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Oberlin College subpoenas journalist’s communications (ours)

Oberlin College subpoenas journalist’s communications (ours)

We have filed in court for a protective order and to quash the subpoena served by Oberlin College in the lawsuit against it by Gibson’s Bakery.

http://interactive.tegna-media.com/video/embed/embed.html?id=2421497&type=video&title=Store%20shoplifting%20incident%20sparks%20protests&site=95&playerid=6918249996581&dfpid=32805352&dfpposition=Video_prestream_external%C2%A7ion=home

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. 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 Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

The following articles, among others, were published at Legal Insurrection regarding the Gibson’s dispute and lawsuit:

Earlier this year, Oberlin College requested that the venue of the trial of the Gibson’s lawsuit be moved out of Lorain County, arguing that Oberlin College could not receive a fair trial in its home county due to alleged prejudicial pre-trial publicity. As detailed in Oberlin College’s motion to transfer venue, the Gibson’s controversy received widespread local and national media coverage.

The court electronic docket in the Gibson’s lawsuit reflects that the motion to transfer venue was denied:

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:

Produce any and all Documents that refer, relate or pertain to the following:

1) All communications between You and the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

2) All documents that You sent to or received from the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

3) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding requests for information or comment from the News Media.

4) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding responding to requests for information or comment from the News Media.

5) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding releasing any information to the News Media.

6) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding requests for information or comment from the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

7) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding responding to requests for information or comment from the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

8) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding releasing any information concerning the Lawsuit to the News Media.

9) All communications between You and any Person concerning the Lawsuit.

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:

Produce any and all Documents that refer, relate or pertain to the following:

1) All communications between You and the Tzangas Law Firm concerning the Incident, Demonstrations, or the Lawsuit.

2) All documents that You sent to or received from the Tzangas Law Firm concerning the Incident, Demonstrations, or the Lawsuit.

3) All communications between You and the Krugliak Law Firm concerning the Incident, Demonstrations. or the Lawsuit.

4) All documents that You sent to or received from the Krugliak Law Firm concerning the Incident, Demonstrations, or the Lawsuit.

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.)(full embeds at bottom of post).

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

We will keep you informed as the case progresses.

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WAJ Media v. Oberlin College – Order to Show Cause dated July 5, 2018.pdf by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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WAJ Media v. Oberlin College – Affirmation in Support of Protective Order.pdf by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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WAJ Media v. Oberlin College – Memo of Law in Support of Protective Order by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

[Featured Image: Screenshot Oberlin College Protest]

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Comments

kenoshamarge | July 6, 2018 at 11:10 am

I am certainly not a legal expert and understand the law most of the time about as well as your average Mallard duck – but this appears to me as a frantic flailing.

If not, what am I missing?

    Tom Servo in reply to kenoshamarge. | July 6, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t think you’re missing anything. This entire line of attack on the part of Oberlin assumes that LI was part of an Evil, Nefarious Conspiracy to unfairly besmirch Oberlin’s Good Name.

    Because obviously LI must be an alt-right neo-nazi site, or something.

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | July 6, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      No, it doesn’t. It merely assumes, or suspects, that the plaintiffs have been waging a media war to besmirch their client’s name in advance of the trial. The recipients of these communications, including but not at all limited to LI, are not suspected of having done anything wrong.

        JohnC in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

        Milhouse – As a casual mostly lurker on this sight for years I have noticed that pretty much the only time you make a comment it’s to disagree. Seriously. I can skim down a comment section and if I see your avatar I can be certain it will be followed with something along the lines of, “No, it isn’t.” “And what’s wrong with that?” “You’re wrong.” “Nonsense.” Etc.

        Is it because you don’t feel that agreement is worthy of bother? Do you get a deep sense of satisfaction from telling people you believe them not only mistaken but foolish as well? It just seems odd that all you do is disagree. Are you just an ornery cuss or is there more to it than that?

          Another Voice in reply to JohnC. | July 7, 2018 at 1:21 am

          A sincere apology on my fat finger <1 vote of your comment to Milhouse. If possible, I'd post a correcting 3 up votes to validate a much needed rendered opinion on his contributions to the conversations…He's the guy who doesn't just have an opinion in a conversation, he has a monologue. At a party, you avoid him.

          its because hes a fking idiot. notice how most people just ignore him usually? its due to not wanting to debate a retard.

          krb in reply to JohnC. | July 9, 2018 at 1:42 am

          Actually I’m a long time reader but never commented and registered specifically to respond to your comment. I scroll through all the comments UNTIL I get to milhouse. He never shoots his mouth off. When he knows something to be true and someone declares the opposite he makes a sensible logical argument. Usually after someone writes something that isn’t so and usually only in his area of expertise. I assume he is a lawyer because he writes most forcefully about the law. And that he is a Torah observant Jew as I recall he may have mentioned as am I. But his are the comments i looks forward to most because they are the most logical and least emotional though i agree it would be frustrating to be on the wrong end of his comment as he often seems logical correct and sometimes a downer!

