Thursday, June 26, 2008

You don't suppose Judge James Nowlin is a UT alum?

My esteem for US District Judge James Nowlin increased after reading this recent order (pdf), found via the inestimable Eugene Volokh in a post from earlier this month. Wrote Nowlin:
Apparently, the parties are unable to agree if the deposition of Wal-Mart's corporate representative should occur in San Antonio, Texas or in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Court is sympathetic with the Defendant's argument. Surely Defendant's corporate representative, a resident of Arkansas, would feel great humiliation by being forced to enter the home state of the University of Texas, where the legendary Texas Longhorns have wrought havoc on the Arkansas Razorbacks with an impressive 55-21 all-time series record.

On the other hand, the Court is sympathetic with Plaintiff's position. Plaintiffs might enter Arkansas with a bit of trepidation oas many residents of Arkansas are still seeking retribution for the "Game of the Century" in which James Street and Darrell Royal stunned the Razorbacks by winning the 1969 National Championship.

Because the Court is sympathetic to both parties' positions, it has found a neutral site intended to avoid both humiliation and trepidation of retribution.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that unless the parties agree otherwise, the deposition of Defendant's corporate representative shall occur at 9 AM on June 11, 2008 on the steps of the Texarkana Federal Building, 500 State Line Ave, TX/AR 71854.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that each party is to remain on his or her respective side of the state line.
Soooowweeee! (UT fans, see the footnotes in the order for an added bonus.) Volokh didn't say, but how much do you want to bet the parties came to an agreement besides holding the deposition on the steps of the Texarkana Courthouse?! Both the content and the Judge's tactic tickled my funny bone.

Prof. Volokh followed up by posting a nice adumbration by Brian Kalt of the complexities of operating a Texarkana federal courthouse that straddles state lines titled "Article III, Congress, and the Texarkana Courthouse." Interesting stuff; well worth a read.

For Michael. ;)

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