Former Dundee United striker David Goodwillie will not have to quiz a woman who claims he raped her after a judge agreed to adjourn the action to allow senior counsel to appear for him.
Lord Armstrong said he considered the interests of justice would be best served if the woman was not cross-examined by a party litigant and that the footballer be legally represented so that his case can be put forward in the most effective way.
Goodwillie, 27, had appeared on his own behalf last week and confirmed that he intended defending the damages claim brought against him and another footballer David Robertson.
At that stage solicitors, who had previously represented him, had withdrawn from acting.
Lord Armstrong earlier rejected a bid to have an order for Plymouth Argyle player Goodwillie to set aside £100,000 for the court case overturned.
He was told that if it was not recalled the former Dundee United, Blackburn Rovers and Aberdeen player faced being left without lawyers for the complex action.
It also meant he was faced with potentially questioning the 30-year-old woman himself in the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. A rape accused in the criminal courts in Scotland would be prevented from cross-examining an alleged victim.
On Tuesday, Robert Milligan QC appeared before Lord Armstrong and said: “It simply would not be possible in a criminal context.”
Mr Milligan said he was not instructed by Mr Goodwillie, but sought a week’s adjournment to allow him to be represented by other senior counsel.
Simon Di Rollo QC, for the woman, said she had been put in “an impossible position”.
He said she had been living with the case since early January in 2011.
He said that from reading medical records and reports, delay would have a serious effect on her.
The woman raised a £500,000 damages claim alleging that she was raped by the men in the early hours of January 2 in 2011 at a flat in Armadale in West Lothian. Both men deny the allegation and maintain intercourse was consensual. Neither was prosecuted.