Mixing Business and Pleasure

Mixing Business and Pleasure Doesn’t Always Go as Planned: eDiscovery Mishaps

I’m Doug Austin and I’m an idiot. At least some of the time. Who isn’t? And I was an idiot last week when mixing business and pleasure on a personal/business trip.

Our son Carter turned 14 last week and we decided to book a brief trip to Lake Travis in Austin for Carter and a friend of his to have some fun. Nothing fancy, just an overnight trip.

I also saw that eDiscovery Today partner Cobra Legal Solutions was sponsoring a lunch and learn during the time I would be in Austin regarding the risks and rewards of AI in legal. So, I decided to attend and registered for it and the personal trip was also a business trip.

I have combined business and personal on trips a lot over the years, as my wife Paige has joined me many times after Legalweek and ILTACON. But this was the first time since the pandemic to be mixing business and pleasure.

The day we left, we all packed our bags and a few snacks. I packed my laptop into my laptop bag as well, so that I could get some work done (it’s a daily blog, after all). I loaded up the car with our bags and we left.

When we stopped for lunch about halfway into our trip, I went into the back of our car because I never like to leave my laptop in the car (learned that lesson the hard way years ago when it was stolen out of my boss’s pickup truck). I started going through the bags and…no laptop.

In the haste of loading bags, I had failed to load it in the car. When we got home, it was right where I left it – all packed up on the chair in my office. That has never happened to me before.*

We did bring an iPad, with which I had to figure out how to write and load two blog posts (without any of my normal templates and resources). The internet connection was so slow at the hotel that I couldn’t load any apps (like Google Docs) to help compose my posts. Somehow, painstakingly, jumping through a lot of hoops, I got them done, but it was a very stressful experience.

The next day was the lunch and learn, which started at the Moonshine Grill in downtown Austin at noon. We checked out of the hotel, and I loaded up directions to Moonshine Grill in Waze and it said we would get there at 11:57am. Great.

And we got there, right on time – to the wrong Moonshine Grill.

During the trip, I kept thinking that it doesn’t seem we’re getting close to downtown and, sure enough, we were at the other location in north Austin. When I found the correct Moonshine Grill on Waze, it was another 30 minutes to get there.

Which meant I’d be 30 minutes late to the lunch and learn. And I was.

I’d like to blame my mistakes on mixing business and pleasure, but I can’t. They were simply dumb mistakes.

On the plus side, the personal part of the trip was fun, and Carter and his friend had a great time together! And none of the business errors were costly.

The lunch and learn was also great (at least the part I attended), with insightful discussion and comments from Doug Kaminski of Cobra Legal Solutions, Cat Casey of Reveal and James Sherer and Ariana Dindiyal of BakerHostetler.

I’m Doug Austin and I’m an idiot. Sometimes. Might as well be honest about it.

So, what do you think? Have you had any mishaps when mixing business and pleasure while traveling? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

*I did forget my charger cord once to a Master Conference event in Dallas and (after buying a “universal” charger cord at Best Buy that didn’t fit) composed my daily post on a computer in the hotel’s business services office.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


  1. Sympathy, Brother!

    I find that after lockdown that my muscle memory has been wiped so I now need to think extra carefully about packing things that would have been automatic two years ago or so. Should be fine after a few trips, but right now it feels like bit of a lottery as to what comes and what doesn’t!

  2. Thanks, Jonathan! Exactly – I’m out of practice like everyone else! This will certainly serve as a wake up call for me to be very careful to ensure that I pack everything I’ll need, for both business and pleasure, next time I take a trip involving both.

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