Attorney Misses Deadline Due to ’emotional impact’ of Jazz Loss, Asks for More Time
SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City attorney who missed a filing deadline in federal court by 18 minutes due to the emotional anguish of the Utah Jazz blowing a 25-point lead in Game 5 of their playoff series against the Oklahoma Thunder has been granted more time.
Attorney Brian King, who is also the Utah House minority leader, had a deadline of midnight on Thursday to file an opposition to a motion filed by the defendants, United Healthcare, in a medical benefits case. His memo was 18 minutes late, being filed at 12:18 a.m.
In his motion asking the judge to extend the filing deadline, King said Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was, in part, to blame.
“Foreseeable, but unwished for, circumstances, together with unforeseen emotional impact from those circumstances, constitute good cause for this motion,” he wrote in his motion.
King said on April 24, he was writing the memo that was due at midnight, but “in an abundance of hopefulness and positive feeling about his favorite pro basketball team,” took a break to turn on the game.
Everything was looking good for the Jazz as they held a 25-point lead in the third quarter.
But as King noted in court documents, “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.”
King added in his footnotes that, “Phantom contact between Rudy Gobert and Carmelo Anthony, a particularly egregious foul call, resulted in Gobert’s fourth infraction and limited his playing time for the rest of the game.”
He also conceded that, “Painful though it is for plaintiffs’ counsel to admit it, (Russell) Westbrook is a very good basketball player.”
Up until the Jazz collapse, “Prospects for the timely submission of the opposition memo were excellent,” King wrote in his motion.
But after, “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 (led) 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.
King also pointed out to the judge that the defense attorney in the case was all right with extending the filing deadline.
“For purposes of this playoff series, he’s a Jazz fan, too,” according to court documents. “Jazz team chemistry and the quality of play from, among others, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors have won the hearts of people across the country.”
King also let the judge know in the footnotes that his “emotional setback is temporary” while predicting “the Jazz will emerge victorious tomorrow night and proceed to play the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.”
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Jenkins agreed to extend the deadline, “based on the plaintiffs’ unopposed motion and good cause appearing.”
The Jazz did beat the Thunder 96-91 the next night to win their playoff series with Oklahoma.
However, Utah went on to lose to the Houston Rockets 110-96 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Game 2 is set for Wednesday in Houston.