Michael Weinstein has lost his lawsuit against former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt. In other words, of the 5 lawsuits the former Air Force JAG Weinstein has filed since 2005, he has won zero. None have even survived to trial.
Weinstein filed a civil suit against Klingenschmitt in 2009 over the former chaplain’s “imprecatory prayers,” claiming they represented a “terroristic threat” and posed an “imminent danger” to him and his family. As noted here more than two years ago, Weinstein never had a strong case to begin with. His allegations were vague and he undermined his own cause. For example, the only specific evidence he cited were events that occurred prior to Klingenschmitt’s public prayer.
The deposition of Michael Weinstein’s wife, Bonnie, may have done the most damage to the Weinsteins’ case. For example, Mrs. Weinstein was asked if “threats of the acts of vandalism” occurred after Weinstein filed his second lawsuit against the US military in 2008. She gave an emotional reply:
I received email death threats…and then we got the swastikas put on our house. I wasn’t there. My husband and my daughter was there, and then I had to deal with her hysteria, because she was just so traumatized that this would happen. So, yes, it escalated. A lot of things escalated…
She went on to describe the toll the threats were taking on her physically and emotionally in passionate testimony. The personal impact to Mrs. Weinstein was both clear and tragic.
The problem, though, is she just established the fact her husband’s own conduct – his notoriety – was responsible for the threats and vandalism, especially since they occurred before Klingenschmitt uttered a single word in 2009. In other words, Mrs. Weinstein’s sworn deposition indicated Michael Weinstein, not Gordon Klingenschmitt, was the proximate cause of the threats and vandalism.
Court records indicate the judge granted the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment for “causation.” It seems the Weinsteins failed to provide evidence Klingenschmitt was in any way related to a cause of the threats their family received. Weinstein disagrees:
Weinstein said he disagrees with the ruling and, after he sees the judge’s exact wording, “We plan for a very aggressive appeal.”
Of course, Weinstein promised an appeal when he lost in 2006 and yet never filed; in 2010, and yet never filed, and now…well, you get the idea. Weinstein has never appealed, despite his “aggressive” promises.
Because the Weinsteins’ lawsuit was always predicated on threats and vandalism that occurred prior to Klingenschmitt’s prayer, Klingenschmitt alleges the case was frivolous from the start and has asked the court to sanction the Weinsteins for filing a suit based on “claims they knew to be false.”
The press release indicates Weinstein is on the hook for the Defendants’ attorney fees, which may be substantial after more than two years of pre-trial motions. While Weinstein filed the lawsuit in his personal capacity, he used Mathis and Donheiser, the same law firm representing the MRFF, his “charity” and self-employer. If Klingenschmitt wins court costs, Weinstein may have to give himself a temporary raise to cover the costs.
Klingenschmitt has indicated he may now sue Weinstein for defamation.
Weinstein likely filed his lawsuit because he was mad, which is rarely an auspicious start to judicial proceedings. Weinstein has previously demonstrated he has a short fuze when it comes to receiving personal criticism, despite his own penchant for criticizing others in hateful and vitriolic terms (and with lots of adjectives).
In fact, there has been at least one instance in which the time between an article appearing on ChristianFighterPilot.com and a letter being received from Weinstein’s lawyers was measured in only a few hours. The accusatory missive was so hurried it was obvious Weinstein had picked up his red phone hotline and demanded Mathis and Donheiser — the same firm that lost this suit — do something, even if it was to compose a legal demand that wasn’t worth the ink it was printed with.
Time and again Weinstein has demonstrated that he’s little more than an easily offended, and well paid, schoolyard bully. His ill fated lawsuit against Gordon Klingenschmitt was no exception.