Patterico's Pontifications


Legal Insurrection: Bakery v. Oberlin College

Filed under: Law,Political Correctness — DRJ @ 10:29 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Two years ago:

Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back:

Community rallies around Gibson’s Bakery after student boycott alleging racial profiling in shoplifting arrest.

This week:

Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College.

Oberlin Loses Big Week in Higher Education:

The Gibson Bakery vs. Oberlin College case ended this week and Oberlin lost. Big time.

Plus Oberlin insurer news and more about the bifurcated hearing on punitive damages.

Read it all.


21 Responses to “Legal Insurrection: Bakery v. Oberlin College”

  1. “The college claimed in their closing argument that these were student publications, and the school had nothing to do with them and therefore was not part of those messages sent out.”

    If only Oberlin could claim Section 230 immunity, like YouTube and Facebook. Who’s with me on this?

    Munroe (c9b32e)

  2. Legal Insurrection has been following this from the beginning. The lawyer for the bakery is Greek — Lee Plakas, and I’d bet that the Lee is for Leonidas.

    If you guys click no other link in the post, click the last one, “punitive damages”, to witness the ignorance, the arrogance, the self-entitledness, of the Oberlin administration, and to agree that it had it coming and in spades.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. This is big. Those demonstrating SJW mopes are mostly judgment-proof, but if their deep-pocket university enablers can find themselves liable for millions ….

    nk (dbc370)

  4. From the college’s letter after the verdict, it sounds as if they intend to facilitate further free speech actions by their students, and have learned nothing.

    After the punitive damages are assessed, it would be interesting if the Gibsons offered the college some givebacks if they dropped all appeals, terminated the administrators involved, and publicly admitted their errors.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  5. Now thats a Mighty Grand Jury.
    Cheers to the Bakers.

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. “Oberlin College staff — including deans and professors — and students engaged in demonstrations in front of Gibson’s Bakery following the arrests of the three students, the lawsuit stated.

    The suit also said Oberlin Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and other college staff members “handed out hundreds of copies” of a flier to the community and the media stating that Gibson’s Bakery and its owners racially profiled and discriminated against the three students.

    The court documents include a copy of the flier, which included the words “DON’T BUY.”

    “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” the flier read, according to the lawsuit.

    The flier also listed 10 of the bakery’s competitors and urged customers to shop there instead.

    Then in November 2016, the lawsuit stated, Oberlin College said it severed its business ties with Gibson’s Bakery. The shop had provided baked goods for the school’s dining services through a third-party company.”



    That’s pretty darn Woke.

    harkin (470cbb)

  7. “Those demonstrating SJW mopes are mostly judgment-proof….” They may be judgment proof NOW, but probably not forever. Sooner or later they will have to support themselves and their families with gainful employment, and some are in line for a nice inheritance. People who have been damaged by the “SJW mopes” should secure a judgment, then keep renewing it until it is collectible.

    Gary Hoffman (7ec1de)

  8. #wokegoingbroke

    M. Scott Eiland (b16b32)

  9. I’ve been reading the coverage of the trial from day one–the Oberlin witnesses got up on the stand and lied their heads off. At one point, Dean Raimondo, the dean who was out there handing out the flyers with the rest of the social justice warriors, pulled a Bill Clinton and denied providing support to the students–it depended on what your definition of support was. And that was after she had threatened to unleash the students on the store, but thought better of it.

    In fact, these people are so crazy, that one administrator said in an email that she hoped they rained down fire and brimstone on the store–now Oberlin is richly getting all of the fire and brimstone that they deserve.

    I highly recommend all of Legal Insurrection’s articles on this episode as an example of how crazy the colleges are getting, and how not to try a case in front of a jury.

    Rochf (877dba)

  10. The school’s “damages expert” too. Another totally incredible witness. The jury was not going to give the benefit of the doubt to any part of the school’s defense after being lied to so blatantly by those two.

    nk (9651fb)

  11. Are Oberlin’s lawyers in-house? It sure sounds like their entire strategy was dictated by the same crazies that got them in court in the first place.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  12. Click that link:

    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.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. But that’s not how “those people” operate. Court verdicts are the instruments of the Eurocentric White Male Patriarchy. Their instrument is The Narrative. If they can sell The Narrative, they will have won. If they cannot sell The Narrative, they will not have lost as long as they continue to peddle it.

    Who else do you know who is also like that, BTW?

    nk (dbc370)

  14. 11 million is not nearly punitive enough given the number of players acting in concert, the dissolution of both responsibility and liability among the organization and its adherents demands a much greater punishment to be taken seriously.

    Until all of the college administration offices are smoking craters, the fire and brimstone must continue to rain.

    Captain Strong (55bddf)

  15. nk- will the jury be upset over the delay and consider awarding more cash? Will the judge be p.o. and instruct the jury in someway?

    mg (8cbc69)

  16. nk- will the jury be upset over the delay and consider awarding more cash?
    Hopefully not, because it might work the other way.

    Will the judge be p.o. and instruct the jury in someway?
    No! Emphatically no.
    There is a stock instruction given at the beginning of the trial that the judge the and lawyers sometimes have to do things out of the presence of the jury. I doubt that he will repeat it. He might commiserate in a general way and thank them for their patience.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. thanks, nk. you make it easy to understand.

    mg (8cbc69)

  18. My understanding is that the College stipulated that it would indemnify the admininstrator.
    And that the jury trial is about to enter the punitive damages phase.

    IIRC, in some states it violates public policy to indemnify someone for punitive damages. Don’t know the law in Ohio, but that would be a good result. Hurt the culprit where it hurts. Not just have Oberlin write a fat check.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  19. No. 14 — see my comment at 19.

    $ 11 Milion is just the compensatory damages. They are about to do punitives, which could end up trebling (in total) the amount. Meaning there could be $ 22 Million more in punitives.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  20. The jury reached a verdict on punitive damages.

    DRJ (15874d)

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