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FASCISM Oberlin College Attempts to Silence Journalists over Critical Reporting
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  1. #1
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    Oberlin College Attempts to Silence Journalists over Critical Reporting

    Oberlin College has recently taken legal action as part of their effort to silence journalism by website Legal Insurrection that has portrayed the school in a negative light.

    Legal Insurrection, an online legal blog and news site, reported this week that Oberlin College has filed a subpoena against the site, demanding its communications with confidential sources for the site’s past reporting on the college. The subpoena primarily focuses on a Legal Insurrection report about Gibson’s Bakery, which filed a lawsuit against the college after college officials encouraged students to boycott the bakery.

    In addition to the issues listed above, Legal Insurrection also has reported on a dispute between Oberlin College and a local bakery, Gibson’s Bakery, in Oberlin, Ohio. Legal Insurrection has reported on the arrest of three African-American Oberlin College students at the bakery for shoplifting, protests by students, faculty and staff of Oberlin College alleging racial profiling, boycotts of Gibson’s by the Oberlin College community including by the college itself, Oberlin town community reaction to the protests, the eventual conviction of the three students, and a lawsuit brought by Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

    The College has decided that they should request the communications between Gibson’s Bakery and Legal Insurrection. The site reports that if the legal system grants such information to the school, it would significantly impede on their ability to report on the college in the future.

    Breitbart News reported this week that Oberlin College is facing “negative” ratings from credit agencies, potentially as a result of their sympathies for social justice activism. At the end of June, the Bond Buyer reported that the left-wing college was facing financial issues as a result of decreased enrollment.

    https://www.breitbart.com/education/...cal-reporting/
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  2. #2
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    Here's hoping they (Legal Insurrection) got their information verbally, rather than in print.
    My Message to the Fake Stream Media......
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  3. #3
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    14 Update...

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/0...erlin-college/

    VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College
    Comments Permalink



    Posted by William A. Jacobson Friday, June 7, 2019
    Punitive damage phase to start next Tuesday, which could increase the damages to $33 million.



    The Jury in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case has reached a verdict.

    According to our reporter in the Courtroom, the jury awarded $11 million. Here are the details: Allyn W. Gibson was awarded $3 million, David Gibson $5.8 million, Gibson Bros. $2,274,500. Next Tuesday there will be a separate punitive damages which could be a double award (meaning tripling the $11 million to $33 million).



    Judge John Miraldi reading Jury Verdict
    (clarification) Meredith Raimondo was held liable on the libel and interference with business relations, but not intentional infliction of emotional distress. By stipulation, the college is responsible for any amounts awarded against her, so she will not pay anything out of pocket.
    We followed this case from the start of the protests, through the lawsuit process, and now trial. Here’s my statement:

    The verdict sends a strong message that colleges and universities cannot simply wind up and set loose student social justice warriors and then wash their hands of the consequences. In this case, a wholly innocent 5th-generation bakery was falsely accused of being racist and having a history racial profiling after stopping three black Oberlin College students from shoplifting. The students eventually pleaded guilty, but not before large protests and boycotts intended to destroy the bakery and defame the owners. The jury appears to have accepted that Oberlin College facilitated the wrongful conduct against the bakery.

    We will have interviews and video later. We will update this post as more information becomes available.



    Four generations of Gibsons after Jury Verdict

    As previously posted, I was amazed at the tone-deaf and demeaning approach of Oberlin College to this family business. Oberlin College claimed the Bakery was worth only $35k, less than one semester at Oberlin College:

    I’m still shaking my head at the tone-deafness of the defense in belittling this family business which has sustained five generations of Gibsons, and at the time of the protests sustained three generations: 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson, his son David Gibson, and his grandson Allyn D. Gibson. There also were almost a dozen employees. After the protests, the Gibsons stopped taking salaries and most of the employees have been laid off. This is real life to these people. To say that the business was worth only $35,000 erases the lives of these people. Maybe it’s just the plaintiff’s lawyer in me coming out, but I’d cross examine this defense expert and college president, and show in closing argument, the tuition, room and board charges at Oberlin College. This business, which has been an important feature of the community since 1885, is worth less than one semester at Oberlin College?
    This case is bigger than just this case, and reflects reflects Higher Ed disconnect from the lives of most Americans:

    First, from the start of this case I have questioned the aggressive and demeaning attacks on the Gibsons as a defense strategy. There is no evidence that the Gibsons did anything wrong, unless you consider stopping people from stealing something wrong. That lawful act of protecting one’s property nonetheless has devastated a 5-generation business because of Oberlin College racial politics. Gibson’s Bakery survived two World Wars, the Depression, the turmoil of the 1960s, and the so-called Great Recession, but it may not survive Oberlin College’s social justice warriors and their faculty and administrative enablers. If the jury understands this, the other pieces of the case fall into line, factually and legally.

    Second, I never cease to be amazed at the arrogance of the college community as reflected in the defense that Gibson’s Bakery was close to worthless. It’s the arrogance of the credentialed. A business that is in its 5th generation, and that currently supports three of those generations, is something of value. A business that employed almost a dozen local employees prior to this incident is something to value. Ultimately the jury will have to put a monetary value on the dramatic drop in business, and the loss of reputation of the individuals, but to demean the business the way was done is maddening.

    Scott Wargo, spokesman for Oberlin College, provided the following comment in response to my inquiry: “The College does not have a comment.”

    Oberlin just sent this blast email:

    Dear Members of the Oberlin Community:

    I am writing to update you on the lawsuit that Gibson Bros., Inc. filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas in November 2017.

    Following a trial that spanned almost a full month, the jury found for the plaintiffs earlier today.

    We are disappointed with the verdict and regret that the jury did not agree with the clear evidence our team presented.