          As an aside to milhouse, you should have an easy fast and you should increase the quality and amount of your mitzvos and tzedeka that you merit to bring an end to this golus and merit to bring King Moshiach speedily and in our days!

          ultraskeptic in reply to JohnC. | July 9, 2018 at 8:46 am

          Your acerbic critique of Milhouse’s targeted, thoughtful insights is classic on-line bluster. You demand that people submit scads of mindless repetition, postulating that the absence of such echoic tripe makes any thoughtful response meaningless due to its clear focus and controlled application. That is exactly why online dialogue is so wasteful. Milhouse seems to present exactly the informative dissent which would make for efficient and valuable insight to those of us who might benefit from thinking about opposing points of view. Particularly when that opposing point of view makes more sense than the party line which often flows in anonymous online columns.
          It’s too bad you object to analytical reasoning, thoughtful insight, and brief rejoinder. Your preference for fawning acceptance of mistaken explanations is common, and the single most powerful reason that democracy is an institution which fails because it is conducted by humans, the most irrational of species.

      kenoshamarge in reply to Tom Servo. | July 7, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Thank you for responding.

      And here I was oblivious, after all the time I’ve been coming here, that this was an alt-right, neo-nazi blog. Silly old me.

      Of course that might be because I have read extensively about the Holocaust and the evil of the Nazi regime. Whereas many screaming “Nazi” whenever they encounter someone that disagrees with them are clueless.

    casualobserver in reply to kenoshamarge. | July 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    The left is the master of law warfare, commonly phrased as lawfare now.

    I suspect the college’s attorneys had two motivations > Scare LI > and provide headlines for discounting credibility. There isn’t any other obvious reason to take such a frivolous action to me.

    One way the evidence is mounting that lawfare is vital for the left is the way all of the Trump associates caught in Mueller’s web are labeled now. Never mind there is no official prosecution nor any charges related to conspiracy. They are tainted now. Criminals. Admitted criminals. Felons. Liars. Crooks. Pick your terms and run with it……

When I was a boy they had something in this Country called Attorney-Client Privilege.

    Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | July 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    They still do. What’s it got to do with this? Oberlin is not seeking privileged communication between Gibson and its attorneys, it’s seeking communications between Gibson’s attorneys and the news media, which is certainly not protected by the attorney-client privilege.

    WAJ is claiming a different privilege, one that may not have existed when you were a boy, and still doesn’t exist in US law, but was invented by the NY legislature (and those of many other states): the “reporters’ privilege”. This newfangled privilege ought not to exist, but since it does it seems obvious that WAJ is entitled to its protection.

      Geologist in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Milhouse, the subpoena issued against the Bakery’s attorneys certainly invaded both the atty client privilege and the atty work product rule, as I understand them. (I do NOT know Ohio law.)

      Geologist in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Categories 3, 4 and5 sought attorney – client communications.

    counsel in reply to MattMusson. | July 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    New York does have a very strong “Press Shield” policies. Perhaps the strongest in the nation. Milhouse might want to read the Court of Appeals Decision in the Jana Winter case.

      Milhouse in reply to counsel. | July 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Um, why would I want to do that? What made you suppose I was not aware of NY’s law? How could I not be, since it’s the whole point of this post, and I mentioned it in the very comment you replied to? In addition, all the relevant precedents are cited in the memo of law embedded in the post. So how could anyone reading this not be aware of it? Really, I am at a loss as to what point you think you’re attempting to make.

        Liberty Bell in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm

        You might want to do that so you could actually learn something instead of viciously shooting from the lip. Unlike you, the New York State Court of Appeals in the Winter decision mentioned the First Amendment and its importance. But of course you know better.

          Milhouse in reply to Liberty Bell. | July 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm

          The NY State Court of Appeals could mention The Faerie Queen or the UN Charter, for all I care. It is not the interpreter of the US constitution.

          It’s well established by th US courts that the first amendment to that constitution does not give the reporting trade any special status, freedom, or privilege, let alone this one. Therefore Oberlin’s accepting federal money doesn’t create a first amendment issue.

          counsel in reply to Liberty Bell. | July 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm

          Once again another legal faux pas.

