Coblentz litigators have represented DISH Network L.L.C. in a variety of cases, including over 70 litigation matters during our more than 15 year relationship.
In OneBeacon Insurance Co. v. T. Wade Welch & Associates, DISH Network Corp., et al., Coblentz defended DISH in a ten-day federal jury trial that involved complicated insurance coverage and legal malpractice issues. The trial challenged whether OneBeacon Insurance Company had to indemnify T. Wade Welch & Associates against malpractice claims brought by its former client, DISH Network. The jury found that OneBeacon knowingly failed to attempt in good faith to reach a prompt settlement once the insurer’s liability to the satellite provider became clear, and that its refusal to settle the malpractice claim amounted to “gross negligence.” The jury deliberated for only three hours before returning a verdict awarding DISH and the Welch firm $29 million. With awarded attorneys’ fees, the judgment rose to $37 million. OneBeacon appealed and Fifth Circuit affirmed the award in its entirety. The verdict was named to the National Law Journal’s “Top 100 Verdicts of 2014.”
In Warnick v. DISH Network L.L.C., Coblentz helped secure a decisive defeat of class certification in the U.S. District Court of Colorado in a putative class action contending DISH violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The case was heavily litigated, involving multiple rounds of pre-hearing briefing, followed by a two-day evidentiary hearing, and post-hearing briefing. The defense team ultimately changed the Court’s mind – which indicated initially that it intended to certify a class – and denied the motion, ruling the class was overbroad, and not ascertainable or manageable. The June 26, 2014 order found that “the proposed class is not administratively feasible because identifying the class members is not a manageable process and would require extensive individual factual inquiry.” This was one of the first decisions to address the propriety of certifying a TCPA class in the context of non-solicitation calls made to cellular telephones.
In Air Communications & Satellite, Inc., et al. v. EchoStar Satellite Corporation/DISH Network L.L.C., Coblentz successfully defended DISH in a nationwide $1 billion class action lawsuit brought by DISH’s outside sales force. When DISH retained our firm, the case had been pending for nine years and 13 discovery sanctions orders had been issued. As part of its representation, the firm ensured that DISH successfully defeated plaintiffs’ motions for default sanctions, to pierce the attorney-client privilege, and to amend the complaint to add prior discovery conduct as a new and separate claim in the underlying litigation. Coblentz also won and successfully opposed a series of discovery motions and a motion to partially decertify and limit the scope of the class allegations. The case settled just a few weeks before trial at a fraction of the billion in damages that were sought.
In Brantley, et al. v. NBC Universal, Inc., et al., Coblentz defended DISH in a purported nationwide, consumer class action asserting antitrust violations against all major “pay” television programmers and distributors. The plaintiffs in Brantley asserted that the programmers’ practice of selling only multi-channel cable bundles prevented distributors from offering a la carte programming in violation of the Sherman Act. The case was dismissed by the District Court, the opinion was affirmed before the Ninth Circuit in March 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied cert.