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Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 2 – “I don’t know” may come back to haunt the defense

Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 2 – “I don’t know” may come back to haunt the defense

A flyer accusing the bakery of illegal and racist conduct became the centerpiece of the cross examination of the college’s Dean of Students.

https://youtu.be/9ATglD30id0

Today was Day 2 of witness testimony in Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College. Last week I covered the final trial motionsjury selectionopening statements, and the first day of witness testimony.

You can read about some of the background on this case here.

Good trial lawyers like to get seminal moments before the jury early on in their cases, and Ohio attorney Lee Plakas was able to do that today. In some ways, in something seldom seen, he created evidence to present.

Plakas represents Gibson’s Bakery & Market and its owners in their lawsuit against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo. Gibson’s claims defendants had a role in them being defamed as racists and assaulting the shoplifters — three African-American Oberlin undergrad students — who were shoplifting or assisting in shoplifting, in November 2016.

Multiple witness have testified in the first two days of trial to say the family and the business are not racists – many of them law enforcement personnel and African-Americans who have known the family for 40 years or more — and it was the shoplifters who were charged with assaulting a Gibson’s employee, not the other way around

So the longtime plaintiffs’ trial lawyer called the Oberlin College Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo to the stand to speak to these issues of Gibson’s being racist and an assaulter of young thieves. Raimondo is a defendant in this case in addition to her employer, and she was called by the plaintiffs as an “adverse witness,” meaning she can still be called by the defendants later on the defendants’ case.

Plakas did something very simple. He read a sentence from a flyer that was passed out at a protest outside the bakery that week of the shoplifting. It was a flyer Raimondo admitted she had passed out. The line on the flyer Plakas was focused on was this: “A member of our community was assaulted by the owner of this establishment yesterday.”

[Flyer handed out by protesters outside Gibson’s Bakery]

Plakas presented her with a paper that asked her if she “agreed” or “disagreed” with that statement about assault, and to check the proper box. Raimondo hemmed and hawed a bit, but then said her answer was “I don’t know.” So Plakas wrote “I don’t know” on the paper and asked her to sign her name as to that being her answer.

She didn’t want to put her signature on it. But she agreed to initial her “I don’t know” designation.

He did different variations of this three more times and she said she didn’t know each time and initialed the papers.

That wasn’t enough for Plakas, though, as he seemed to have realized he may have struck some gold here. He then pulled out the Oberlin College’s Student Senate resolution passed a day after the shoplifting event, and pulled out this gem from that: “Gibson’s has a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of students and residents alike.”  Once again, Rainmondo was asked if she “agreed” or “disagreed” with that statement. She again answered, “I don’t know,” and Plakas brought the next group of papers up to her to initial.

https://www.facebook.com/OCStudentSenate/photos/a.10150653508714368/10155590200144368/?type=3&theater

 

The last evidentiary papering of the witness occurred when she was asked if there were negative consequences from being accused unjustly of either assaulting people or being racist when you aren’t. Agree or disagree. This time, she said her answers was “I think it depends on the circumstances.”

Once again, she initialed and it seems like everyone in the courtroom was shocked at what they had observed. The Dean of Students at a prominent liberal arts college, who had been at this protest and passed out that very flyer that claimed the business owners has unjustly assaulted students, and was the advisor to the student senate that said the little bakery had a “history or racial profiling,” told the jury that “I don’t know” and “it depends on the circumstances” if such accusations were bad for one who is the subject of the attack.

Where all this originated was when an Oberlin College male student and his two female student friends were involved in being caught shoplifting wine at Gibson’s on Nov. 9, 2016. A scuffle occurred both inside and outside the store, before the three were arrested. This all happened the day after Donald Trump was elected president, and the resulting protest by 150-200 students on Nov. 10-11 was a “mob mentality” outside the store, according to testimony by the first police officer there.

That same former Oberlin Police officer, Victor Ortiz, testified that the assault was not something the Gibson’s employee as taking part in, except as the victim of assault. “When we got there, we saw two young ladies standing over [the Gibson employee] and throwing haymakers at him,” he said. “The two women would stand over him and kick him, and then crouch down and throw punches. As we got closer, we could see him on his back, with the male [shoplifter] on top of him and punching him.”