          The NY State Court of Appeals could mention The Faerie Queen or the UN Charter, for all I care. It is not the interpreter of the US constitution

          The New York State Court of Appeals is the final arbiter of the application of New York State Law. The Court of Appeals interpretation of the United States Constitution may be reviewed in only one forum: the Supreme Court of the United States.

DouglasJBender | July 6, 2018 at 11:12 am

As a compromise and sacrifice, offer them all communications between myself and Gibson Bakery instead.

Good stuff, Prof.! Apparently, Oberlin is represented by idiots.

assemblerhead | July 6, 2018 at 11:21 am

Lawfare as usual.

The Ohio judge might not be amused if the Ohio court is informed about this.

If this request is NOT squashed …. expect them to go after LI’s donator / commenter records. Can’t do targeted harassment without them.

    ahad haamoratsim in reply to assemblerhead. | July 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

    After the Ohio court’s protective order, how is the SDT not frivolous? How is it not contempt of the Ohio court?

    And how is the original request for production not frivolous in seeking attorney-client communications and attorney work product?

    Oberlin’s attorney’s need to be slapped with plaintiff’s attorney’s fees for the protective order, and LegalInsurrection’s atty. fees for the show cause proceedings.

      karl_lembke in reply to ahad haamoratsim. | July 6, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      When I was working as an office temp, one of my assignments was at the law firm defending property owners in a bad-faith insurance class action. One of the tasks I had was typing court depositions into the computer for easier searching.

      It was interesting to watch the gyrations the lawyers would go through trying to ask a question, hoping if it was phrased *this* way, the judge would finally allow it.

      I would not be surprised if the judge were to tell the lawyer,
      “You may not ask it from a box,
      “You may not ask it wearing socks,
      “You may not ask it with a cow,
      “You may not ask it anyhow!”

    Milhouse in reply to assemblerhead. | July 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    If this request is NOT squashed …. expect them to go after LI’s donator / commenter records. Can’t do targeted harassment without them.

    Why would they want those? On what grounds do you accuse them of an intention to harass anyone?

    After the Ohio court’s protective order, how is the SDT not frivolous? How is it not contempt of the Ohio court?

    How is it contempt? The OH court said they couldn’t get these records from the lawyers; it didn’t forbid them from trying to get them elsewhere. What authority would it even have to do so if it wanted to?

    And how is the original request for production not frivolous in seeking attorney-client communications and attorney work product?

    They’re not seeking attorney-client communications, they’re seeking communications between the attorney and third party. If not for NY’s reporter privilege law that would seem fair game; therefore as far as OH law is concerned it would surely still be fair game.

      stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Milhouse, buddy, you’re not living up to your mentor’s middle name — OF COURSE the whole idea is to get donor/commenter lists, PRECISELY so that they can, if they wish, engage in law fare. They won’t harass anyone on the street (though the women who went after Pruitt in the restaurant might be available for a nominal fee), but they COULD demand documents, bank records, etc. Why? Why not! Sure it’s a legal stretch but they’re already stretching.

      The process is the punishment — a favorite saying amongst those who do this sort of thing.

      I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t fathom a legal need to gain the communications between the opposition lawyers and the media. Of course lawyers talk to the media, it’s all part of the how they shape the public space for their courtroom battles. Good lawyers do it all the time; it’s part of the game. But in the past you rarely saw the other side go after the lawyers for this. Ah, perhaps it was a more gentlemanly time.

      No, the reason to do this is to put the media on notice that they shouldn’t talk with the opposition lawyers, and that riff-raff like you and me shouldn’t make disparaging comments about Oberlin.

      There. I think that will get me subpoenaed.

      ahad haamoratsim in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Milhouse, the first SDT was directed to Plaintiff’s counsel, seeking

      “3) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding requests for information or comment from the News Media.

      4) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding responding to requests for information or comment from the News Media.

      5) All communications between You and the Plaintiffs regarding releasing any information to the News Media.”

      Those sure seem like atty-client communications to me.

      And it sought internal communications within the law firm:

      “6) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding requests for information or comment from the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

      7) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding responding to requests for information or comment from the News Media concerning the Lawsuit.

      8) All communications between or among partners, members, shareholders, associates, paralegals, staff, employees, representatives or agents of the Krugliak Law Firm regarding releasing any information concerning the Lawsuit to the News Media.”

      I don’t do much litigation these days, but that sounds to me like asking for atty. work product.

        Milhouse in reply to ahad haamoratsim. | July 8, 2018 at 12:00 am

        Presumably their application to the OH court would have explained why they should be entitled to those. The court decided their reasons weren’t good enough, but did give them the list of recipients. Why, if not to pursue precisely such motions as this?

      neanderthal in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      If this request is NOT squashed …. expect them to go after LI’s donator / commenter records. Can’t do targeted harassment without them.

