Oberlin College served a subpoena duces tecum on us, seeking our communications with sources related to our reporting on a lawsuit by Gibson’s Bakery against the college and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

We went to court seeking to quash the subpoena and for a protective order, as we described in our prior post, Oberlin College subpoenas journalist’s communications (ours):

As readers are aware, Legal Insurrection has reported more extensively on events at Oberlin College over the past several years than almost any other website.

Among other things, Legal Insurrection has engaged in reporting on the following issues related to Oberlin College:

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….

In the Gibson’s lawsuit, Oberlin College served subpoenae upon counsel for Gibson’s Bakery, seeking, among other things, communications between Gibson Bakery’s lawyers and the media….

The Ohio court denied Oberlin College’s motion to compel, and granted plaintiffs’ attorneys’ motion for a protective order….

Having been denied access to the communications by the Ohio court, Oberlin College served a Subpoena Duces Tecum (pdf.) in New York State on WAJ Media LLC (the entity that does business as Legal Insurrection).

The Subpoena purports to seek records to which the Ohio court already has denied Oberlin College access, namely, communications between the attorneys for Gibson’s Bakery and WAJ Media….

The attempt to gain access to our communications with sources posed a threat to our ability to report on present and future controversies at Oberlin College, so we sued.

We have gone to court in New York State Supreme Court,  Tompkins County, seeking a protective order and to quash the Subpoena on the grounds, among others, that our communications are protected by the New York State constitution and common law, and the New York Press Shield Law.

See the Affirmation of Wiliam J. Troy, III, Esq. (pdf.) and Memorandum of Law (pdf.)….

The Judge assigned to the case has signed an Order to Show Cause (pdf.)… setting a hearing for August 17. This Order to Show Cause is not a ruling on the merits, but a scheduling order.

Oberlin College’s Ohio legal counsel in the Gibson’s case has notified our counsel that the Subpoena was being withdrawn in response to our legal challenge. That withdrawal was confirmed yesterday in a letter to the court (pdf.) from Oberlin College’s New York counsel:

Dear Mr. Troy:

May this correspondence confirm that consistent with your conversation with William Doyle, Oberlin College’s Ohio counsel, Oberlin College is withdrawing the subpoena issued to WAJ Media LLC dated June 7, 2018 in the Gibson Brothers, Inc. vs. Oberlin  College et al matter (Supreme Court: County of Lorain Case No: 17-CV-193761). As a consequence, this should obviate the necessity of the hearing on August 17, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. before Hon. Gerald A. Keene. We will assume unless otherwise advised that the hearing is cancelled.

By copy of this correspondence we are advising Judge Keene of the withdrawal of the subpoena.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

Very truly yours,


Shout out to Bill Troy, Esq., Legal Insurrection reader, Ithaca attorney, and trial lawyer, for assisting us in protecting our communications from prying eyes.


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