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Judge rejects Oberlin College request to move town-gown lawsuit to another county

Judge rejects Oberlin College request to move town-gown lawsuit to another county

Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit to stay in Oberlin College’s home county, a place the college considers hostile territory.

Oberlin College and its Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo are defending a lawsuit brought by the local Gibson’s Bakery after in incident in which three Oberlin College students were arrested for shoplifting.

Oberlin students launched protests and a boycott of the bakery claiming racial profiling of the students. The college itself cut off business with the bakery, and the lawsuit alleges, assisted in helping organize the protests. The three students eventually pleaded guilty, but that didn’t stop the controversy. The boycott continued even after police released data showing there was no racial profiling in shoplifting arrests at the bakery.

The community rallied around the bakery:

See these posts for extensive details and documentation on the dispute:

These posts detail the legal proceedings and Oberlin’s failed attempt to get part of the case dismissed:

Once it was clear the case would continue in full, Oberlin College asked the court to move the case out of Lorain County, the college’s home county. The motion to transfer venue alleged that negative media coverage had poisoned the jury pool and the college could not get a fair trial:

Despite Defendants’ lack of involvement in the protests, and their concern for Oberlin College and the Lorain County community, the media coverage within Lorain County of this case and the events giving rise to it has been sensationalized and has not been accurate or impartial.

As a result, the jury pool has been poisoned and Defendants Oberlin College and Dr. Meredith Raimondo cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in Lorain County, Ohio.

Accordingly, Defendants respectfully request that this case be transferred without delay to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Oberlin also cited the comment sections of news articles as reflecting the local public mood, though it would be hard to prove how many were by local people, since the Gibson’s case received national media attention.

The initial reporting of the lawsuit swiftly turned the tide of public opinion within Lorain County against Oberlin College and Dr. Raimondo. Readers of local newspapers forcefully declared how they would rule in any trial. For example, the two daily Lorain County newspapers included these disturbing comments:

• “I hope Gibsons wins this lawsuit”;
• “The college, by their breach of contract, has punished Gibsons, . .. have, they punished any of the students involved, or did they just give them a hug?”;
• “Gatta go with a Jury Trial. .. Juries can multiply damages”;
• “They [Plaintiffs] should have asked for a LOT more”;
• “Good!! I hope the owners of the store win and win big-time”;
• “Hope they win … Take down the Clown College”; and
• “Hey Oberlin open up your wallet and dig deep.”

As mentioned in my prior post, I didn’t think Oberlin has much of a chance on the motion:

This all seems weak to me. Any high publicity case anywhere gets a lot of media coverage. It’s a high bar to hurdle to prove the jury pool has been so tainted that a fair trial cannot be had.

A bigger problem, though one that doesn’t require transfer, is that a large number of people in the local community will be excluded. Anyone with personal or family ties to Oberlin will be excluded. So too would anyone who knows the Gibson family or even shopped at the store.

There’s no reason that the remaining jury pool would be legally biased. The socio-economic profile of that remaining pool may not be favorable to Oberlin College, and may not appreciate the accusatory nature of Oberlin’s defense against a business that caught shoplifters. But that doesn’t require a change of venue.

In a ruling posted on the court’s electronic docket, the court denied the motion to transfer:

This all sets up a classic town-gown battle taking place when Oberlin College is under mounting financial pressure due to declining enrollment after a decade of aggressive social justice activism, and also faces a federal court lawsuit from an expelled male student.

So the case is going to go forward in Oberlin College’s home county, a place the college considers hostile territory.


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karma is a witch

Oberlin made this bed, now they can do whatever in it.

The Friendly Grizzly | April 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

I’d love to see Oberlin squeezed really, really hard.

As the losses mount for them, is it too much to hope that Oberlin at some point will have an epiphany and come to see the error of their ways? These are, supposedly, highly educated people after all.

As a measure of levity, Michelle Malkin is an Oberlin alumna. To my experience, she’s not at all like those folks.

Ironically, it is Oberlin and activists who are making color judgments a.k.a. “diversity” classifications. The long-term damage to individuals, relationships, communities, and society, from the progress of institutional diversity (e.g. racism) should not be underestimated.

“Get woke, go broke”, as another law professor blogger likes to say.

At this point Oberlin’s lawyers should be BEGGING the college to settle.