      Why would they want those? On what grounds do you accuse them of an intention to harass anyone?

      Because they’re leftists. That’s what they do.

      Too harsh? Then ask yourself the question, why did they harass the bakery over a shoplifting case, and try to accuse them of racial profiling?

      It seems obvious that they started harassing the bakery, and now they have moved on to harassing anyone reporting about their harassment of the bakery.

        Milhouse in reply to neanderthal. | July 6, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        Why would they want those? On what grounds do you accuse them of an intention to harass anyone?

        Because they’re leftists. That’s what they do.

        Attention all those commenters who continually accuse me falsely of ad hominems. This is what an argumentum ad hominem looks like. This is the absolute Platonic ideal of an ad hominem argument. “I know Oberlin’s lawyers wish to harass donors and contributors to Legal Insurrection, because they’re leftists, and any accusation I care to fling at them is likely to be true.” Next you’ll be telling me they poison wells and torture crackers.

        You have no basis for supposing them to have any interest whatsoever in LI commenters or donors, or that they have anything against LI. You don’t even have any basis for supposing they’re aware of LI specifically, rather than merely being aware of WAJ Media as one of a list of media companies that happen to be in possession of the information they would like.

        By the way, how do you know that the lawyers are even leftists? Just because they represent a university whose current leadership happens to be on the left, in a completely nonpolitical lawsuit?

          krb in reply to Milhouse. | July 9, 2018 at 1:48 am

          Poison wells and torture crackers? Awesome! I may be the only one on this thread that knows what your talking about.

It seems the lawyers at Oberlin College don’t know who they’re dealing with.

I’ll get the popcorn ready.

Has any one attending Oberlin or administering it ever met a black life that mattered? I’m not the be all and end all but when I served in Carl Vinson (CVN-70) I actually, wait for it, bunked with a black man. SHUDDA! Now that you are over yourselves, and I’ll give you a minute, let’s continue the hate fest.

As an aside, I do find it interesting that none of the alumni that I have spoken with over the last year are even aware of the lawsuit, and it is certainly never mentioned in any of the solicitations I frequently receive. When the new president was making her Left Coast fundraising tour, I responded that I needed to decline attending the reception lest I feel tempted to ask potentially embarrassing questions about the Gibson’s case. Of course, the college is likely using the old “we can’t discuss an ongoing legal matter” as a justification for not bringing it up at all.

I don’t think Oberlin is being represented by idiots, but I do suspect that Oberlin has consistently gone against suggestions from counsel that they settle quickly and quietly. I went there. I know the exact fanatical types who are in charge, and they could be described as having TDS even before Trump came on the scene. “Often wrong, never in doubt” would be a great way to describe them. I sometimes wonder if a poll of Oberlin administration might reveal a surprising percentage who believe that Hillary is President, or that Obama is still President.

I guess this latest move is yet another double-down in the seemingly endless series. In a way, it really does remind me of the Martha Stewart case, where a quiet SEC settlement and a, to her, insignificant fine could have resolved it quickly. But the ego and arrogance wouldn’t let that happen, and Oberlin, I suspect, will play this out to the bitter end which will result in a huge punitive settlement for basically being a bully and a “pejorative phallic representation.” And then the decrease in alumni contributions will really set in. When the details do come out, it will be very hard to sell the institution on an “image of impeccable integrity.” My SWAG is that the departure of Marvin Krislov as Oberlin president during the initial incident is one way that they can do damage control. It would be very easy to say to alumni, “this was all Marv’s doing and he is no longer here, so please send your $$$ now.” I don’t like thinking this way about my old school, but their recent actions seem to make it a plausible speculation. On a positive note, my seeing things that don’t seem to add up does attest to a decent training of me as a scientific thinker, so there’s that. Or maybe it is those 34 years in AA that has finely honed my bullshit bell. It has been noisy of late.

Question for you legal experts: What is the Oberlin purpose/strategy behind this action against LI? Intimidation of somebody?

    Tom Servo in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Purpose? In fact, it’s idiotic for a defendant in a suit to work to drag even more opponents into it than they had in the beginning. Especially when the theory they appear to be working on is that there is some vast, behind the scenes “conspiracy” against Oberlin that LI was a part of.

    But it’s been known that sometimes law firms, in order to keep earning fees and to convince a mentally unbalanced client that they are “doing” something, will make some very idiotic moves which are virtually guaranteed to sink the case long term. Generally they only do that when they know the case is already lost, so it’s a way to milk as many hourly fees out of the chumps, I mean “clients”, as they can before the game is over.