    Neither Oberlin College nor Dean Meredith Raimondo defamed a local business or its owners, and they never endorsed statements made by others. Rather, the College and Dr. Raimondo worked to ensure that students’ freedom of speech was protected and that the student demonstrations were safe and lawful, and they attempted to help the plaintiffs repair any harm caused by the student protests.

    As we have stated, colleges cannot be held liable for the independent actions of their students. Institutions of higher education are obligated to protect freedom of speech on their campuses and respect their students’ decision to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Oberlin College acted in accordance with these obligations.

    While we are disappointed with the outcome, Oberlin College wishes to thank the members of the jury for their attention and dedication during this lengthy trial. They contributed a great deal of time and effort to this case, and we appreciate their commitment.

    Our team will review the jury’s verdict and determine how to move forward.

    Donica Thomas Varner
    Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary



    I wonder if this statement can be used against the college in the punitive damage phase. They have learned nothing, and still are blaming the Gibsons for this.

    Dan McGraw, who was in the courtroom, reports:
    When the verdict was read by the judge, four generations of the Gibson family — from 11-year-old Cashlyn to 90-year old Allyn W. “Grandpa” Gibson — hugged each other behind their plaintiff’s courtroom table. They are a hardy bunch, and did not cry or show too much emotion — no wailing or crying by this family — but as one who has watched them for over a month now, you could see a burden had been lifted from their shoulders.

    It was the culmination of their life being blown up and their state of living being pushed upside down ever since three students from Oberlin College shoplifted at their store on Nov. 9, 2016.

    Their reward for calling the police on the shoplifters was being tagged as racist by the Oberlin College students who protested their actions. And for Oberlin College to support those actions of defamation. Two-and-a-half years later they feel somewhat vindicated, as an Ohio jury saw what Oberlin College did to them was wrong and slapping them with an $11 million judgement for doing so.

    “I am at a loss for words,” 64-year-old David Gibson told Legal Insurrection in an exclusive interview. “Two-and-a-half years of putting up with this has been very difficult and overwhelming. I just want to let people know across the country that this can happen to anyone else, but we stayed and worked together as a family and fought against this. In many ways, what we wanted from Oberlin College the jury gave to us. They said we were not racists and that the college should have said so when all this started.”

    “I thank the jury for seeing what we have seen from the beginning of this,” he said

    Owen Rarric, one of the lead attorneys for the Gibson’s, also pointed out that this case has national implications in this time of cultural debate.

    “The jury saw that Oberlin College went out of their way to harm a good family and longtime business in their community for no real reason, and the jury said we aren’t going to tolerate that in our community any more,” Rarric said. “The college kept saying we don’t control our students. But the jury told them that we can tolerate some of this from time to time, but not what you did this time.”

    Lee Plakas, who handled much of the month-long trial and who gave the closing argument, said this case “is a national tipping point.”

    “What the jury saw is that teaching students and having them learn how to be upstanding members of the community is what colleges are supposed to do, not appease some students who they are afraid of,” Plakas said. “People around the country should learn from this, that you can use the legal system to right the wrongs, even if the one doing the wrong is some huge institution who thinks they can do anything they want.”

    Roger Copeland, a retired Oberlin College professor of theater and dance, was in the courtroom and seemed ecstatic after the jury came back with their verdict. Prof. Copeland is somewhat famous in the courtroom for getting this response on a Raimondo text to co-workers after a letter-to-the editor he wrote was critical of the school for their handling of the Gibson’ affair. “**** him,” Raimondo responded in a text message about Copeland. “I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us.”

    “I’m exhilarated by this verdict,” Copeland said, whose wife Michele worked at the school in food service and testified she was under orders by the school to cut the business off from the cafeteria bagels and pastries they provided because of the student unrest.

    “What is most amazing about this trial is that the public was able to see what the process really was in how the school goes about its business,” Copeland said. “It’s almost like the mask has been ripped off the face and we can now see what the face really looks like.”

    BACKGROUND
    For background on the case, see here.

    The plaintiffs are Gibson Bros. Inc. (the Bakery), 90-year-0ld Allyn W. Gibson, and his son, David B. Gibson. The defendants are Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

    Here are the counts that went to the jury:

    Count 1: Libel
    Count 3: Tortious Interference with Business Relationships
    Count 4: Tortious Interference with Contracts
    Count 6: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

    These are the jury interrogatories the jury had to follow to reach a verdict:

    Gibson Bros Inc. Jury Interrogatories

    Allyn W. Gibson Jury Interrogatories

    David R. Gibson Jury Interrogatories

    The short version of this story is that the day after the 2016 election victory by Donald Trump, a black male Oberlin College student was stopped for shoplifting wine at Gibson’s Bakery and Market in downtown Oberlin, OH. Gibson’s had been in existence since 1885, was frequented by students, and also provided baked goods to the college dining halls. A scuffle ensued that was joined by two black female Oberlin College students accompanying the male shoplifter and apparently acting in concert with him. All three eventually would plead guilty to shoplifting and aggravated trespassing, and would avow that Gibson’s was not engaged in racial profiling.

    But before those guilty pleas, students at the college immediately declared that Gibson’s was guilty of racial profiling, and large protests were organized outside the bakery. Flyers were passed out claiming Gibson’s was “racist” and had “a long account of racial profiling and discrimination.” The Oberlin College Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo allegedly participated in handing out the flyers in front of the bakery. The Oberlin College Student Senate also passed a resolution claiming Gibson’s “has a long history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of students and residents alike.” The college administration allegedly helped spread this student senate resolution.

    Students started a boycott of the bakery, initially joined in by the college. The college eventually resumed business with the bakery, but then terminated that business after the lawsuit was filed.

    Gibson’s and its owners sued the college and Raimondo for libel, tortious interference with business relationships and contracts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass. Gibson’s alleged long-term damage to its business and reputation for the allegedly defamatory accusations and other torts. The plaintiffs in closing argument asked the jury to award $12.8 million in compensatory damages.

