We are close to the end of Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College, the lawsuit said to represent “the worst of identity politics.”  You can read about some of the background on this case here.

It was a fairly slow day, as the judge and the attorneys for both sides hammered out a few points regarding the closing arguments tomorrow  and sending the case to the eight-person jury after.

The only decisions of any merit was that the judge threw out one count of the eight filed by Gibson’s against the school. The judge ruled that the claim of “Negligent Hiring, Retention, and Supervision” did not have enough evidence to warrant it going to the jury. The “negligence” was purported to be the hiring on Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, who is also a co-defendant in the case, and who had moved from an interim to full-time dean a week before the protests on November 10-11 of 2016. But she had been at the school since 2003, and had served as a professor and various appointments in the administration since.

There was little to back up the contention that her hiring or background had anything really to do with the claims remaining in the case. The Gibson’s attorneys did not argue to keep it in, either, as it seemed to be a “throw-in count,” as attorneys often do. In other words, Raimondo’s alleged actions during and after the student protests had little to do with her background and the procedure in which she was hired.

As detailed in court’s ruling on summary judgment, as updated by the ruling today, here are the counts that will go to the jury:

Count 1: Libel
Count 3: Tortious Interference with Business Relationships
Count 4: Tortious Interference with Contracts
Count 6: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
[correction – Trespass Count was withdrawn]

The schedule tomorrow (Wednesday) will be like this: plaintiffs’ 90-minute closing argument from 9:00 am to 10:30 am; a 30 minute break; defense’s 90 minute closing from 11:00 am to 12:30 am; a lunch break until about 2 pm; then the judge’s instruction to the jury for about two hours.

In practical terms, this means the jury will not begin real deliberations until Thursday morning, as the Lorain County Common Pleas Court closes at 4:30 pm, and there is likely too much to consider here to have a jury pop out a decision late afternoon Wednesday in that short a time period. But we will be there if they do!

We will have a post announcing the verdict as soon as it happens, not waiting until evening.

For those of you who are new around here, here are our prior trial posts:

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

[Featured image photo credit: Daniel McGraw for Legal Insurrection Foundation]


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