One of the themes of this lawsuit is that Oberlin College was trying to cater to a segment of its students – either radical social justice warriors or minorities or the rudimentary minds of some college students who love any and all angst – and side with them in this time of cultural and political partisanship.  The attorneys for Gibson’s are emphasizing repeatedly that the school lost its basic understanding of what the adult in the room is supposed to do, and a small business that has been serving the school as a food provider and city business treasure for more than 100 years was damaged as an innocent bystander business in the process.

Some of these themes came out as Raimondo’s testimony ended for the day (she will be back tomorrow morning).

The plaintiffs have insinuated that the school ended the business deal they had with Gibson’s (for some cafeteria grub and meeting party trays) because the business had refused to drop the legal charges against the students. Emails to and from Raimondo, and other high ranking Oberlin College administrators, had said that their food contract would have resumed “had the Gibson’s been willing to support a resolution outside of the legal system.”

Another email said, “once charges are dropped, orders will resume” and that students “will find [resuming orders] hard to accept” without the charges being dropped. Another email stated that school cannot settle with Gibson’s by “giving them everything and getting nothing in return.”

Raimondo responded that this discussion of resuming business with Gibson’s was decided by a group of administrators and she “didn’t know what the legal matter were” at that time.

If all this wasn’t enough for Oberlin College not to be pleased with the evidence presented today, the plaintiffs also called, Rick McDaniel, the director of security for Oberlin College from 1980 to 1995. He still lives in the city and is very active in community groups.

McDaniel said he had known the Gibson family for close to 40 years, and “never heard or observed, never been an allegation or gossip, about the Gibson’s being racist.” Vicky Gaines, an Oberlin College staff nurse in the school’s health care facility, and an African-American Oberlin city native, also told the jury “I’ve known them for about 40 years, our kids played together, we go to their sporting event, eat at each other’s homes, no, never even heard of the thought of as being racist.”

Gaines said she also went downtown to the protest, went inside the store, and gave a big hug to Lorna Gibson, wife of David Gibson, one of the plaintiffs in this case. “I walked outside with her so we could look together at what I saw happening, and I wanted her to know people in the community in Oberlin were behind them on this,” she said. “She was distraught, very hurt, and you could see the pain in their faces from what was happening right outside their store.”

McDaniel also went downtown when he heard the protests had started. He said when he got to the small downtown he noticed a large group of students, which he described as “Anger. Noise, Venom … [students] very angry and disturbed and irate and they wanted to take it out on somebody.”

McDaniel said he started taking pictures with his cell phone, and a young man came up to him and started blocking his phone with flyers in his hand. McDaniel said he kept moving and the man moved with him, blocking his ability to take picture over and over. “I’m with the college,” the man answered when the former Oberlin College police chief asked him why he was blocking his ability to take pictures.

McDaniel testified he found out later the man hounding him over picture taking was Julio Reyes, associate director of the school’s multi-resource center. “He was attempting to intimidate me and I don’t intimidate easily,” McDaniel said.

“I told him ‘I’m going to just going to wait until your silly ass leaves and [I’ll] start taking pictures again without you trying to block me,.’ “McDaniel testified. “He answered that he was going to come back when I wasn’t looking and key my car.”

When asked if he saw Oberlin administration officials trying to “deescalate the crisis” as they have said they were doing, McDaniel looked straight at the jury and said, “No one from Oberlin College was trying to calm things down. The only reason the lid didn’t explode off the pot was because the city police were there.”

[Featured Image: Protesters against Gibson’s Bakery, via YouTube]

Daniel McGraw is a freelance writer and author in Lakewood, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter @danmcgraw1

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Comments

Turned on the TV, tuned into Tucker, a minute later there is the Professor!

Good job Professor Jacobson!

Reminds me of those old western movie plots where a rancher “owns” the town. After the dust settles and money changes hands Oberlin may want to re-evaluate what this suit has done to them in the community. Well… so far… I would doubt anything other than pull up the drawbridge and see the locals as hostile. The dean is a true SJW and reality just hit her upside the head.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to alaskabob. | May 14, 2019 at 9:38 am

    The dean is a classic example of the *Peter Principle, having risen to her level of complete incompetence.