    Here are our some of our posts when the protests against Gibson’s started, along with the early litigation history:

    Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back
    Oberlin College halted purchases from Gibson’s Bakery targeted by #BlackLivesMatter, but may reconsider
    Gibson’s Bakery sues Oberlin College over racial profiling accusations, Oberlin cuts business ties
    Oberlin College lashes out at Gibson’s Bakery, portrays itself as victim
    Court: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College can continue in full
    Oberlin College: We can’t get a fair trial in our home county
    Judge rejects Oberlin College request to move town-gown lawsuit to another county
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College — Trump 2016 win stoked student protests over shoplifting incident day after election
    Putting Social Justice Warfare on trial: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College heading to trial.
    Here are our trial posts:

    Juror perceptions of reputation and social media emerge in questioning
    Opening Statements: Claims of War and Peace
    Trial Day 1 – “It was a mob mentality out there”
    Trial Day 2 – “I don’t know” may come back to haunt the defense
    Trial Day 3 – To “unleash the students” or not, that was the question
    Trial Day 4 – As protests grew, Mrs. Gibson was “very nervous and afraid”
    Trial Day 5 – 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson testifies “some threats made to us”
    Trial Day 6 – What’s a bakery worth?
    Trial Day 7 — Damages Expert says Show Gibson’s The Money!
    Trial Day 8 — “my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist”
    Trial Day 9 – “the business never came back”
    Defense motion for directed verdict DENIED, case going to the jury
    Alumni Weekend – Oblivious alums in for a shock if college loses
    Trial Day 10 – It depends upon what the meaning of the word “support” is
    Trial Day 11 – Don’t let them eat Gibson’s cake
    Trial Day 12 – Defense says Bakery worth only $35k, less than one semester at Oberlin College
    Trial Day 13 — Defense expert declares Gibson family 5-generation bakery history “irrelevant”
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College trial reflects Higher Ed disconnect from the lives of most Americans
    Judge keeps out politics, but Town v. Gown frames the case
    Verdict this week?
    Closing Argument: “When a powerful institution says you are racist, you are doomed”
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
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  4. #4
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    Oberlin was once a great college.
    Some of the statements from Oberlin seem to be contempt of court.
    Keep talking, Oberlin, let us know how you and your agents really feel.
    SS
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  5. #5
    I would never send a kid to Oberlin. In-laws of in-laws of mine did that during the Trayvon/Ferguson years. And yes the family is leftist. They were proud of her activism. Then she enrolled in one of the big schools in Michigan for graduate work. This famiy had the means to do that. She lasted less than a month. Let me tell that the transition from undergrad to grad school is a whole lot easier than going from high school to undergrad. And these schools love paying students. Something went way wrong. Oberlin has lost any concept of preparing students to deal with reality.

  6. #6
    Oberlin was great once? Don’t have any personal knowledge, but always thought it was just a bunch of Commies...faculty and students, at least since the 1960’s.

  7. #7
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    Examining Post 3 (Minn. Smith) it is apparent that the Gibsons had a VERY good lawyer.

    Well organized, thoughtful, insightful, and now rich.

    Well, lawyer will get his cut.

    The decision couldn't have happened to a better College.

    Or rather wouldn't.

    Their failing was becoming an agent for social change. Which like many agents, can be co-opted.

    Dobbin
    I hinnire propter hoc ecce ego

  8. #8
    Oberlin has been and remains nothing more than a training ground for the up and comers for the American communists …. errr leftists that have been intent on destroying American values and undermining the country's republic.

    Sadly, it is not just private schools that have participated in this self-destruction of the founders republican ideals that are the underpinnings of the country, they have infested most major public tax funded colleges and universities. The disciples these leftists turned out have spread through out almost all public schools nationwide, clear down to the elementary schools.

    It is a full blown war for the hearts and minds of the youth and so far conservative and republican principles are the losers.

  9. #9
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    I recall reading somewhere (The Hidden Hand?) that Oberlin was used by communists back in the 20s or 30s to start training college teacher-bound students in the fundamentals of socialism and communism. That way, the communists would worm their way into indoctrinating generations of college students and on down to the grade schools eventually. Looks like their plan worked most excellently...
    ” Watch ye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man”
    Luke 21:36

    COLLAPSE NOW: avoid the rush

  10. #10
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    With the exception of Con (Conservatory), Oberlin has primarily been where rich moms sent their daughters to get their wild oats handled and PERHAPS get some education. Now, having said THAT they have/had a FINE Liberal Arts School, and did a BANG UP JOB of educating Social Sciences folks (Psych, Sociology, etc.) History and Literature as well. Several of my friends were progressing through Oberlin, in Language (German, French, etc) History etc.

    the folks from Con were always a tad "different" though.

    I'm not even a LITTLE surprised at their issue with the store. NOR at the results, nor the Admenstruation's conduct or response.



    Heck, if someone is familiar with the School, I have in my dim dark past spent more than a few weeks at either Pyle or Asia House...
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  11. #11
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    They did my wedding cake. I'm glad they won.
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    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8:38-39

  12. #12

    Oberlin is a Activist training ground

    Think triple damages is the only way to get their attention.

    Let them live with the consequence of their radical activism and bully tactics.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    Oberlin College has recently taken legal action as part of their effort to silence journalism by website Legal Insurrection that has portrayed the school in a negative light.

    Legal Insurrection, an online legal blog and news site, reported this week that Oberlin College has filed a subpoena against the site, demanding its communications with confidential sources for the site’s past reporting on the college. The subpoena primarily focuses on a Legal Insurrection report about Gibson’s Bakery, which filed a lawsuit against the college after college officials encouraged students to boycott the bakery.

