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SES cries foul over Intelsat late evidence

January 26, 2022

In the SES vs Intelsat court case, due to start on February 7th, Intelsat is looking to introduce evidence from James Murray, an acknowledged expert in telecommunications and competitive intelligence and currently working for PJT Partners. The problem is that Murray comes extremely late to the action. Intelsat’s bankruptcy Court ruled initially in June last year that the litigants abide by its deadline as far as witness statements were concerned of listing and finalising their named witness lists by August 16th 2021.

SES, in a motion before the Court, states: “Intelsat included five individuals it expected to testify, and another eleven possible witnesses, including one expert (Marius Schwartz). Intelsat did not include James Murray among its potential witnesses, and it stated that “good cause” was necessary for adding new affirmative witness.”

SES adds that as recently as December 27th 2021 the parties agreed their “stipulation orders” for the pre-trial hearing and order deadlines and “on or before” January 10th this year they would consider narrowing the actual (and already) named individuals that would be called during the litigation.

Then, SES argues that several weeks later, during a January 10th meet-and-confer, Intelsat sought to flout the very order to which it had just agreed two weeks earlier. “During the meet and confer, Intelsat stated that it intended to add Mr. Murray to its witness list. Intelsat did so even though discovery had long since closed and SES did not have an opportunity to depose Mr. Murray in connection with the claim litigation.”

Evidently Murray is being called to attempt to reduce the damages claim requested by SES.

SES said: “Intelsat knows that it is highly likely that SES will be awarded damages at the conclusion of the claim trial. Now, just weeks before trial, and in plain violation of the pre-trial order, Intelsat seeks to add a new expert to its witness list to support Intelsat’s eleventh-hour attempt to discount SES’s inevitable damages award.”

SES continued: “This case has been teed up for trial twice in the past year. Now suddenly, eight months after the close of expert discovery and on the eve of trial, Intelsat, recognising that a damages award to SES is coming, seeks to introduce a new expert to try to chip away at SES’s recovery. This Court should not allow it. SES has had no opportunity to depose Mr. Murray in connection with the claim litigation, and if Mr. Murray testifies, SES would be deprived of a meaningful opportunity to rebut his testimony with its own damages expert.”

The Motion is likely to be heard next week on February 2nd as part of an Omnibus hearing scheduled by the court.

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