MyPillow founder’s attorneys bail as he fights $5M ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ challenge award


Mike Lindell

Mike Lindell gives a thumbs up as he passes by a rally for supporters of former President Donald Trump, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

As two of his attorneys withdraw from his case, 2020 election denier and pillow magnate Mike Lindell has been greenlit to appeal a federal judge’s ruling last month affirming he must pay $5 million to a software engineer who defeated an election data challenge that Lindell himself issued.

A clerk filed the notice of appeal in Robert Zeidman v. Lindell Management Inc. on March 22 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Missouri and a briefing schedule followed.

As Law&Crime previously reported, in 2021, the outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump issued a “Prove Mike Wrong” challenge at a South Dakota election fraud symposium. Lindell offered a $5 million grand prize. The challenge was meant for participants to prove him wrong on his claim that election data he provided showed that the Chinese government had interfered in the 2020 election.

Zeidman did prove him wrong in a 15-page report and further showed that the data Lindell was using at the symposium was unrelated, or as arbitrators would come to say, Zeidman showed it “unequivocally did not reflect the November 2020 election data.”

What ensued was a fraught legal battle in arbitration but Zeidman ultimately won out before Lindell moved to vacate the award, prompting Zeidman to appeal for enforcement. A district judge acknowledged the contract for the challenge was “poorly written,” but the arbitrators had acted appropriately and Lindell was simply out of luck.

U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim explained in his February opinion:

Where parties agree to arbitrate, a court cannot substitute a judicial determination for the arbitrator’s decision. Courts may not review the merits of an arbitration award ‘even though the parties may allege that the award rests on errors of fact or on misinterpretation of the contract.’ Even if the Court is convinced that the arbitrator committed serious factual or legal error, so ‘long as the arbitrator is even arguably construing or applying the contract and acting within the scope of his authority,’ arbitration awards must be confirmed.

But with his appeal, Lindell appears undeterred, even though two of his previous attorneys on the case, Andrew Parker and Alec Beck of Parker Daniels Kibort, officially withdrew as his counsel on March 20, a notice filed in the U.S. District Court District of Minnesota shows.

He is now represented by Thomas Miller, a Wayzata, Minnesota, attorney.

Meanwhile, a schedule has now been set for the appeal: transcripts and appendices must be submitted by May 13 along with Lindell Management LLC’s brief.

Miller did not immediately return request for comment.

When reached for comment Tuesday, Zeidman predicted bad news for the pillow executive in an email to Law&Crime.

“Mr. Lindell has zero chance of overturning this arbitration ruling. He is just buying more time, literally, to promote his irrational conspiracy theories. Eventually though, the truth will prevail. Mr. Lindell will have to pay up, and more important, stop his rantings that are hurting America by subverting American principles,” Zeidman wrote.

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