    In addition to the issues listed above, Legal Insurrection also has reported on a dispute between Oberlin College and a local bakery, Gibson’s Bakery, in Oberlin, Ohio. Legal Insurrection has reported on the arrest of three African-American Oberlin College students at the bakery for shoplifting, protests by students, faculty and staff of Oberlin College alleging racial profiling, boycotts of Gibson’s by the Oberlin College community including by the college itself, Oberlin town community reaction to the protests, the eventual conviction of the three students, and a lawsuit brought by Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

    The College has decided that they should request the communications between Gibson’s Bakery and Legal Insurrection. The site reports that if the legal system grants such information to the school, it would significantly impede on their ability to report on the college in the future.

    Breitbart News reported this week that Oberlin College is facing “negative” ratings from credit agencies, potentially as a result of their sympathies for social justice activism. At the end of June, the Bond Buyer reported that the left-wing college was facing financial issues as a result of decreased enrollment.

    https://www.breitbart.com/education/...cal-reporting/


    Breitbart needs to send a copy of their reporting on this to the dean and staff.

  14. #14
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    They didn’t arrest the students because they were black. They arrested the black students because they were committing a crime, is that about right?
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    It’s a real pisser when your belief system gets T-boned by reality.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    They didn’t arrest the students because they were black. They arrested the black students because they were committing a crime, is that about right?
    Depends on which glasses you're wearing. But yes, sounds right to me.
    Better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.

  16. #16
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    VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College

    Justice served.....

    Now this needs to happen across America....

    Texican....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squid View Post
    Think triple damages is the only way to get their attention.

    Let them live with the consequence of their radical activism and bully tactics.
    Regretfully their endowment is such that paying out this award won't hurt them at all. It is more of an emotional defeat for them than economic.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainBiker View Post
    Regretfully their endowment is such that paying out this award won't hurt them at all. It is more of an emotional defeat for them than economic.
    Not exactly. Insurance company has told them they're on their own.
    This WILL leave a few bruises.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texican View Post
    VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College

    Justice served.....

    Now this needs to happen across America....

    Texican....
    Absolutely right,!!
    Sue 'em again, Harder,Harder!!
    Post 2016, there are areas where we will get a fair shake in the Courts.
    If you have been discriminated against because of your race or religion, sue, sue, sue.
    SS
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  20. #20
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    Oberlin is doubling down 9on stupid./
    They have the bucks to hire good attorneys.
    The punitive damages part of the trial is not over.
    At this rate, Oberlin could end up being renamed as the Gibson's Bakery Bible College.
    SS

    'Oberlin College mass email criticizing Jurors could influence Punitive Damages Hearing in Gibson’s Bakery case

    Posted by William A. Jacobson Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 10:00am

    Publicly accusing jurors of disregarding “the clear evidence our team presented” when the trial is not over is another baffling move by Oberlin College.

    There are a lot of things about the way Oberlin College handled the Gibson’s Bakery dispute and lawsuit that have had me wondering who, if anyone, is in control over there.

    As mentioned numerous times, “from the start of this case I have questioned the aggressive and demeaning attacks on the Gibsons as a defense strategy,” and “I’m still shaking my head at the tone-deafness of the defense in belittling this family business.” The jury seems to have agreed, rendering a combined $11.2 million compensatory damages verdict against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

    The next stage is a punitive damages hearing, since the jury found the defendants acted with intent and malice. A separate punitive damages hearing is required under the Ohio Tort Reform legislation that passed several years ago. The point is to keep some of the more inflammatory evidence that does not go to liability or compensatory damages away from the jury during the initial deliberations. That additional evidence relevant to punitive damages could include information as to the wealth of the defendants, but also additional information supporting the need for punishment.

    In this context, there is nothing more baffling than a statement sent to alumni after the verdict by Donica Thomas Varner, Oberlin College’s Vice President and General Counsel.

    The statement was contained in a mass email sent to alumni (and possibly others) criticizing the jury verdict and repeating the same stale defenses that failed at trial (emphasis added):

    Dear Members of the Oberlin Community:

    I am writing to update you on the lawsuit that Gibson Bros., Inc. filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas in November 2017.

    Following a trial that spanned almost a full month, the jury found for the plaintiffs earlier today.

    We are disappointed with the verdict and regret that the jury did not agree with the clear evidence our team presented.

    Neither Oberlin College nor Dean Meredith Raimondo defamed a local business or its owners, and they never endorsed statements made by others. Rather, the College and Dr. Raimondo worked to ensure that students’ freedom of speech was protected and that the student demonstrations were safe and lawful, and they attempted to help the plaintiffs repair any harm caused by the student protests.

    As we have stated, colleges cannot be held liable for the independent actions of their students. Institutions of higher education are obligated to protect freedom of speech on their campuses and respect their students’ decision to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Oberlin College acted in accordance with these obligations.

    While we are disappointed with the outcome, Oberlin College wishes to thank the members of the jury for their attention and dedication during this lengthy trial. They contributed a great deal of time and effort to this case, and we appreciate their commitment.

    Our team will review the jury’s verdict and determine how to move forward.

    Donica Thomas Varner
    Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

    Procedurally, the email is baffling because the trial is not over. The jury will hear more evidence and render a verdict on punitive damages that could add another $22 million to the $11 million compensatory. The objective of any communications at this sensitive stage must be to first do no harm. That’s how Scott Wargo, Oberlin’s spokesman, handled it when contacted by me and other media after the verdict, indicating the college had no comment on the jury verdict. Wargo’s statement was the professional response one would expect in this circumstance, so why are others at the college not heeding that basic corporate communications strategy?

    Substantively, the email is infuriating to anyone who has followed the case. Oberlin College and Raimondo were not “held liable for the independent actions of their students.” Rather, the defendants were held liable for their own conduct in aiding and abetting the publication of libelous documents, interference with business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Let me repeat, it was the college’s and Raimondo’s own conduct that was at issue before the jury. That the General Counsel of Oberlin College doesn’t understand that — even if she disagrees with the jury conclusion — tells me something went very wrong with the way this case was handled internally at Oberlin College.

