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April 25, 2013 2:21 PM

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Judge Oing Knows But He Won't Say

After two months listening to a small army of lawyers bicker back and forth over the sale of Martha Stewart-designed goods, it's safe to say that presiding Judge Jeffrey Oing has made up his mind on how he will...

After two months listening to a small army of lawyers bicker back and forth over the sale of Martha Stewart-designed goods, it's safe to say that presiding Judge Jeffrey Oing has made up his mind on how he will rule.

The thoughtful, yet sometimes ornery Oing has let it be known during the Macy's Inc. trial against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. that he's "heard enough." In fact, he's used that phrase more than a dozen times in the courtroom to quell the respective legal teams from further dragging out the trial with additional testimony from witnesses.

As the case wound down Tuesday and the defendants brought in expert witnesses to testify about surveys they conducted, Oing seemed to be at the end of his rope.

"I've had enough surveys to last me a lifetime," he said, in response to Macy's lawyer Theodore Grossman's plea to bring in its own expert to rebut the day's testimony.

"No means no Mr. Grossman," an exasperated Oing said, as he explained that he had three boxes of files from discovery sitting at his feet and ample testimony on the record from the trial. More testimony wasn't warranted or welcomed.

He scolded all three legal teams, telling them that even though they tried to frame the case as "complicated," the core issue was simple.

"This is a straightforward contract case," he said.

This wasn't the first time Oing lost his cool during the trial. Often, the judge would stop the lawyers dead in their tracks during their examination to ask his own series of questions to the witnesses.

The practice shaved off what would most likely amount to hours of needless testimony, and it seemed to only underscore the fact that Oing had a clear sense of what questions he needed answered to make his ruling.

Now that the case has wrapped and closing arguments are the only thing keeping Oing from delivering a decision, I can't help but think that he's already begun drafting his opinion.
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