      MajorWood in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 14, 2019 at 11:40 am

      IIRC, she was appointed specifically to fill a gap in the political correctness continuum. “We need a …….., who do we have?” I suspect that we will be hearing a “I plan to devote more time to family” parting farewell in about a month. And I don’t see it coming with an attractive severance package, unless the board truly has lost their minds over this. Perhaps the LI community could chip in with one of those $59.95 moving box specials. I think even Krislov realized it would be easier to move on himself than to try and remove her from her current position. I hope someone compiles a list of the things Oberlin could have done to fix this along the way. Each time they chose to take the easier softer way, I bet we will see that it was instead the more difficult and expensive option. As we say in the drug treatment community, the second that “tough love” is mentioned as an option, it becomes the only option. Any time and effort on half-measures is just a waste at that point.

HImmanuelson | May 13, 2019 at 9:12 pm

This is not going to turn out well for the college. I hope they have deep pockets; they should have settled before the trial began.

I predict that they will franticly try to settle before it goes to the jury.

    counsel4pay in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    This is the first time I’ve left any comment here. I thought I had hit the “Reply” button, but instead it registered as a “downvote”–MY MISTAKE, I apologize and I approve the sentiment and pray for Gibson’s success.

    I DO, however, hope that Gibson’s DOES NOT SETTLE unless they believe they will lose. The issue here is too important to be resolved by a mere exchange of cash–this nation needs to see that defamers will be hunted and haunted when they exceed the law.

    A mere dollar settlement {wrapped in an iron-clad NDA aka non-disclosure agreement] will not advance the cause of FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. The ZEITGEIST, or “mood of society” makes this a potentially PIVOTAL CASE for liberty and the rule of law. Heaven will support Gibson’s if they have the fire in the belly to see this through. DON’T SELL OUT.

      pst314 in reply to counsel4pay. | May 13, 2019 at 11:20 pm

      I believe you can click again and un-do your downvote.

      Tom Servo in reply to counsel4pay. | May 14, 2019 at 7:51 am

      I don’t think you have to worry about that now, too late. Time for settlements is before the trial is opened; once a plaintiff and a defendant get into court, then it’s time to put the cards on the table and see what shakes out.

      I think Raimondo’s testimony was absolutely devastating for Oberlin’s side; she is one of the primary figures in this case, and when asked, point blank (I paraphrase) – Are you and Oberlin guilty of the charges Gibson has lodged against you? – the best she could say in her own defense was “i dunno”.

      Oberlin should have settled long ago, but I don’t think that’s good enough for Gibson’s anymore.

        counsel4pay in reply to Tom Servo. | May 14, 2019 at 10:28 am

        In every state I’ve been in trial, we’ve settled not only as late as during jury deliberations, but even after the verdict! I AGREE Defendants SHOULD have settled–but they have failed to correctly analyze their risk. Defendants also suffer from the Progressive mind set that “We are invincible–after all don’t we have 99% of the media on our side?”

        Gibson’s needs to STAND STRONG and they will win a place of honor in Liberty’s roll call of patriots and heroes.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to counsel4pay. | May 14, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Not to worry about a downvote, everyone assumes they are from TDS/LPS suffer Rags-Rump.

    guyjones in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Some miserable, embittered SJW voted you down, LOL.

    counsel4pay in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    I approve the commentator’s sentiment and pray for Gibson’s success.

    I DO, however, hope that Gibson’s DOES NOT SETTLE unless they believe they will lose. The issue here is too important to be resolved by a mere exchange of cash–this nation needs to see that defamers will be hunted and haunted when they exceed the law.

    A mere dollar settlement {wrapped in an iron-clad NDA aka non-disclosure agreement] will not advance the cause of FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. The ZEITGEIST, or “mood of society” makes this a potentially PIVOTAL CASE for liberty and the rule of law. Heaven will support Gibson’s if they have the fire in the belly to see this through. DON’T SELL OUT.

      I pray as well.
      If you think about it, 3 thefts of wine by (IIRC 2 of 3 were underage) those ineligible to purchase same could have cost them their liquor license. Many jurisdictions it would have irrespective of the theft part, so Gibson’s had no room to negotiate decriminalizing underage alcohol theft.

      This has become almost an existential issue between the Gibson family and all the Gibson assets in town, against the Oberlin faculty, administration, and progressive student body.
      Gibson could win the case utterly, and still be bankrupt and gone in a couple of years if any of the administration are still employed there or even if just the particular inciting faculty are left in positions of power or replaced with those of similar mindset to strike back later.