    Varner began serving as Oberlin College’s Acting General Counsel on June 5, 2017, and was appointed General Counsel in March 2018. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in the General Counsel’s Office at the University of Michigan. This means that while she was not at Oberlin College when the protests took place, she was General Counsel starting several months before the lawsuit was filed in November 2017. Given her position, she likely would have been the administrator at Oberlin College overseeing outside counsel’s handling of the case. Depending on what her role was in overseeing the failed litigation (effectively, she was the “client”), she may not be the best person to be involved in communications strategy post-verdict.

    I saw this phenomenon when I was in private practice representing employees against securities firms, which usually had in-house counsel involved in termination decisions. When the in-house counsel who advised as to termination also showed up overseeing the litigation, I knew there were going to be problems because that person had an interest in defending his or her own termination advice, rather than providing a cold, disinterested litigation assessment.

    We would have to know more about Varner’s involvement in overseeing the litigation. But if she was the key point person at the college as to the litigation strategy, she may not be the right person to handle corporate communications.

    Someone with such deep experience as Varner should have known better than to send out such a statement in the middle of trial, particularly on the cusp of a punitive damages hearing. I understand the college felt the need to say something, but first do no harm. Simply send out a mass email, since alumni were going to hear about the verdict through the news, indicating that the college cannot comment since the trial is ongoing, and that more information will be provided after the trial is over. Or express a vague regret at the verdict and respect for the jurors.

    But for heaven’s sake, don’t make things worse.

    Don’t accuse the jurors of disregarding the “clear evidence,” don’t repeat the same failed claim that the college administrators were simply keeping the peace and protecting free speech when numerous witnesses testified otherwise, and don’t claim the college was held liable vicariously when in fact the college’s own conduct was at issue.

    The post-verdict email could be Exhibit A at the punitive damages hearing as to why the compensatory damages are not sufficient to send a message to Oberlin College and its administrators. Whether it will be an exhibit we’ll find out on Tuesday.

    [
    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/0...s-bakery-case/
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  21. #21
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    Donica Thomas Varner - GTR

    https://www.oberlin.edu/donica-varner


    Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

    Office of the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
    Contact

    Cox Administration 100
    Donica.Varner@oberlin.edu
    440-775-8401

    Biography

    Donica Thomas Varner is an experienced litigation attorney and higher education law practitioner with over 23 years of professional experience representing and advising public and private employers. Prior to joining Oberlin, Donica served as associate general counsel and practice group leader for the faculty, staff and student legal practice group in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel at the University of Michigan.

    Donica began her legal practice with Detroit based law firms representing public and private employers in the areas of employment and labor law. Donica left private practice to join the legal staff at Wayne State University where she represented the university in trial and appellate courts, regulatory investigations, and labor negotiations. She then joined the legal staff at the University of Michigan in 2002 where her practice focused on student affairs, employment, immigration, litigation, and international engagement issues. She is a graduate of S.H.A.P.E. American High School in Belgium, North Carolina State University with a degree in political science, and the University of Michigan Law School.
    Too many high power executive luncheons? Or maybe too much delegation of legal defense to affirmative action underlings.

    Dobbin
    I hinnire propter hoc ecce ego

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbin View Post
    Too many high power executive luncheons? Or maybe too much delegation of legal defense to affirmative action underlings.
    Too much anything-goes-cuz-we-be-victims mentality. Oberlin is not her client, it's the financial vehicle she climbed aboard to advance her cause. If Oberlin crashes in flames, it's nothing to her.
    Better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    Not exactly. Insurance company has told them they're on their own.
    This WILL leave a few bruises.
    Oberlin has a $900 million endowment. Paying out $11 million isn't going to hurt them in any meaningful way. It is instead a hit to their SJW ego is all.

  24. #24
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    ...I graduated high school in 1961 and Oberlin was thought of as a college town known for easy women and a leftist school. Even then you were warned the police were controlled to some extent by the college. The college was the only major employer for the town.
    1 7 7 6

    Time for a change


    AGAIN

    .................................................. ......................

    "But when a long train of abuses and usurpation s, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government"

    My Blog :http://www.humilityclarityandcourage.com/

  25. #25
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    Well, it's LIKELY to be closer to 44 mil with the punitive multiplier, and THAT would be a significant hit, given how endowments work. That isn't just money in an account somewhere. It's likely being put to work reasonably hard.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    Well, it's LIKELY to be closer to 44 mil with the punitive multiplier, and THAT would be a significant hit, given how endowments work. That isn't just money in an account somewhere. It's likely being put to work reasonably hard.
    It is also possible the school dumps millions from that endowment into tuition assistance. They have about 2,800 students. They charge about $73K for room, board, and tuition for the academic year. If no students received assistance from the school/endowment, then the school takes in $204M/year. The school is likely set-up to need all that revenue because there are already reports of revenue shortfalls available on-line. If the school doles out $20M/year to help with tuition, then yea the $11M won't be a huge issue, but if they dole out $50M/year, or even closer to $75M/year, then $11M stings, but doesn't put them under.

    So the $11M-$44M won't really hurt. I doubt any judge lets stand such a huge verdict anyway. They might even settle it and end up just paying out a couple of million to all four anyway. The lawyers get paid, the school saves money, the owners are wealthy and can put it all behind them. What is likely to hurt more is the negativity, the constant mention of just how costly the school is, etc.. They start losing some trust fund kids to other universities, they could be in serious trouble.

