Judge tells Dish and VOOM to talk again

Judge Richard Lowe, officiating over the Cablevision vs EchoStar legal action in New York, used a break in the case to tell the litigants to “engage in discussions” before the trial gets underway properly next week.  The hearing was delayed because not enough jury members were empanelled.

Cablevision is suing EchoStar for $2.4 billion, and the action relates to EchoStar’s cancellation of a 15-year binding contract with HDTV service VOOM. The case revolves around the interpretation of a clause in the contract which required VOOM to spend $100 million a year on “the service”, which EchoStar is arguing meant programming. Cablevision says that the obligation covered programming and related costs. EchoStar terminated the contract because, it is arguing, VOOM did not spend $100 million on programming.

Perhaps focusing the minds of both parties in the action is that the judge made several rulings in favour of Cablevision/Voom.  Judge Lowe has disallowed an EchoStar witness from testifying, allowed another EchoStar witness’ credentials to be questioned, and sided with VOOM in how the jury may be told that EchoStar has destroyed some evidence ahead of the trial.

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