      If a “win” does not include significant personal costs to the Oberlin employees involved Gibson will lose everything in the short term.

    DDsModernLife in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Try to settle? Possible, but based on the level of intelligence shown by the administration so far..? Heh. Since the trial started they’re probably spending every night getting hammered and whining about how they’re the real victims in this whole incident.

    Well I doubt I would have accepted what Oberlin probably offered.
    Something on the line of “You admit how utterly wrong and evil you are, and we will wait until the cameras are off to burn you and your whole family to death trapped inside your home”.
    You probably would not have accepted what Oberlin offered either. Listen to the testimony.
    THEY STILL BELIEVE THEY DID NOTHING WRONG.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to HImmanuelson. | May 13, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    I have seen this kind of thing before, a case that could have been settled for 10 or so million was litigated and when the dust settled 5 years later it cost the company over $700 million.

    Sometimes there is justice.

      MajorWood in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 14, 2019 at 1:54 am

      Look at Martha Stewart. She could have written a check for $250K, the ill-gotten gain and 3X fine, and been done with it. Instead, pride, arrogance, ego, … God knows? took over and she ended up losing just SO much more. This has been Oberlin’s mindset from the beginning. Perhaps this will mark the beginning of Victims Anonymous, where people who see themselves as perpetual victims can learn to help themselves rejoin society.

        Merlin01 in reply to MajorWood. | May 14, 2019 at 9:06 am

        Oh come on…Martha ended up with a cooking show with Snoop Dawg!

        Are you sure she didn’t come out on top? =)

        davod in reply to MajorWood. | May 14, 2019 at 10:35 am

        If you know you did nothing wrong why should you settle. Because you don’t have the money to compete with the monolithic DOJ.

        If you have the money, why settle.

counsel4pay | May 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm

I agree that today’s testimony was damning. After graduating from USC in 1976, I practiced civil trial law in LA and elsewhere, gaining admission to a second state’s bar. Notably, in my 40 years of modest experience, I am of the opinion that the plaintiff’s ploy of compelling the witness to initial diverse documents or otherwise mark them WOULD NOT WORK IN CALIFORNIA. Here, there is ample precedent prohibiting a civil trial attorney, either in a deposition or at trial, from getting a witness to do ANYTHING MORE THAN GIVE ORAL TESTIMONY.

Thus, I see in this event, a keen insight into the TRIAL JUDGE’S attitude toward testimony as well as the “smoking gun” aspect of an “I Don’t Know” response.

Your eye witness reporting has been brilliant and insightful. I look forward to further reports from the battle front and pray for Gibson’s success. [BTW: I cannot help but believe that Gibson’s has explore, EXTENSIVELY, all aspects of its case via shadow panels, focus groups, or mock juries. My first LA trials did NOT involve such preparations. It took more than a decade before focus groups preceded EVERY TRIAL that I participated in–once we adopted that practice our win/loss ratio approached 100% wins–at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per trial. Truly, litigation is “the sport of kings”.

    healthguyfsu in reply to counsel4pay. | May 13, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Well, I can counter with my experience in academia and flat out tell you that MANY universities have their heads in the sand. I would not be surprised either way if the prep work was done or not. I can also tell you that many liberal arts colleges really cheap out on attorneys, particularly on retainers. They usually don’t have dedicated attorneys to a small school like that. Oberlin has a larger attorney panel now in reaction, but there’s no guarantee that they shelled out for it and this prep work.

      You say they “have their heads in the sand”? I thought they kept their heads somewhere darker and smellier.

      Olinser in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 14, 2019 at 4:20 am

      Everything about their attitude that has been exposed so far says that Oberlin is full of arrogant pricks that think they’re just plain better, smarter and more moral than the stupid hicks that inhabit the town.

      Raimondo probably just assumed she’d be able to easily outmaneuver the dumb hick lawyer because she’s a smart and educated college professor.

      Obviously she was dead wrong. After her disastrous testimony the college should be begging to settle before it goes to the jury.

    alaskabob in reply to counsel4pay. | May 13, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    ah… The BLOOD sport of kings…..