  27. #27
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    Oberllin begs to differ, as they claim they are raggedy ass poor.
    All the Oberlin women are wearing flour sack dresses, fat, barefoot and pregnant by someone but still can't cook.
    SS


    June 13, 2019
    Oberlin College pleads poverty to jury deciding on punitive damages

    By Thomas Lifson

    Yesterday saw the president (salary: over half a million dollars) of Oberlin College (with an endowment of $887.4 million) plead poverty to a jury in Lorrain County, Ohio (median household income: $54,932), urging them not add punitive damages of up to $22 million to the $11 million already awarded to Gibson’s Bakery. (For background on the case see this, this, and this.)



    Daniel McGraw, who sat through the entire trial for the Legal Insurrection Foundation, summarized Oberlin’s defense yesterday:

    …here is the essence of Oberlin College’s defense today:

    Gibson’s lawyers spent considerable time going over Oberlin College’s IRS Form 990, showing over $1 billion in assets and numerous employees earning over $100,000, They also got the Vice President and General Counsel of the college to admit to some of the content of the blast email she sent out soon after the compensatory verdict, including that she felt the jury disregarded the “clear evidence,” though they were not permitted to show the jury the letter itself under a prior court ruling.

    The defense then argued that notwithstanding the Form 990, the college had cash flow and liquidity issues that would make a large punitive award difficult for the college. The defense compared the relatively poor financial condition of Oberlin College to other colleges and universities in Ohio. The defense argued that students would be harmed by a large verdict because the college might have to cut back on grants given to students. (snip)

    But at any time when one tries to define the monetary value of anyone – large institution or ordinary person – it usually comes down to how one might interpret what such fun terms as “revenues” and “expenses” and “deficits” actually mean. Sometimes those terms get interpreted in different ways to get the dollar number one wants.

    Oberlin College was so hellbent on getting the message out that their cash liquidity was in such dire straits — as the eight-person jury was figuring out if they wish to add $22.4 million to the school’s legal verdict bill — that they brought out the school’s president, Carmen Twillie Ambar to the stand to tell that part the story.

    We’ve created deficits … and over the next ten years, if this continues, that is unsustainable and we will not exist,” Ambar told the jury. She even indicated the school’s grants — about $60 million a year from the school, and lots of students get those scholarships as only 10% of them pay the full $70,000 a year — were important to preserve as “the accessibility of education” was a key component of the school’s purpose.

    For about four hours, it felt like a divorce court proceeding where one of the spouses was claiming they had no assets to divide. Even though they had a Rolls Royce car in the garage and a nice yacht at the marina.

    But of course it is not a divorce, it is a proceeding intended to signal to the nation, especially to the college administrators of the country, the costs of reckless catering to politically correct radical students making false claims of racism.

    Sammy Westfall in the Toledo Blade:

    Punitive damages are meant as both a punishment for the college and a deterrent for similar future conduct — not only for Oberlin, but to keep “any other institution from committing similar acts,” [Gibson’s lawyer] Mr. Plakas said. He said that the deterrence aspect of the case is the most important aspect for himself and the nation.

    He told the jury that the punitive damages determined will “protect everyone else in our country, in our state, in our community – protects them to ensure that they don’t have to go through what the Gibsons went through.”

    “If indeed there was interest, if indeed you come across stories in the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or FOX News on TV or CNN or Wall Street Journal … why do you think they would have been and are so interested?” Mr. Plakas asked the jury.

    Mr. Plakas submitted to the jury that national interest in the case has arisen because of a “national tipping point” spurred by twin purposes: How society is recognizing a “changing atmosphere” in the country and how words have become weapons, and the importance of our educating youth properly.

    With all its assets, Oberlin would not be bankrupted by a judgment totaling $33 million, but it would have to make a lot of cuts to programs and maybe to scholarships. Institutional decline is the more likely outcome, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorialized:

    Oberlin is at a crossroads. It must take stock and correct course — no more political correctness for the sake of appearances or image, no more defense of student misbehavior. The college must admit that it erred and that the owners of the bakery acted as any business owners would under similar circumstances. More shenanigans like this could put Oberlin out of business at a time when so many liberal-arts schools are struggling to fill their classrooms.

    That’s what happened to Antioch College, also once a distinguished Ohio liberal arts school. It was overcome with unthinking and fashionable leftist radicalism and it made itself a joke. Now it is a pale shadow of its former self. Is this the route Oberlin would like to go?


    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog...e_damages.html
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  28. #28
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    ...Oberlin will never change!
    1 7 7 6

    Time for a change


    AGAIN

    .................................................. ......................

    "But when a long train of abuses and usurpation s, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government"

    My Blog :http://www.humilityclarityandcourage.com/

  29. #29
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    She even indicated the school’s grants — about $60 million a year from the school, and lots of students get those scholarships as only 10% of them pay the full $70,000 a year — were important to preserve as “the accessibility of education” was a key component of the school’s purpose.
    More important than one's public standing and accessibility to a market? And the school did nothing to protect this, actively limited this, and in fact agents of the school attended protests which damaged the business?

    An alternative view can be seen at https://www.forbes.com/sites/evanger.../#4a1c3365534b The author correctly identifies that the Oberlin Legal Action will affect other higher learning institutions.

    Perhaps they need affecting?

    Dobbin
    I hinnire propter hoc ecce ego

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbin View Post
    The author correctly identifies that the Oberlin Legal Action will affect other higher learning institutions.

    Perhaps they need affecting?

    Dobbin
    Thus PUNITIVE damages. "Pour encourage les autres,"
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  31. #31
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    Whoo Hoo!!
    Max punitive damages allowed by law!
    The ignominy is extra.
    SS

    'Oberlin College hit with maximum PUNITIVE DAMAGES (capped at $22 million by law) in Gibson’s Bakery case

    Posted by William A. Jacobson Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 3:23pm

    Added to $11 million compensatory damages, brings total to $33 million

    The jury just rendered its verdict on punitive damages in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case.

