ST. PAUL, Minn. - He shocked the political world when he became Minnesota's governor more than 15 years ago.
Jesse Ventura shocked the legal world Tuesday.
"I was surprised because of the number of days this deliberation took place, I really thought we were going to end up with a hung jury," said Jane Kirtley, Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law.
She believed one of the biggest missteps may have been Chris Kyle identifying Ventura in a publicity tour and not in the book.
"For me, the obvious thing is the exploitation of his name as part of a marketing strategy. I think that's really significant here." she said of Ventura. "I think there is a lesson, and it's you better keep your stories straight."
Kirtley was also surprised by the amount of money the majority of the jury awarded Ventura.
"It's very unusual for an unjust enrichment claim in the context of a book or a news story or something like that because that type of speech is generally and absolutely protected by the first amendment," she said.
"This was a big win for Jesse Ventura, not just a small win," added Joel Nichols, associate dean at University of St. Thomas – School of Law.
While it's unclear if attorneys will appeal the verdict, he believes the court's most likely overturn could be the dollar figure, if the ruling is appealed.
"An appeals court might be more willing to second guess the damages award, if they don't agree the jury used the right calculations to come up with a damages award that is this big," said Nichols.
Attorneys for Chris Kyle's estate have only said they are keeping their options open.
Meanwhile, the implications this ruling could have in other cases is unclear.
"Will this be an invitation for other plaintiffs to consider such a claim? Yes. It certainly possible now that Jesse Ventura got this award," said Kirtley.