1. I’d like to see the bakery hit them with the civil rights suit
2. I’d really like to see that converted into a criminal case, against officers of the college, for inciting violence or intimidation against the bakery. Like their favorite congresswoman (Maxine) said, we have to do the trial to see what they’re guilty of.

Since when is a college administration supposed to act like a delusional mother when their students are accused of misbehavior? Only parents, usually mothers, are allowed to get away with saying “My child would NEVER do that!!! The rest of the world is kind to such people only because they are mothers, not because anybody believes them. There is no reason to add college administrators to the people we give a pass on that kind of poor judgment.

Would it be impolite to snicker? (snickers anyway)

Now that it is admitted as common knowledge that Oberlin’s own county hates Oberlin will it finally dawn on its heavily-in-debt students that the Oberlin degree in SJW-bullying that they are sacrificing years and borrowed treasure to acquire might actually be seen by employers as a negative rather than a positive?

That’s right kids: you are giving up the price of a house in order to make LESS money. You couldn’t possibly be a DUPE could you? A pawn of literal communists who have been saying forever that they have to break a few eggs to make an omelet? You are the broken eggs, your whole cohort.

Because laws are something da man created to oppress da bruthas with.

Have you noticed that this BS rarely existed before OVomit was elected president ? The Criminal BLM and other “entitled” groups really believe they can pervert the Law and continue their Crime spree without being held accountable. The Liberal Colleges/Universities and Professors can enact their hated as well. Sue the Crap out of them !!!

I hope the bakery winds up owning Oberlin.

    David Breznick in reply to gourdhead. | April 20, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Agree. Soon it will be renamed: “Gibson College (f/k/a Oberlin College)”

    rabidfox in reply to gourdhead. | April 21, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I read somewhere several months ago that the bakery owns some land that Oberlin wanted. The article speculated that Oberlin’s approach may have been a way to try to pressure the bakery into ‘settling’ by selling the land.

This had better end soon because if it doesn’t I’m going to succumb to my need for more Gibson’s candy. Can I sue Oberlin to recover my gym membership?

Did Oberlin Administration never give a thought to unintended consequences before they began their knee-jerk racism claptrap?

People are tired of being called racist, they are tired of the PC and Twaddle people stomping on the rights of people to disagree or simply to call the cops on some dang shoplifters.

That’s the problem when your only tool is a hammer – you perceive every event as a nail.

Oberlin is losing money now. They may, and should, lose more. Maybe they should offer a course in “How to Shoplift Without Getting Caught.”

My sympathy to young people who went there to get an education and got this idiocy.

Hey, I went there and I am nothing like them.

To me, everything in the SJW world is a facade, and some of them know that removing one brick will bring it all down. They simply cannot settle. While I wouldn’t call them principled, they will hold to this one principle to the bitter end. When, not if, they lose this case, they will continue the double-down pattern of blaming everyone but themselves, because their biggest fear is that the alumni see them as incompetents not worthy of being stewards of contributions. They cannot settle because at this point I would expect the plaintiffs to only entertain amounts in the $3+M zone. The punitive aspect of this suit, to send a message that it is not OK to shout racism willy-nilly, is where the big bucks will enter the picture. Oberlin has an endowment of around $800M and I could see a jury looking at those deep pockets and saying, 1, maybe 2% is something that they can do without. So the Oberlin administration is likely thinking that a possible double digit $M penalty can be leveled against them. But if they try to settle for even middle $M amounts now, it sends a message that THEY knew all along that they were wrong and yet did nothing to mitigate the damage, which the alumni will not like at all. Isn’t it amazing how not having the humility to quickly admit one is wrong and make a simple apology allows things to get completely out of control. Perhaps a 12 step group, liberalanon, is needed for these moments.

For the time being, Oberlin is stuck with Raimondo. I hope she enjoys her final year there because employment down the road will likely be limited to Greendale. I am certain that her employment will end within 30 minutes of the verdict.

I wonder if Oberlin will sue their counsel for not telling them to act like adults.

Gibson’s or SBux?Gee who handled it better for the equal application of law?

Gibson’s or SBux?Gee who handled it better for the equal application of law?

Sorry little application of comment system

Why would shopping at the store prevent being on the jury?

Oberlin is the latest example of why cement-filled soda cans are the best drink Antifa can give their friends and classmates, and enemy guest speakers. The police think they are the best protest tool to teach democratic valuess that thay will allow from the hooded air-head students. “Stay thirsty my friends.”

The irony of this trial being scheduled for May 1 was lost on me until yesterday.