    Daniel McGraw, our reporter in the courtroom, reports that in addition to the $11.2 million compensatory damages awarded last Friday, the jury awarded a total of $33 million in punitive damages, which will probably be reduced by the court to $22 million because of the state law cap at twice compensatory (it’s not an absolute cap, but probably will apply here). That brings the total damages to $33 million. We will have the breakdown soon. The jury also awarded attorney’s fees, to be determined by the judge.

    The breakdown was:

    David Gibson – $17.5 million punitive damages

    Allyn W. Gibson — $8.75 million punitive damages

    Gibson Bros. Inc. (the Bakery) – $6,973,500 punitive damages

    MY STATEMENT about the verdict:

    Oberlin College tried to sacrifice a beloved 5th-generation bakery, its owners, and its employees, at the altar of political correctness in order to appease the campus ‘social justice warfare’ mob. The jury sent a clear message that the truth matters, and so do the reputations and lives of people targeted by false accusations, particularly when those false accusations are spread by powerful institutions. Throughout the trial the Oberlin College defense was tone-deaf and demeaning towards the bakery and its owners, calling the bakery nearly worthless. The jury sent a message that all lives matter, including the lives of ordinary working people who did nothing wrong other than stop people from stealing.”

    MORE TO FOLLOW
    EARLIER

    In closing argument, Gibson’s lawyer Lee Plakas argued:

    “Why is the country watching you. Because the country agrees that what happened to the Gibsons should not happen to anyone, but could happen to everyone.”

    Colleges are watching us and you. Because they all know the way colleges are run will be affected, and by your decisions, they will be”

    Plakas ended by reading to the jury the poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by John Donne

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    Defense attorney Rachelle Kuznicki argued:

    “We cannot change the past, we can learn from it.”

    “This will impact people who had nothing to do with the protest …, it also means less students who are not able to afford a college education will be able to do so.”



    [


    Legal Insurrection Prior Coverage

    We had the most extensive coverage of this dispute and trial. Below are many (but not all) our prior posts, which serve as something of a historical record of this case.
    Pre-Trial Posts:

    Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back
    Oberlin College halted purchases from Gibson’s Bakery targeted by #BlackLivesMatter, but may reconsider
    Gibson’s Bakery sues Oberlin College over racial profiling accusations, Oberlin cuts business ties
    Oberlin College lashes out at Gibson’s Bakery, portrays itself as victim
    Court: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College can continue in full
    Oberlin College: We can’t get a fair trial in our home county
    Judge rejects Oberlin College request to move town-gown lawsuit to another county
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College — Trump 2016 win stoked student protests over shoplifting incident day after election
    Putting Social Justice Warfare on trial: Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit against Oberlin College heading to trial.

    Trial Posts:

    Juror perceptions of reputation and social media emerge in questioning
    Opening Statements: Claims of War and Peace
    Trial Day 1 – “It was a mob mentality out there”
    Trial Day 2 – “I don’t know” may come back to haunt the defense
    Trial Day 3 – To “unleash the students” or not, that was the question
    Trial Day 4 – As protests grew, Mrs. Gibson was “very nervous and afraid”
    Trial Day 5 – 90-year-old Allyn W. Gibson testifies “some threats made to us”
    Trial Day 6 – What’s a bakery worth?
    Trial Day 7 — Damages Expert says Show Gibson’s The Money!
    Trial Day 8 — “my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist”
    Trial Day 9 – “the business never came back”
    Defense motion for directed verdict DENIED, case going to the jury
    Alumni Weekend – Oblivious alums in for a shock if college loses
    Trial Day 10 – It depends upon what the meaning of the word “support” is
    Trial Day 11 – Don’t let them eat Gibson’s cake
    Trial Day 12 – Defense says Bakery worth only $35k, less than one semester at Oberlin College
    Trial Day 13 — Defense expert declares Gibson family 5-generation bakery history “irrelevant”
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College trial reflects Higher Ed disconnect from the lives of most Americans
    Judge keeps out politics, but Town v. Gown frames the case
    Verdict this week?
    Closing Argument: “When a powerful institution says you are racist, you are doomed”
    VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College

    Post-Verdict Posts

    The Internet Reacts to Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College Verdict
    EXCLUSIVE: Oberlin College insurer likely to reject coverage for Gibson Bakery $11 million verdict
    Oberlin College mass email criticizing Jurors could influence Punitive Damages Hearing in Gibson’s Bakery case
    Oberlin College’s identity crisis led to its Gibson’s Bakery train wreck
    What the media is getting wrong about Gibson’s Bakery libel verdict against Oberlin College
    On eve of punitive damages hearing, college plays victim

    Punitive Damages Hearing Posts

    Punitive Damages Hearing – Judge Denies Attempt to use College Blast Email Criticizing Jury
    $11 Million Verdict for Gibson’s Bakery stands: Judge denies Oberlin College motion for a mistrial
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College: “The jury held accountable an unhinged progressive activist college …
    Oberlin College to Jury: We’re cash poor and big punitive award to Gibson’s Bakery will hurt students
    Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Punitive Damages VERDICT WATCH

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/0...s-bakery-case/
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  32. #32
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    The story that hit my phone here was treble punitive damages making it 44 mil...


    Gibson Bakery to Oberlin College: "Bend over, baby, WE'RE DRIVIN'!!"
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  33. #33
    This probably one of the best things that could have happened for the colleges and universities who were watching. You know that after the Mizzou disaster they have been looking for ways to get their SJW's on a choke chain. Declining enrollments are a problem everywhere.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Shacknasty Shagrat View Post
    “We’ve created deficits … and over the next ten years, if this continues, that is unsustainable and we will not exist,” Ambar told the jury. She even indicated the school’s grants — about $60 million a year from the school, and lots of students get those scholarships as only 10% of them pay the full $70,000 a year — were important to preserve as “the accessibility of education” was a key component of the school’s purpose.
    This right here is what I always wondered. Not many people, even the lower level "rich," are going to dole out $280K for their kid to go to college. So the college is basically using donations from rich alumni to fund their operations. This isn't shocking, but elite, costly colleges like Oberlin have to rely more on their huge endowments to keep the status quo going.