    Milhouse in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    What makes you think they’re going after LI in particular? I assume they sent the same subpoena to every news media entity on the list the OH court made Gibson’s lawyers provide them. They’re not alleging LI is a member of any conspiracy; they seem to think Gibson and/or its lawyers are waging an underhanded media war to put them in a bad light, so they want to know exactly what Gibson has been telling reporters.

    The OH court pretty much invited them to do this, by telling Gibson’s lawyers “you don’t have to tell them what you’ve been telling reporters, but you do have to tell them to whom you told it, whatever it is”. What use would that list be, if not to try to get the information from the recipients?

      TX-rifraph in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      “What makes you think they’re going after LI in particular?”
      Answer: I don’t think that nor did I state or imply that.

      “… they seem to think Gibson and/or its lawyers are waging an underhanded media war to put them in a bad light, so they want to know exactly what Gibson has been telling reporters.”

      I was asking about the purpose, the strategy, the why. One tends to think in a certain way but one CHOOSES an action based on assumptions and a purpose. That is what I am attempting to learn about as their action against LI makes no sense to me which may be simply due to my ignorance in these types of legal proceedings. I actually do see what they are doing and I can speculate as to what they might be thinking. Bear with me.

      Liberty Bell in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      What makes you think they’re going after LI in particular? I assume they sent the same subpoena to every news media entity on the list the OH court made Gibson’s lawyers provide them.

      A search of the entire New York State Supreme Court database (all counties) shows only one case involving Oberlin College (the instant matter described here). If other New York State press entities were subpoenaed, adversarial proceedings would be popping up all over the database. News outlets just don’t turn over information.

        Milhouse in reply to Liberty Bell. | July 8, 2018 at 12:17 am

        1. Perhaps none of the other recipients on the list they were given were in NY State.

        2. Perhaps there were others but they chose to go after the one with the shallowest pockets first.

        3. Perhaps they’ve served others too, but they’re still in the course of sending “you’ve got to be kidding” letters instead of going straight to court.

does oberlin providing federal funded loans for students also make this a 1st amendment issue?
also they get a bunch of other federal funds
https://www.oberlin.edu/news/response-proposed-federal-budget-cuts

    Milhouse in reply to dmacleo. | July 6, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    What’s the first amendment got to do with it? The first amendment does not provide any special privileges or status for reporters, and nor should it. US law treats reporters exactly the same as anyone else, and if WAJ were in any other business there’d be no doubt that it would have to disclose the sought-after information. It’s NY, not the US, that provides a reporters’ privilege.

      counsel in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      But the New York State Press Shield law has everything to do with it, since the subpoena comes from a New York Court.

        Milhouse in reply to counsel. | July 6, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        a) The subpoena doesn’t come from a NY court, it comes from OH lawyers.

        b) Where it comes from is irrelevant. It’s still not a first amendment issue. Nothing can make it one. So what is the point of your reply? It makes no sense.

        Yes, the NY press shield law has everything to do with it, that is what the case is about, after all. And if it were a landlord-tenant case the local tenancy law would have everything to do with it. How does that justify dragging the first amendment into it, just because the plaintiff gets federal funding?

      counsel in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2018 at 11:05 am

      A quick lesson on New York State practice. Under New York’s CPLR § 3119 the subpoena at issue is technically a New York subpoena.

      The Ohio subpoena was “domesticated” by filing a copy of the Ohio subpoena with New York States Tompkins County Clerk. The filing number in Tompkins County is EF2018-0409. The Tompkins County filing created under New York Law what is referred to as a “mirror image” subpoena. Technically it is a New York State subpoena that is a “mirror image” of the Ohio subpoena.

      Professor Jacobson, as WAJ Media then filed a motion in New York Sate Supreme Court to quash the subpoena. WAJ Media is the Plaintiff. Oberlin College is the Defendant. That motion will be heard before the Honorable GERALD A. KEENE.

        Another Voice in reply to counsel. | July 7, 2018 at 11:50 am

        Milhouse: Take notes, you never know when you’ll have to debunk LI legal standings with your 25 volume set of law books

        practicalconservative in reply to counsel. | July 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm

        Looks like Milhouse may not be top in his class when it comes to New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). So what grade does Milhouse get on his CPLR exam?

        Milhouse in reply to counsel. | July 8, 2018 at 12:26 am

        None of which gives it anything to do with the first amendment, and it wouldn’t even if Oberlin were directly a state actor.

buckeyeminuteman | July 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Bakery sues Oberlin. Oberlin sues you. Makes perfect sense to me…

The Left believes only THEIR news web sites are protected. Since LI is not an “established” mainstream media outlet they believe all info is not covered. It is nuts though since LI is solidly based on factual reporting …. which is very troublesome for them.

