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W@ should i say 2 ans his Q?

text-message.jpgTurns out judges don’t like it when witnesses text-message from the stand.

While the judge and attorneys conferred, a courtroom spectator passed a note to a defense attorney saying the witness, Sky Development chief operating officer Gavin Sussman, appeared to be text-messaging Sky chief executive Yizhak Toledano at the plaintiff table.

Things got quite hot after that:

“Let me be really frank about this,” the judge said. “I never had this happen before. This is completely outrageous, absolutely outrageous.”

Toledano responded, “It was on a break.”

Silverman shot back: “It doesn’t matter. You are communicating about the case and the subject matter of the case with a witness who is currently under oath and before the jury,”

Toledano said, “I’m sorry, after we took the break, it’s not in the middle.”

The judge explained himself again.

“It’s a problem on your communicating with the witness about his testimony whether it’s before the break, after the break and during the break while he’s testifying,” he said. “This is outrageous.”

The defense asked for a mistrial and got it, but they’re going to take it a step further and seek an outright dismissal of the case. They may get it, too, in light of the fact that this witness has been previously involved in an improper communications flap:

[T]he executive was chastised by a magistrate who served as a referee at a March 9 deposition for passing a note to the witness.

“During a tense period of cross-examination, Mr. Sussman slid over to the witness a note … which said, ‘Don’t worry about pleasing him, just say no.’ That’s a backdrop that came out” during the mistrial arguments before Silverman, Petros said.