There is no question that I have fully enjoyed following the “long and tortured” case of Ventura v. Kyle for some years now on Minnesota Litigator (to quote from the attached order that issued today). Those who know me well know that I am quick to laughter. In fact, I have an apparently bottomless appetite for the absurd. You can simply juxtapose two words like, say, “Governor Ventura,” and you have to pick me up off of the floor. I have to dab my eyes because laughing like that mysteriously brings tears to my eyes.
But this cake really takes the case, does it not?
At the start, it seemed like a platoon of Navy Seals was prepared to swear and testify that Chris Kyle thumped Ventura in a bar fight in San Diego when Ventura vented about his controversial political views at a Navy Seal wake. So things looked bad for Jesse. It seemed like our fearless Seal/Clown ex-leader was simply trying to cast doubt on a silly embarrassing incident, to apply a steak slab to an awkward black-eye, as it were.
In the end, though, it seemed to a jury (and to me, honestly) that Chris Kyle fabricated the entire story and it seemed to the jury (and to me, honestly) that, yes, it is possible to hurt the reputation of someone with a “spotty” reputation (to put it charitably).
Now Jesse gets to go after the cash. Why did defendants fail to post a supersedeas bond as they seek to appeal? Why did they fail to ask the trial court or the Court of Appeals to stay enforcement of the judgment? What was the thinking behind that, I have to wonder?
(As for the apparently slippery seals, one has to be charitable, I guess, and conclude that the band of brothers were “mistaken” in their testimony about the bar fight. Actually, one of the most creative and interesting defenses by Kyle’s lawyers was that maybe Kyle got in a fight with someone who simply resembled Jesse Ventura and mistakenly but not falsely said he had decked Ventura. (Except Jesse Ventura does not look like most people and Jesse Ventura was actually at the bar the night of the supposed incident, so that would be quite a surprising coincidence if a doppelganger just happened to be tailing him. Who knows? Maybe there is a “Jesse ‘The Body Double’ Ventura II?)