Thomas, Edward and Denise were the only people from Choice to testify. I didn't have any witnesses other than myself and my audio recordings.
When Ohnstad was cross-examining me, he asked the same questions two days in a row, because he forgot what he had asked me the first day. He printed off quotes from one of my blog followers, because his reading comprehension level did not allow him to understand that I did not write them myself. In his closing speech, he took issue with my use the term “baby strippers,” and used it as a way to sway the jury against me. Prior to suing Choice, I reported the club to the labor commission, who told me they didn't have enough resources to investigate. While this fact doesn't mean one thing or another, besides that the labor commission doesn't care about strippers, Ohnstad used this labor commission decision against me as well.
My lawyer delivered a riveting closing speech. From the way the trial went, even though it wasn't perfect, I thought I would win.
Judge Klein did not explain to the jury all of the distinctions in the Economic Realities test, or explain to them that the “Independent Contractor” contract is only one equal factor in a long list of other factors. Lawyers are not allowed to explain the law to the jury.
I was asked if I wanted to receive the verdict in the court room, or to have it emailed to me out of court. I chose to have it emailed to me. While the jury was instructed not to look me up on the internet prior to their decision, my website was visited from a Minneapolis IP address the evening after trial, with the key term “Choice” put into my search bar.
The jury only deliberated for about an hour before making the announcement of their decision. When a jury takes that short of a time period to deliberate, it means there was nobody arguing or fighting on behalf of the losing side.
I decided not to appeal the verdict, because while I had a contingency agreement until that point, that contingency ended after district court. It was unlikely I would have found a lawyer to do a contingency for state court, and I might not have gotten a better result anyway. Even if I did take it to state court to get a result in my favor, the likelihood of Tom paying my legal costs was slim.
I was allowed to have the first and last names of all the jurors. The next few posts will examine these individuals.