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A Tap and a Taunt of a Litigator’s Dad Lead to Second Apology in Dish-Cablevision Trial

Posted Oct 23, 2012 8:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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On Monday, it was time for Dish Network executive Carolyn Crawford to apologize.

In an apology in a Manhattan courtroom, Crawford explained that “my emotions got the best of me,” though she didn’t say specifically what prompted her contrition: an incident involving the elderly father of a litigator representing Cablevision in a contract dispute, the Am Law Daily reports. The 83-year-old man was in the courtroom observing the trial performance of his son, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher litigator Orin Snyder, when Crawford confronted him last week.

Press accounts differ on the details. A New York Post story published last week, based on anonymous eyewitnesses, had Crawford “dressing down” Snyder, storming out of the courtroom and then confronting the litigator’s father along the way. She “tapped the back of Snyder’s elderly dad and barked, 'I hope you are proud of your son,’ ” the Post reported. In a later story, the New York Post quotes an unidentified witness who said the man almost toppled over. Reuters, which also relies on eyewitnesses, describes Crawford's contact with the man as a push on the back rather than a tap or a near toppling.

Crawford’s outburst reportedly occurred after Judge Richard Lowe ordered her to turn over her laptop for an evidence search and said he should not have allowed her to sit in the courtroom during the trial.

“That woman has been in this courtroom since day one," Lowe said, “and if I had known what her position was in this case, I would never have permitted her to sit here in this courtroom.” He later apologized to Crawford for calling her “that woman.”

The dispute over Dish Network’s alleged violation of a contract to carry high-definition programming settled on Sunday with an agreement for Dish to pay $700 million to Cablevision and its former subsidiary AMC Networks. Dish will begin offering AMC and other channels it had eliminated in July from its programming.

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