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Macy's/Martha/JCP case ordered into mediation

Trial will resume in April

New York - The judge in Macy's lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and JCPenney has ordered the parties into mediation to attempt to resolve their contract dispute, according to several news accounts.
During the trial, which began two weeks ago, Macy's ceo Terry Lundgren testified he and Stewart had not spoken since December 2011, when Stewart called to tell him her company had contracted with JCP for a home shop-in-shop. Lundgren said he hung up on her. In an appearance on the Today Show two days ago, Stewart said Lundgren had refused any further contact.
Reuters reports Justice Jeffrey Oing of New York State Supreme Court adjourned the trial yesterday due to attorney scheduling conflicts and will take up the case again in April. In the meantime, he ordered the parties to try to work something out.
Oing yesterday said he "would have no problem deciding this case," and that "not everybody's going to be happy about it," according to the New York Post.
"I still believe we live in a free-market society and the best decisions are made by the business people," the newspaper quoted Oing telling the courtroom.
MSLO told Reuters that Stewart held a "productive conversation" yesterday with Lundgren prior to the mediation order. "We view today's actions as a positive step forward," MSLO said in a statement. Reuters said Macy's had no comment.

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