2012 has been a good year to be a Notre Dame fan. (US Presswire)
When it comes to scheduling, Notre Dame usually gets what it wants. As it turns out, so do some Notre Dame fans, like the one who just successfully lobbied a South Bend judge to move a court date that conflicted with the Fighting Irish's first, long-awaited trip to the BCS Championship Game.
According to court documents, an attorney in the case of Arttemis and Elizabeth Hendally v. Essroc Cement Corp. filed a motion on Dec. 12 to delay a pretrial conference that had been set for Monday, Jan. 7, the day of Notre Dame's winner-take-all showdown with Alabama in Miami, which the attorney had hoped to attend. Writing one day later, U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Lozana -- of course the judge's name is "Rudy" -- agreed that the occasion warranted a break from the usual protocol (emphasis in original):
In the instant motion, counsel for Plaintiffs, an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, requests that the Final Pretrial Conference be moved to a later date. Counsel further advises the Court that he has tickets to the BCS National Championship game in Miami to be played by Notre Dame and Alabama, and that the game is to be played the same day as the Final Pretrial Conference in this case. He notes that it is likely that this game “will be the last that Notre Dame plays for a championship in counsel's lifetime."
As an Indiana University graduate, I am not particularly sympathetic to this request. Nonetheless, I am hoping not to get coal in my stocking for Christmas, and in the spirit of the season, the request is GRANTED IN PART.
Although the court's calendar would not allow the hearing to be moved to a later date, as requested, it could be moved to an earlier one. The final pretrial conference will now be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 4. (Read the full order.)
Prior to the fiat of of Judge Lozano, ordering legal proceedings around the BCS title game is already something of an SEC tradition. In December 2007, a New Orleans attorney (who also happened to be a "veteran member" of LSU fans who travel under the banner of "Tiger Pimp Nation") successfully lobbied a judge to delay a trial to allow him and his fellow attorneys -- including opposing counsel, who supported the motion -- to fully appreciate LSU's BCS Championship date with Ohio State the following January. Two years later, an attorney in Alabama persuaded a judge to move a court date to allow him to attend the Crimson Tide's championship win over Texas in the Rose Bowl, this time over the objection of opposing counsel, an Auburn grad.
For some reason, publishers were uninterested in my dramatic treatment of that incident, the taut legal thriller "Motion to Roll." But once they're a few chapters into "Rudy II: Domer Justice," they won't be able to resist.