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Trial Resumed Monday in Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Martha Stewart Case

Due back in court today were Macy’s Inc and J.C. Penney Co Inc in relation to their legal fight over Martha Stewart home goods, according to Reuters. The trial is taking place in New York state court in regards to whether or not Macy’s has the exclusive right to sell specific products from Martha Stewart.

J.C. Penney’s turnaround plan has been hindered by the legal fight, as it opened its first in-store boutique on Friday. The boutique only had some of the products from Martha Stewart that it was planning to sell.

The three parties, Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc were all ordered into mediation last month by Justice Jeffrey Oing. They were sent to mediation in hopes that they would settle the problem while the trial was in recess due to scheduling issues.

As of Friday, no deal was reached, and witnesses were scheduled to testify on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Marketing executives for J.C. Penney are some of the witnesses scheduled to take the stand in the trial.



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“We’re all reconvening Monday morning,” said Jim Sluzewski, a spokesman for Macy’s. “The trial is scheduled to resume at ten o’clock.”

Spokespeople for J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living declined comment.

An attorney in New York, Steven Gursky, specializes in branded products. Gursky said, “If I was sitting in Macy’s shoes, I’m not sure I’d be willing to compromise. Unless Martha Stewart and J.C. Penney realized they couldn’t take what Martha had already given away to Macy’s, and fold their tents, I don’t know what they have to offer.”

So far, Martha Stewart, Macy’s Chief Executive Terry Lundgren and J.C. Penney chief Ron Johnson have testified in the case. In the testimony, Lundgren said that Stewart never told him she was signing a deal with J.C. Penney. He claims he became sick to his stomach and hung the phone up on Stewart.

“It didn’t occur to me that there weren’t enough customers to go around,” Stewart said.

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