that using preferred pronouns has become an independent cause which, according to its rationalization, entitles people to impose it on others under some claim of moral righteousness. But isn’t the demand grounded in respect for feelings? Why is this form of respect not similarly worthy of respect when it comes to squandering his time?
This isn’t to say that the expectation reflected in these rules aren’t absurd, not to mention certain to come back to bite him in the butt when they’re disregarded because no rational opposing counsel would give a damn about his rules. But it is to say that we can each be responsible for our own conduct, but can’t impose it on anyone else anymore than we can impose our word choices.
If this guy won’t take a phone call except between 4:00 and 4:30, so be it. Nobody can make him answer the phone if he doesn’t want to. But when the papers are filed in court about his failure to take or return the phone call, causing whatever problems they cause, there is no reason the judge wouldn’t spank this narcissist for his failures.
And if he demanded you use his pronouns and you’re disinclined to refer to him as “Grand Poobah,” same deal. He can make his choice and suffer the consequences, but no matter what grandiose delusion guides his rules, they mean nothing to anyone else.