I can think of many purposes and strategies behind this action, but none of them are “logical.” As I see it, everything comes down to what I’d have to describe as a “clinical inability to admit that one was wrong.” If one needs a visual representation, think Basil Fawlty. In a psychiatric sense, it seems as though the case has become a keystone in the liberal mantra, wherein admission that they might be wrong in the accusations of racism will become a chink (IMDB used to censor this word) in their armor of self-righteousness, and thus cause pretty much everything else to crumble. I claim it is a psychiatric condition because it is just so similar to an alcoholic or drug addict who deeply believes that the substance, which in reality is killing them, is in fact their salvation. Similarly, I guess one could also claim a similarity to a “cult mentality.”

“If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If both are against you, talking loudly and bang your shoe on the table.” The latter ultimately reveals that liberals secretly covet jack-boots. For me, what began here 18 months ago with disgust for how Oberlin behaved/was behaving has now sort of morphed into detached amusement. My dad taught me to never get between a grizzly and her cub, 34 years in AA has taught me to never get between an addict and their fix, and to that I add living in Portland has taught me to never get between an activist and their cause. A logical thinker doesn’t stand a chance.

If anyone wants a fun read, look at Marshall Rosenberg’s “Non-violent Communication,” which from the title would lead one to believe that it should be the proverbial little red book of the left, but in fact, instructs a behavioral strategy which is completely opposite of how the left goes about their business.

And finally, my secret dream is for Oberlin to present their case in court, and at that point have Dr. Phil stand up and ask, “so how’s that working out for you?” My secret nightmare, though, is that it would just provoke them into three more days of trying to justify the unjustifiable. Even Cleaver Greene would walk away from this.

    daniel_ream in reply to MajorWood. | July 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    34 years in AA has taught me to never get between an addict and their fix, and to that I add living in Portland has taught me to never get between an activist and their cause.

    But you repeat yourself.

      MajorWood in reply to daniel_ream. | July 6, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      True, but society hasn’t yet classified activists as addicts, in much the same way that workaholics aren’t seen as such even though they may have similar effects on the family unit.

      If you want to understand Oberlin, rent John Sayles “Return of the Secaucus Seven.” I have met every character in that movie in real life. As the one woman puts it about her hubby, “each new cause is more extreme than the last.” Who knows, perhaps in our lifetime they will redefine PTSD as “post-Trump stress disorder” or “Politically-traumatizing stress disorder” or anything else they feel is needed to excuse what is otherwise just a garden variety antisocial disorder.

Apparently, these Oberlin nitwits learned nothing from the 2015 MU disaster.

There’s been a malignant shift in these institutions not-so lately. It used to be an enclave of campus radicals or unhinged professors aggitated for higher principles (free speech, end the war, etc), got a few headlines, then went on summer break, until a new cause celeb was found next year, etc.

Now it seems the administrations themselves in these small schools (like Evergreen State) weaponize or allow themselves to be weaponized by campus fascists to attack specific people or businesses with hateful zealotry until they get their pound of flesh, exhaust their funding, or get their ass handed to them in court.

This is a wicked ideology that infest these institutions, and they embrace it to suicide. Who’s running these corrupt institutions which embrace fascism, and how do they maintain this wicked power grab??

StandingAthwartHistory | July 6, 2018 at 1:43 pm

If I’m not barking up the wrong tree, would someone mind offering their $.02 as to how communications with the media would be relevant to their defenses?

    They may believe the plaintiffs’ lawyers are waging a media war against them, so they want to know just what it is that they’ve been telling reporters about the defendant.

      MajorWood in reply to Milhouse. | July 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I suspect it is a followup to Oberlin College not being granted a change in venue a few months back. In effect, it seems as if Oberlin might be planning to pre-taint or outright sabotage the local jury pool by suggesting that they might not be “woke” enough to fairly hear a trial. I used to drink in Kipton so they might have a point. 😉

      I wonder if The Oberlin Review was subpoena’d. If not, it might suggest that even Oberlin’s lawyers don’t see them as part of the media. By not naming all the affected media, they could be giving away the true intent of the strategy. Part of me has also wondered why Gibson’t didn’t also name any of the individual students who called them racist or strongly alluded to racist history in the suit. Can a plaintiff name other parties in similar suits after the larger suit has been settled? I bet those students felt brave riding on the coattails of the college, right up until the college got saddled with a costly lawsuit. Oops.

      It really is becoming like a lost episode of Fawlty Towers. You want to look away, but you just can’t. 😉

        Milhouse in reply to MajorWood. | July 8, 2018 at 12:34 am

        You may well be right that it’s a followup to the denial of a change of venue. They may be trying to build a case for reversal of that decision, by showing that the plaintiff and its lawyers have engaged in a deliberate campaign to improperly taint the jury pool. If such a plan existed, then there would not be attorney-client privilege, which would explain their application for communications between Gibson and its lawyers too.