    So really, a huge $33M verdict is a blow to them. That is almost half of their operating funds for an entire academic circle. If they are taking $60M/year from their endowment, that $900M won't last that long. I think they know that even worse times are coming. It is much harder to go out and become super wealthy anymore. The colleges know this, and they know the era of people leaving them $1M here, $5M there are over.
    Last edited by Ravekid; 06-14-2019 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Costs of the college fixed. Thanks night driver!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravekid View Post
    This right here is what I always wondered. Not many people, even the lower level "rich," are going to dole out $280K/year for their kid to go to college.
    280K for FOUR years, not per year...
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  36. #36
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    14 Update...

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/0...s-bakery-case/

    Oberlin College denied new trial in Gibson’s Bakery case

    William A. Jacobson Tuesday, September 10, 2019

    “the Court finds that the amount awarded is not manifestly excessive nor does it appear to be influenced by passion or prejudice”



    "In the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case, the judgment for the plaintiffs amounted to almost $32 million in damages and defendants were required to post a $36 million bond to secure the judgment pending appeal.

    Before appealing, Oberlin College filed two post-trial motions, a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (pdf.) and Motion for a New Trial (pdf.), as explained in our post, Oberlin College Seeks New Trial in Gibson’s Bakery Case.

    Gibson’s Bakery responded with an Opposition to the Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (pdf.), and Opposition to the Motion for a New Trial (pdf.), as explained in our post, Gibson’s Bakery: Oberlin College’s request for a new trial is “baseless”.

    Judge John Miraldi has ruled, denying both motions. The Order Denying Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (pdf.) and Order Denying Motion for New Trial (pdf.) are embedded at the bottom of the post.

    In the JNOV Order, the Court ruled in pertinent part:

    Judgment notwithstanding the verdict is only appropriate where, when the evidence is construed most strongly in favor of the nonmoving party, reasonable minds can come to one conclusion, and that conclusion is adverse to the non-moving party. See McMichael v. Akron General Medical Center, 2017-Ohio-7594, ,r 1 O (Ohio Ct. App. 9th Dist.); see a/so Goodrich, at ¶ 11.

    The Court has reviewed and considered the parties’ respective briefs and applicable precedent and, after construing the evidence most strongly in Plaintiff’s favor, the Court does not find that the Defendants are entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Accordingly, Defendants’ Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict is denied.

    In the New Trial Order, the Court ruled in pertinent part:

    Ohio Civ. R. 59(A) empowers a trial court to grant a new trial when a party has been awarded “[e]xcessive or inadequate damages, appearing to have been given under the influence of passion or prejudice”. Tesar Indus. Contractors, Inc. v. Republic Steel, 2018-Ohio-2089, ¶¶ 31 (Ohio Ct. App. 9th Dist.) (internal citations omitted).

    Having considered the parties respective briefs and arguments and applicable precedent, the Court finds that the amount awarded is not manifestly excessive nor does it appear to be influenced by passion or prejudice. Accordingly, Defendants’ Motion for a New Trial or Remittitur is denied.

    In neither Order did the Court address what I found to be the only “interesting” issue, the jury verdict form on compensatory damages that found no “actual malice,” yet the jury considered bad intent as part of punitive damages. Apparently the Court did not find it sufficiently interesting to address separately. Perhaps it’s not actually an interesting or effective argument by defendants, since they sought a bifurcated compensatory/punitive damages trial which precluded plaintiffs from presenting evidence relevant to punitive damages during the compensatory phase. In this bifurcated setting, to hold that a ruling as to actual malice during the compensatory phase could preclude consideration of the issue for punitive damages would be circular and allow defendants to defeat punitive damages as to defamation without plaintiffs having been able to present evidence on the issue.

    There was a third court ruling, denying plaintiffs’ request for prejudgment interest. Prejudgment interest is available in Ohio upon a showing of bad faith in the litigation. The Court’s Order Denying Prejudgment Interest (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post) held in pertinent part:

    This case has been pending since November of 2017, and the Court has been highly involved in nearly every phase of the litigation, including presiding over several in-person pretrials, a lengthy final pretrial, and ultimately the six-week trial that concluded this case. Through this involvement, the Court frequently interacted with the parties’ respective counsel, and was thoroughly familiar with their positions and strategies as they evolved throughout the litigation. Ultimately, the parties were unable to reach a resolution. But, from the Court’s perspective, this was not a product of the Defendants’ bad faith, as contemplated by Ohio Revised Code § 1343.03, it was simply a case where the parties’ dispute of the issues and application of the law required a trial of those issues. The correspondence that makes up nearly all of the parties’ evidentiary materials is consistent with that finding and with the Court’s observation above. Accordingly, and as stated above, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Prejudgment Interest is denied.

    I have not had a chance to review the voluminous papers submitted as to settlement negotiations, and may follow up with a post about that later.

    Now what? Appeal."
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
    A man should only take a wife whose Bible includes Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Colossians, Malachi, Isaiah, Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Proverbs, Mark, Peter & Revelation. Ecclesiastes 7:28 (NIV) tells him the odds.

  37. #37
    Here's hoping they actually collect.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Texas & Florida
    Posts
    12,866
    Quote Originally Posted by Yogizorch View Post
    Here's hoping they actually collect.
    In real estate.
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
    A man should only take a wife whose Bible includes Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Colossians, Malachi, Isaiah, Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Proverbs, Mark, Peter & Revelation. Ecclesiastes 7:28 (NIV) tells him the odds.

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