    RodFC in reply to counsel4pay. | May 14, 2019 at 7:29 am

    In Florida, if you remember O’Mara had the latina using a translator she didn’t need, do a demonstration of what she did.

    What is more lawyer with bigger-dick-then-brains brought in a doll for demostrations. O’Mara even borrowed it.

    Even in California, wouldn’t the opposing lawyer have to object? I can’t imagine opposing counsel objecting. It would look bad.

      counsel4pay in reply to RodFC. | May 14, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Ah, the “thrust and parry of lawfare” is more art than science. Yes, objections bear a price, but clever ways exist to minimize the damage: pre-trial motions; “sidebar conferences” at trial the jury cannot hear; “chambers conferences” during trial; etc.

      That’s why the best attorneys “game play” entire trials before the real event. When the amount in controversy exceeded seven figures, the firms I worked for created two entire “teams”–the “home team” (our client) and the “OPFOR” (opposition force). I usually headed the OPFOR, and I gave it everything I had. We had few surprises at trial.

      The winning side usually preps the most, because they know that once the jury is empaneled, the sheer, brutal pace of trial takes on a life of its own. It can be an 18 hour a day, seven days a week ordeal. GO GIBSON’S–you represent America’s heartland! I and many others pray for you daily.

Terence G. Gain | May 13, 2019 at 11:19 pm

I hope the Jury award is high enough to put this miserable college out of business. Supporting mob action and alleging racism against people who are victims of crimes committed by 3 black students is despicable. The administrators of this school lack the intelligence and character to educate.

Oberlin College Dean Meredith Raimondo repeatedly testified that she did not know if Gibson’s was racist, although multiple witnesses reported that she was handing out flyers making that accusation. It seems that by her own testimony she has tied the noose around her neck.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to pst314. | May 13, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    As I have said before, making the college pay is great, but icing on the cake would be having all the key hacks end up with judgements where they are broke for the rest of their miserable lives.

      A multimillion dollar judgement against the college will not hurt it significantly, as it has an endowment on the order of $800 million.
      A million dollar judgement against a dean, on the other hand, could be ruinous.

        MBR in reply to pst314. | May 14, 2019 at 2:34 am

        True, but a multi-million dollar judgement could be damaging enough to the college’s reputation that the Trustees might get the message that the College is doomed if it doesn’t change course. And I say this as an alumnus who believes the College was well intentioned, even if somewhat misguided, decades ago, and who is deeply disappointed in what’s happened to it in the intervening time.

          pst314 in reply to MBR. | May 14, 2019 at 7:25 am

          You may be right about its potential damage to the college’s reputation, but I remain uncertain due to the left’s long success in portraying justice as racism.

          MajorWood in reply to MBR. | May 14, 2019 at 12:04 pm

          As we know, Oberlin has been tight-lipped about this with the alumni. But in a few days a whole bunch of them are going to hit the town for commencement and reunions. At this point an attempt at a continuing coverup is only going to make things worse. I don’t think that the alumni in the 25, 30, … yr reunions, who remember a different Oberlin, are going to be too amused by what they are seeing. And that will likely be reflected in the checks that they do, or don’t write. I have been shocked since about day 3 of this, and I’m talking 11/11/16, that absolutely no one took a step back to see the big picture. Perhaps someone did, and they were shouted down, as is often the case with voices of reason in the midst of a mob. If Bob Piron feels lonely right now, I just want to assure him that it is a “good type” of lonely.

          I am going to petition the college for a better grade in Bob Neil’s “Germany since 1914” class, because pretty much everything he discussed has played out here, and I definitely saw it coming, so I must have learned something.

      counsel4pay in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 14, 2019 at 10:41 am

      Subtleties arise here. A typical car crash verdict against someone is easily discharged in bankruptcy. BUT, judgments for certain malicious and intentional torts LIVES FOREVER (you pay a tiny fee every few years to renew the judgment PLUS 10% POST-JUDGMENT INTEREST! Wow–that is the “legal rate” many places; and it’s a return few get these days.

      “Judgment debtor examinations before a judge”, wage garnishments, and other tools exist to make a personal judgment debtor’s life hell. I know, I once worked for Bank of America’s legal department and that was the Bank’s attitude: “If you made a bad business judgment and lost our money, we’ll understand. If you intentionally defrauded us, “that’s personal.”

