Football is taken very seriously in Alabama, even to the point of delaying federal jury trials. This past week the BCS National Championship game pitting Auburn against Oregon was cited as the grounds for continuing an upcoming federal trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama - and the motion was granted.
Birmingham lawyer Michael Mulvaney, who represents Hartford Fire Insurance Company, filed a motion to continue a jury trial scheduled to begin in January so that he could take his family to see Auburn play for the national championship. Mulvaney's motion stated that, "Since the last National Championship game for Auburn was 1957 (and I was born in 1965) it is fair to say this is a one in a lifetime opportunity."
In his Motion, Mulvaney went on to write: "Attached hereto for purely manipulative purposes are pictures of my Auburn fan daughters. Exhibit A is from last year. Exhibit B is the girls in Auburn jerseys from seven years ago - further evidence of the emotional investment the family has in Auburn."
U.S. Judge Kristi Dubose issued an order stating that "The Court has a unique understanding of the predicament of Hartford's lead counsel. See Exhibit A." Attached as Exhibit A is a photo of a young unidentified girl wearing an Auburn cheerleader outfit.
Continuing court trials for football games is not new in Alabama. Lawyers who practice in the state routinely receive continuance requests to accommodate important sporting events. Just last year, when the University of Alabama played for the national championship, a motion to continue was named "Best.Motion to Continue. Ever." by Elie Mystal at AboveTheLaw.com.
For more on the story, see Federal judge grants an Auburn University fan's request to delay trial for BCS game.
Do you believe that major sporting events should serve as the basis for continuing trials, or should continuances be restricted to more significant reasons than a football game? Do you know of examples of other creative motions to continue that have been granted for similar events? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and post links to information about your own favorite motions to continue.