Every so often, when an athlete finds himself in trouble with the law, those smoothies on Sportscenter are forced to bring in bespectacled experts to help aid viewers in understanding the many legal ramifications of that given case. And they confuse everyone. Well, we've got our own, far less crusty expert. Meet Nathan Soderstrom, an associate at some fancy Midtown firm. His analysis on the video from yesterday's story is below and we're told it's quite expensive. Since our pockets aren't exactly deep, we've struck a deal to pay him in cheeseburgers instead. That's fair.
Two points. First, the defendant presented an extraordinarily weak defense. Especially given that the entirety of the plaintiff's claim rested on a) a single eyewitness account (by the plaintiff) and b) pictures of a tv on the ground, this should not have been that difficult a case to defend. However, Coward's defense of "I was pretty wasted, but, I don't think I've ever killed a cat" was unconvincing--he should have denied liability with a bit more conviction. Further to that point, Coward's reaction of "honestly? honestly?" upon Judge Judy's finding for the plaintiff was surprising, given, that, again, his defense was composed entirely of his claim that he was pretty wasted, but did not think that he had ever killed a cat.
Also, Judge Judy's refusal to allow Coward's witness to testify was interesting. Especially in light of the fact that, after the conclusion of the "trial," Coward's ex-boyfriend claimed that "the cat died...it was a mercy killing, because Kate never fed the cat." This statement would tend to indicate that Coward, indeed, killed the cat. And he would have been liable, as a "mercy killing" is not a defense to, or justification for, animal cruelty/abuse in any American jurisdiction. However, the initial statement was followed by the claim that "Jonathan didn't kill the cat...because we only smash stuff outside." So, best case scenario for Coward, his witness's testimony would have been disregarded by Judge Judy due to these inconsistent statements. All in all, Coward presented a very, very poor defense.