      Cry havoc, and loose the dogs of [legal] war!

Subotai Bahadur | May 14, 2019 at 12:07 am

Let me throw this thought out. Based on what we can see about the quality of the administration, faculty, and students of Oberlin; if you were screening resumes and the name Oberlin popped up either as where the applicant went, or where they used to work . . . what pile would you put that resume in?

Subotai Bahadur

Who the hell would hire an idiot walking into their office with an oberlin diploma?

It was a pleasure to see Professor Jacobson on Tucker. And, it is gratifying to see that the case apparently is going well for Gibson’s. The reason why it is so important that Gibson’s is successful here is because this incident illustrates the main problem in our country today.

Here we have three young people who knowingly engage in a criminal act, a theft. They get caught and compound their antisocial behavior by physically assaulting the Gibson’s employee who is trying to retrieve the property which they stole. They are, in essence, outlaws; people operating outside the rules of the greater society in which they exist. After they are arrested for their criminal acts, the rest of their tribe, Oberlin University, rises up to defend them by physically and economically threatening Gibson’s. This whole tribe is essentially acting as outlaws, by operating outside the rules of the greater society. It is a clash of two distinct cultures. One is the traditional culture which honors the rights of the members of that culture, deals honestly with others, whether they be members of that culture or not, and expects others to obey just laws. The other culture, represented by Oberlin College and its students and faculty, is one which is selfish and self serving, has no regard for the rights of others and prefers to use violence and the threat of violence, rather than legal means to gain its ends. It is the same culture which ignores the illegal entry of people into the country, which excuses willful violation of basic laws, which ignores homelessness and poverty, which practices the vilest forms of discrimination and which rewards deceit, theft and harming others for personal benefit. The second culture can NOT be allowed to win. If it does, we will be left with a nation of tribes engaged in warfare with one another. There will be no nation left.

    jhn1 in reply to Mac45. | May 14, 2019 at 9:58 am

    The outlaw pigeonholing may be the most perspicacious comment I have seen on the whole broader issue much less the narrower issue of Gibson v. Oberlin let alone this thread.
    Both thumbs up.

      Mac45 in reply to jhn1. | May 14, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Both ears and the tail for using “perspicacious” in a sentence.

      This country has confused freedom of speech with harmful action. Expressing a personal point of view, for the purpose of enlightening others, even of that pov is inaccurate or wrong, is allowed under freedom of speech. Using speech, or taking action, for the purpose of harming another, is not proper and not not allowable if the speech is knowingly inaccurate or fallacious. Boycotts are nothing more than economic violence. And, the consequence of such should be born by those calling for such action.

      Chick-fil-a is a classic example. The CEO of the company expressed a personal opinion against the legal recognition of marriage between same sex couples. This was well within the realm of freedom of speech. The response was to call for an economic attack upon the business, even though the business had no history of discrimination. This was no different than walking up and punching the CEO in the face of attacking employees of the business with baseball bats. It was organized violence against these people conducted with economic weapons, rather than physical ones. And, violence must be justified, in our society. Except, we have lost perspective and much of society now sees non-physical violent attack as permissible. When an individual makes an independent choice not to patronize a business, this is freedom of choice. When that individual does so based upon peer pressure or a call for a boycott, that is not longer individual freedom of choice, but rather an act of organized violence against others within the community. It has to stop.

        counsel4pay in reply to Mac45. | May 14, 2019 at 11:11 am

        Super comment. [Even if I don’t know what word perspiration or whatever that was means.]

How big is Oberlin’s endowment?

Not big enough!

The plaintiffs have insinuated that the school ended the business deal they had with Gibson’s (for some cafeteria grub and meeting party trays) because the business had refused to drop the legal charges against the students. Emails to and from Raimondo, and other high ranking Oberlin College administrators, had said that their food contract would have resumed “had the Gibson’s been willing to support a resolution outside of the legal system.”

Another email said, “once charges are dropped, orders will resume” and that students “will find [resuming orders] hard to accept” without the charges being dropped.

Is that obstruction of justice?

    Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | May 14, 2019 at 1:52 am

    “Is that obstruction of justice?”

    It is more akin to extortion.

