That’s what New York Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe III and AMC Networks charged in court today according to Susquehanna Financial Group’s Thomas Claps. The judge became “extremely animated” and accused Dish of “blatant misconduct and attempts to delay” AMC’s $2.5B breach of contract suit, Claps reports. It seems that Dish yesterday appealed Lowe’s ruling requiring the satellite company to turn over documents that it considered privileged — but didn’t give the Appellate Division a copy of the documents, preventing it from reaching a quick decision. Claps says that Lowe characterized that as “further evidence of Dish’s ongoing, inappropriate conduct in this case” and accused the company of “attempting to ‘spin its wheels’ and delay the proceedings so that the current trial schedule could be jeopardized — and possibly result in a mistrial.” (Earlier the judge found that Dish inappropriately wiped out emails that might have supported AMC’s case.)
The lawyer representing VOOM also said that Dish wanted to delay so it could “gain further leverage” over AMC Networks, whose channels were dumped from Dish in June. Some members of the jury have said that they can’t serve past the end of October; if there aren’t enough jurors then the case would end in a mistrial. But Lowe “indicated that he won’t let that happen, and won’t let Dish continue to delay the case,” Claps says.
The trial will determine whether Dish had the right in 2008 to terminate its 15-year deal to air the VOOM Networks suite of HD channels. The defunct channels, formerly owned by Cablevision, were packaged with AMC when the cable company spun off the network operation this year.