Senior U.S. District Judge James Nowlin made headlines in this morning's edition of the Austin American-Statesman with a very creative order regarding whether the deposition of a Wal Mart corporate representative would take place in Arkansas or Texas.
In rendering a decision the Court recognized the corporate representative from Wal Mart “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.” The Court also noted that the Texan Plaintiffs have sound reason to fear traveling to Arkansa where many residents “are still seeking retribution for the ‘Game of the Century’ in which James Street and Darrell Royal stunned the Razorbacks.”
The Court, of course, was referring to the 1969 epic battle between the No. 1 Texas Longhorns and No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks known as "The Big Shootout". The game took place on December 6th and would decide which unbeaten would go to the Cotton Bowl to battle for the national championship. A national stage was set for the game after the Michigan Wolverines railroaded the previously unbeaten Ohio State Buckeyes two weeks prior. It is estimated that half of the televisions in the country were tuned into the Texas-Arkansas game.
Texas won the game in the fourth quarter after a fourth-and-three deep forty-four yard play action pass from quarterback James Street to wide receiver Randy Peschel setup a late score. The Longhorns would go on to claim the national title by defeating Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.
The Court resolved the dispute by ordering that the deposition take place on the steps of the Texarkana Federal Building - "a neutral site, intended to avoid both humiliation and trepidation of retribution" - unless the parties could agree otherwise. Should the deposition occur in Texarkana, the Court further ordered each party "to remain on his or her respective side of the state line." A full copy of the Order can be appreciated here.