Utah attorney asks for leniency in a federal lawsuit because of Oklahoma City Thunder game

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SALT LAKE CITY – An attorney is asking a federal judge to give him a little bit of a break on a deadline because he was up late watching the Utah Jazz playoff game.

Brian King (who also serves as the House Minority Leader in the Utah State Legislature) filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Thursday asking for leniency in epic fashion.

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, in an interview with KTSU.

A brief in a medical benefits lawsuit against United Healthcare was due at midnight. He turned it in at 12:18 a.m. Thursday.

“Foreseeable, but unwished for, circumstances, together with unforeseen emotional impact from those circumstances, constitute good cause for this motion. Specifically, Plaintiffs’ counsel, in an abundance of hopefulness and positive feeling about his favorite pro basketball team, took a break from his labors on the Opposition Memo at approximately 7:30 p.m. yesterday evening to watch Utah Jazz play the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 5 of the Round 1 NBA basketball playoffs,” he wrote in the motion obtained by KTSU.

King was apparently feeling confident until that third quarter when the Jazz blew a 25-point lead.

“Disaster then struck in the form of bad officiating, Jazz turnovers and poor shot selection, the absence of the best defense player in the league, and [Russell] Westbrook. Until this point, prospects for the timely submission of the Opposition Memo were excellent. But the emotional effect of an eventual Jazz loss (which began at approximately 10:00 p.m.) was, to say the least, dispiriting. The pallor cast on counsel’s mind eventually let to submission of a written product that was twice as long and half as strong as it would have been had the Jazz emerged victorious. As well as eighteen minutes tardy,” he wrote, adding footnotes detailing the calls he objected to from the game’s referees.

Speaking to KTSU on Thursday, King says he hoped the judge would understand.

“Hey look, that was late because I was dispirited because of the Jazz. There’s no question about it,” he chuckled. “I blame not the Jazz, but I blame that game! The Jazz played a great game! We had bad reffing. We was robbed!”

As of Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins had yet to rule on whether he would accept King’s tardy filing. It is unknown if Judge Jenkins, who graduated from the University of Utah Law School in 1952 and was nominated to be a federal judge by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, is a Jazz fan.

But opposing counsel was fine with the delay.

“Although from Minneapolis, defense counsel does not object to this Motion,” King wrote. “For purposes of this playoff series, he’s a Jazz fan, too.”

Read the filing here:

In case you missed the game, the Thunder went on a 32-7 run to close the third quarter and tie the game at 78, then took the lead early in the fourth quarter before pulling away to win and avoid a first round series playoff loss for the second year in a row.

Russell Westbrook finished with 45 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists. Paul George added 34 points. Those two were the only ones in double figures for the Thunder.

The series is now 3-2 in favor of the Jazz. Game six is Friday night in Salt Lake City at 9:30pm.

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