After months and months - 32 to be exact - of filing endless motions, of sanctions, of wild accusations and testy depositions, the celebrity TV-anchor case of Alycia Lane v. Larry Mendte got raptured up yesterday.

Well, something like that.

Actually, the case of Lane v. Mendte and CBS Broadcasting was merely put on hold again, thanks to a last-minute stay moments before jury selection was to proceed in the much-anticipated civil trial involving the former CBS 3 co-anchors.

"We were ready to go," said Lane's attorney, Paul Rosen. Potential jurors "were on their way down to be empaneled."

But the state Supreme Court ordered a stay in the trial - in which Lane is alleging she was defamed by Mendte and CBS in their high-profile public spat - so it could consider an appeal filed by CBS to change its venue to New York.

Rosen and his client want the case to be tried here. CBS says Lane's contract contained a clause that any cases against the network should be instead tried in New York, according to a court filing.

It is unclear when the court will hand down its decision, said a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

Shortly before Common Pleas Judge Marlene Lachman read the stay order about 11:15 a.m., a cavalcade of lawyers met with Lachman behind closed doors in her chambers.

After two hours, the attorneys emerged from the conference, followed by Lachman, who took the bench. She addressed the court and then read the order signed by Chief Justice Ronald Castille, taking the key players and press corps by surprise.

Lane, dressed in a gray dress and gray sweater, appeared to shake her head. Rosen later said the delay was unexpected.

"It's a bump in the road," he said after court yesterday, when a gag order had been lifted. "Every other attempt to stop this has been denied."

CBS 3 released a statement: "We are pleased with today's ruling. We look forward to continuing to present our arguments on the New York venue issue to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court."

"Four courts have decided this issue in our favor, two lower courts, two appellate courts, every one of them has denied relief," Rosen said.

A phone call to Julia Morrow, Mendte's attorney, went unanswered.