        But to prove it they would need to see exactly what lies (if any) Gibson’s lawyers have been telling news outlets. The OH court effectively said you can’t get it from the lawyers because here’s a list of other people you could get it from. WAJ is now arguing in NY court the exact opposite: you can’t get it from us because you could get it from the lawyers. Catch 22.

        If one of the recipients is in a state with no press shield law, that will be how they get it and see whether there’s anything improper in it.

Oberlin’s tuition and fees only for 2018-19 are $54,959, which puts it on a par with Ivy League schools and other most expensive colleges. One year tuition at Oberlin costs more than four year’s tuition at Kent State, Toledo or Bowling Green. For what? Oberlin grads are near the bottom of the recent grad pay scale.

    MajorWood in reply to bw222. | July 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    When I attended in the late 70’s my tuition was around $4-4.5K a year. At a local meet and greet a few years back I asked Krislov why the cost was now 10-fold when absolutely nothing else had gone up a similar amount in that time period. He had no suitable answer. I think liberal arts schools favor Obamacare because they operate under the same guiding principles. A) get those who can afford it to pay for those who can’t, and B) keep adding on administrators who have no role in providing the product.

      Arminius in reply to MajorWood. | July 7, 2018 at 2:24 am

      I went through University of California, Surfing Branch.UCSB. I couldn’t even think about out of state tuition.

      Sorry for all the whiteprivilegesplaining and the mansplaining but my family could only do so much for me. Then I had to work in a liquor store.

      Not like Oberlin was even on the radar. I now see “people of color” stuedents at Ivy league schools who lecture me about how unfair it all is. Are you f***ing kidding me?

      And here’s the deal. I’d be the last one to tell you I had it difficult.

      Arminius in reply to MajorWood. | July 7, 2018 at 10:12 am

      I am sure I can not put an exact dollar amount it cost me to go to UCSB in the early 80s. A lot less than now. My parents paid for books and tuition. I worked to pay for room and board. I don’t even know if that’s possible today. This is what happens when gub’ming gets involved.

(sorry I was cut off) and that Press Shield law is very strong and so is the case law.

    Joe-dallas in reply to counsel. | July 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Is “legal insurrection” the press?

    Retorical question it may be –
    That is one of the issues with mccain fiengold – as in animal farm – some animals are more equal than others.

      Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 8, 2018 at 12:53 am

      In terms of the first amendment, nobody is the press, just as nobody is speech or religion or assembly. The press is something everyone has the freedom of.

      In terms of the NY “press shield” law, the term is “professional journalist”, and page 4 of the memo of law cites the statutory definition of that term. LI would certainly seem to be included.

Can someone explain to me what benefit LI’s communications would be to Oberlin? Oberlin is the one being sued. I can understand what Oberlin told the media might be at issue. Why would what law firms may or may not have said to the media (or if people want to split hairs, to blogs/ members of the public) about the issue? Wouldn’t that be at issue if Oberlin was the one claiming harm and damages?

Also… I see Milhouse explaining that communications between the lawyers and the media is not covered by attorney-client privilege. If they are not privileged, what business, pray tell, did the court have in issuing a protective order for the communications between the attorneys and the media…? What is the point…? I have a hard time reading this and not concluding that the court issued a frivolous and meaningless order. Is that correct?

    Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | July 8, 2018 at 12:57 am

    What benefit they would be depends on what’s in them. If Oberlin suspects they’re evidence of an improper attempt to poison the jury pool, they could be very useful. As for why the OH court would protect material not between an attorney and client, it presumably did so under OH’s own press shield law. If so, that would explain it effectively inviting Oberlin to try some other state, which might either not have such a law or else enforce it differently.

Seems like a lot of poncing-about for not much. All I can figure is that Oberlin is pushing a theory that—

i. Gibson (or Gibson’s lawyers) have been feeding inflammatory stories to The Press

ii. These inflammatory stories, repeated by The Press, have prejudiced the reading public against Oberlin

iii. To the extent that this reading public overlaps the jury pool, the jury pool has been tainted

iv. So …

iv. If Oberlin can show that inflammatory stories have in fact been fed by Gibson to The Press

v. Then …

v. Oberlin is justified in demanding that this nefarious plan of Gibson’s be countered by moving the court proceedings to some locus where the people comprising the jury pool don’t read.

