New York Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe III was visibly angry with Dish Network today, thumping his desk as he accused the company of disrespecting the court, according to an account of the VOOM case proceedings from Andrew Harms of advisory firm Washington Analysis. “I don’t care how much money you got,” Lowe’s quoted as saying to Dish lawyers after the company failed to comply with his order to turn over documents that he said were not privileged. If Dish doesn’t give him electronic copies of the material, he said, then he might rule in favor of AMC Networks in its $2.5B breach of contract suit before Dish even presents its case — leaving it to the jury to just decide on the size of the damages.
Lowe also told Dish’s lawyers that he might initiate an investigation to see which of them failed to follow his directions, according to Harms. “I do not believe that he does not know” Lowe said, referring to one of the lawyers sitting in front. This is just the latest instance when Lowe has butted heads with Dish. Earlier he found that the company inappropriately destroyed emails that might have helped AMC, and charged that Dish had engaged in “blatant misconduct and attempts to delay” the trial. Lowe needs to move quickly because some jurors have to leave at the end of the month (one is getting married), which could result in a mistrial.
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.