      MajorWood in reply to Mac45. | May 14, 2019 at 2:01 am

      I see it akin to racketeering, wherein the students are taking on the role usually given to teamster thugs.

      Tom Servo in reply to Mac45. | May 14, 2019 at 7:59 am

      Agreed; not obstruction because, to the best of my knowledge there was no ongoing criminal investigation going on at the time. Negotiations in civil matters are always allowed, and even encouraged; BUT in the case at hand, what these e-mails are is evidence of Malice which supports the contention of Gibson’s that School Administrators were deliberately seeking to cause them harm.

The line on the flyer Plakas was focused on was this: “A member of our community was assaulted by the owner of this establishment yesterday.”
[image]
[Flyer handed out by protesters outside Gibson’s Bakery]

The flyer depicted is clearly not the one referred to. The line quoted does not appear on this flyer.

May the punitive damages reach 8 figures.

“Let all the poisons
lurking in the mud
hatch out”

I Claudius
Robert Graves

I am truly puzzled here. Oberlin claims it bears no responsibility for the action of its students or employees. Yet it is willing to protect students charged with a crime by ceasing business with the victim of the crime. That seems like taking responsibility for your students actions to me.

I don’t get the point of the “papering”. Isn’t it enough to get her to admit these things. What does it accomplish?

    stevewhitemd in reply to RodFC. | May 14, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Remember, she’s going to come back as a witness for the defense later in the trial. By initiating her comments the plaintiff not only has the drama of the moment but a sturdy counter if she begins to change her testimony later. It constrains her upcoming testimony, and the defense knows it.

      stevewhitemd in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 14, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Initialing, not initiating. Sheesh.

      Her testimony here might have been so damaging she *can’t* effectively testify later.
      Especially with “… she was asked if there were negative consequences from being accused unjustly of either assaulting people or being racist when you aren’t. Agree or disagree. This time, she said her answers was “I think it depends on the circumstances””
      The accusations were made with the intent of causing “negative consequences” towards Gibson. How can you then assert situational ethics regarding if there would be negative consequences at all after hypothetically unjust accusations were made?
      That part is so utterly horrifically bad Oberlin probably can’t keep her on the payroll after the case is over. There is now testimony in court of egregiously outrageous lying or sociopath level judgement. That will taint every action past present and future.

    counsel4pay in reply to RodFC. | May 14, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Trials are not just “contests of fact and law”. THEY ARE A FORM OF THEATER! Requiring the act of initialing trial exhibits is GENIUS:

    1. It produces an enduring, tangible record of the IMPEACHMENT of the witness.

    2. It compels the witness to “OWN” the statement.

    3. It creates NEW PHYSICAL evidence which goes INTO THE JURY ROOM during deliberations.

    4. It is a “prop” [remember…theater] for the rest of the trial and DURING CLOSING ARGUMENTS.

    5. It rips out the heart of a witness, and foments fear for that side of the case.

    6. It is “exciting” to see or read about [again…theater].

    MUCH MORE! [GENIUS-I wish I could watch it in person. I can only applaud and envy the brilliance of Gibson’s legal team. I WOULD BET ON THEM.]

    MajorWood in reply to RodFC. | May 14, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    It takes “I don’t remember” out of play.

I do hope not only Oberlin but the main instigators get their butts sued off.

As an alumnus of Oberlin, I am enjoying the schadenfreude immensely. Gibsons was where you went when you were a little blue, a little lonely, and hungry for comfort food. Mr. Gibson, now in his 90s, was the nicest, most fatherly person. Oberlin was harsh and the faculty and administration were both sanctimonious. In the thirty-odd years since I graduated it has only gotten more so. I visited the campus last November and gave Mr. Gibson a hug and told him that I was embarrassed by the College. I also bought a totally awesome apple fritter.

blacksburger | May 14, 2019 at 6:56 pm

IIRC, shortly after the shoplifting episode, the college urged that Gibson’s not press charges if an accused student had no prior shoplifting convictions.

They didn’t seem to realize that this would mean every student had the right to shoplift once.

    It is worse. When you are not convicted of the first offense, the next time you are caught, you still do not have a first conviction. In any jurisdiction practicing this policy, you never get convicted of that first offense. Unless you shoplift somewhere else and get convicted there, you never get past “first conviction” if they always drop charges if you have not been convicted before.

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