All-in-all, pretty feeble. But I don’t see much else as a strategy here.

    ronk in reply to tom_swift. | July 6, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    I suspect they want it out of the local area because, this probably not the first incident of something like this happening, it might be one of or the only time the business decided to fight back. bottom line I don’t think this collage has a good reputation in the local community.

      Milhouse in reply to ronk. | July 8, 2018 at 1:08 am

      That would be their real reason for wanting it moved, but not one it can put to the court. Evidence of a deliberate campaign to poison the jury pool, however, would be actionable. Not only could it get a venue change, it could also get sanctions against the plaintiff. If they get really lucky they might even get a jury charge out of it.

OK, here is the rub. Yes, Oberlin is absolutely convinced that they cannot get a fair trial from a local jury pool, because, deep down, some at Oberlin do understand that they have been nothing but elitist prats since 1833. But, this is no different than pretty much any other town-gown relationship anywhere in the US, nay, World. Have any town-gown trials had a change in venue? Did the Duke lacrosse defendants even ask for one? That was about as heated as they come. So really not sure why Oberlin believes they are special.

But most importantly, I am absolutely certain that the people of Lorain County would be more fair in a trial of a local against Oberlin College than a jury composed only of Oberlin College people would be in a trial of the college against someone in the local community. Oberlin College having this concern about the jury pool, and pursuing it to this degree, to me, is a strong statement of exactly how they do feel about the local community, and of their own deep-down inherent biases (which they always deny having). And if this fishing venture looking for bias becomes public knowledge, which seems certain since the media are the ones at the center of it, then the effect is Oberlin themselves tainting the jury pool by basically implying that regular residents that live in Lorain County can’t fairly judge us.” So the thing is, even though the fine people of Lorain County can and will give them a fair trial, what Oberlin really wants is a jury biased in their favor from the start. Gibson’s was very reasonable and gave the college exactly one year to recognize their mistake and apologize, and the college balked at the opportunity afforded it. A reasonable person of average intelligence can clearly see this, and Oberlin knows it. So their only hope at this late stage is a biased pool from which to select jurors, and that is their end game. I don’t believe that they have given up yet on the change of venue, this is just an end-run to get to round two. But I do worry that part of their process, or perhaps a built-in backup plan, is to “accidentally” taint the jury pool against the college so that they have a stronger case on appeal if the venue thing doesn’t work out. “Your honor, the people we previously insinuated were biased just proved that they are biased by siding against us, so please throw out their verdict.”

In a way, you have to admire a group so dedicated to its core beliefs that they appear willing to further destroy their local reputation in the process of demonstrating that they don’t have a good local reputation.

Anyhoo, lets say that Oberlin’s efforts somehow goad the press into making a rash statement in print which could affect the jury pool, thereby making a change in venue necessary. Is Oberlin culpable for their actions in this process? At what point does trying to change venue cross over into actual jury tampering? It seems as if Oberlin wants the complete opposite of a gag order. And while this recent action could appear as desperate flailing, perhaps the intent is that by flailing about, the deliberate strategy gets lost in the noise. I guess the real shame is them not thinking highly enough of us to not suspect where they are going. I may have to take back my suggestion that it resembles Fawlty Towers. It is starting to seem like an episode of Suits, which I admit that I did hate-watch until Princess Megan’s constant crying at EVERYTHING proved too much. I hear she has taken on a similar role in some BBC production.

ScottTheEngineer | July 7, 2018 at 10:17 am

Billable hours. I doubt its the incompetent administrators of Oberlin pushing this.
I had cause to hire a lawyer a few years back. Paid him 500 upfront. Only used 450 or so of the deposit. Once everything was settled out I got a phone call from him asking how I was doing. “Doing good. How are you? is this phone call costing me $50.00 an hour?” Yep.

Fifteen years ago I had to bring in an uber lawyer to deal with an in-law family matter, to quell it STAT! In the course of our discussions, he said that 1 in 19 people are mentally ill, and it is that one person who is responsible for 90% of all trial litigation. Reasonable people settle, so be wary of the one who will destroy themselves to make a point. He also mentioned that the desire for legal action wanes shortly after the first bill for services arrives. Saying “I’ll sue” and backing it up with money are two different things. That sage wisdom significantly altered how I look at things, and it alone was worth every penny spent. My ex-FiL also forgot that one of his son in laws had a brother who is both a lawyer and a prick, and who knows other lawyers who are even bigger pricks. Lets just say it was like bringing armor to a gunfight. 😉

In the event the subpoena by Oberlin to Legal Insurrection is not quashed, here’s a political communication, protected by the First Amendment, for Oberlin’s benefit:

Go FUCK yourselves.

My lawyer once said that a proper response was to send a telegram:

to whom it may concern:

Fuck you!

Strong letter to follow.

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