In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Minnesota Closing Arguments Tomorrow -- How Long Until The Very End?

The election-contest proceeding operates under a loser-pays system -- so if Coleman loses, his campaign committee would have to pay all the legal costs of Team Franken. Those numbers aren't publicly available, but Schultz estimates it at anywhere between $1-3 million.

And it's also normal procedure in such civil cases, Schultz explains, for a losing party that appeals to then be served a court order requiring them to place in escrow the amount for which they are currently liable. So if Franken's lawyers are smart people -- and nobody would doubt that they are -- Schultz sees it as very likely that they would seek to force Coleman's committee to procure millions of dollars up front just so they could start an appeal. "I think it's very likely -- not a certainty but very likely -- a court would agree with that," said Schultz, "for the Coleman campaign to provide the costs and legal fees."

And after some additional legal wrangling, a decision like this could effectively end it: "A one-two combination of asking for the escrow, and having the money dry up because of the credit-card problem, that could very well dictate how far he goes."