News & ToursJune 1, 2015

But your honor, it's Pine Valley

An opportunity to play Pine Valley Golf Club would seem a reasonable argument in an effort to have a court trial postponed, unless, of course, the trial judge is not a golfer.

In this case, we can only conclude that the Honorable James O. Browning is not a golfer.

The trial in question was scheduled to begin June 15 in United States District Court in New Mexico. The defendant in the lawsuit, Dr. Wayne Lindsey, filed a motion on Feb. 3 to have the trial changed to a later date because his expert witness, Dr. Thomas Carlsen of Bend, Ore., would not be available to testify on June 15.

The reason? Carlsen is scheduled to play in a tournament at Pine Valley at that time. Pine Valley was second in Golf Digest's ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, behind only Augusta National.

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"Dr. Carlsen states that, during a telephone conference with Lindsey's counsel, he informed them that he could not travel to Albuquerque the week of June 15, 2015," it said in the judge's recent Memorandum Opinion and Order on the case. "Carlsen states that he will participate in an amateur golf tournament at the Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey that week and that he had to commit to participating in the tournament by early December, 2014…Dr. Carlsen states that he cannot change his plans to play in the tournament, which means that he cannot be in Albuquerque to testify the week of June 15, 2015."

Carlsen will be able to keep his date at Pine Valley, but not because of Judge Browning's benevolence. The judge wrote:

"The Court will grant the Motion, but not for the reasons that Defendant Wayne Lindsey sets forth in the Motion. Lindsey fails to show good cause to vacate the trial setting; however, because the Court cannot provide the parties a firm trial setting for the week of June 15, 2015, the Court will vacate the trial setting and will set the trial to begin on June 22, 2015.

Follow @JohnStrege

(h/t Rob Harris, Golf Dispute Resolution)


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