LSU-area judge agrees to delay trial set for BCS game day

Updated: December 21, 2007, 8:32 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- Justice can wait until after the LSU game.

A state judge near the home of the Tigers has agreed to postpone a trial scheduled to start on the same day LSU plays Ohio State in the BCS national championship game.

Stephen Babcock, an attorney defending Imperial Casualty Insurance Co. in a lawsuit over a car crash, requested the delay because he has tickets to the Jan. 7 game at the Superdome in New Orleans. He and other LSU fans have rented out the second floor of a Bourbon Street bar for a pre-game tailgate party.

In his written request for a new trial date, Babcock refers to Ohio State as "Slowhio" ("due to their perceived lack of speed on both sides of the ball") and notes that Allstate, sponsors of the Sugar Bowl, are not a party in the insurance case.

"All counsel to this matter unequivocally agree that the presence of LSU in the aforementioned contest of pigskin skill unquestionably constitutes good grounds therefor," Babcock wrote. "In fact we have been unable through much imagination and hypothetical scenarios to think of a better reason."

Babcock, whose law office is in Baton Rouge, said lawyers for the plaintiff in the case also have tickets to the game.

"We might disagree on the merits of the case, but everyone was in agreement on this, for sure," he said during an interview Friday.

That includes West Baton Rouge Parish District Judge Alvin Batiste, who agreed Thursday to postpone the trial but didn't immediately set a new date. Babcock said he doesn't know if Batiste is an LSU fan, "but most people around here are."

Louisiana already has a legal precedent for football trumping a trial date. In January, a judge agreed to postpone a trial due to a conflict with last season's NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press