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Oberlin College posts $36 million bond to secure Gibson’s Bakery judgment

Oberlin College posts $36 million bond to secure Gibson’s Bakery judgment

$36,367,711.56 to be precise.

The combined compensatory and punitive damages ($25 million) and attorney’s fees and costs (over $6.5 million) awards in favor of Gibson’s Bakery and its owners left Oberlin College almost $32 million in debt.

Oberlin College attempted to get a stay of execution on the judgment, to prevent Gibson’s from seizing assets, without posting a bond, but the court rejected that. Instead, the court granted a stay of execution of the judgment conditioned on Oberlin College posting a bond in an amount just over $36 million, to secure the judgment plus three years of interest covering the anticipated time period of an appeal.

We detailed this ruling and history, and concerns raised by the Gibsons about Oberlin College’s ability to pay, in Oberlin College ordered to post $36 million bond to delay Gibson’s Bakery collection of Judgment.

Yesterday Oberlin College posted the bond (pdf.), a copy of which is embedded at the bottom of this post.

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that Defendants Oberlin College and Meredith Raimondo, as Principals, and Zurich American Insurance Company, authorized to do business in the State of Ohio, as surety (the “Surety”), are held and firmly bound, jointly and severally, unto Plaintiffs David Gibson, Allyn W. Gibson, and Gibson Bros., Inc. (collectively, the “Plaintiffs”), in the maximum penal sum of Thirty Six Million Three Hundred Sixty Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Eleven Dollars and 56/100 Cents ($36,367,711.56), for which, well and truly to be paid, they bind themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators and successors, and every one of them firmly by these presents.

* * *

The bond is in the name of the college and co-defendant Meredith Raimondo, even though the college, according to court documents, has agreed to cover any amounts owed by Raimondo.

There is no indication what assets, if any, Oberlin College had to pledge to secure the bond. Normally appeal bond companies require over 100% of the amount of the bond to be secured by liquid assets, though for a large institution like Oberlin College perhaps it got a better arrangement.

Now on to post-trial motions to overturn the judgment, and then appeals.

[Featured Image Photo credit: Daniel McGraw for Legal Insurrection Foundation]


Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Appeal Bond by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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Unknown3rdParty | July 31, 2019 at 9:09 am

My heart bleeds for Oberlin … NOT! But, because Oberlin College contributed to Gibson’s Bakery with a large number of clientele coming from Oberlin College–college students ARE a hungry lot–as Oberlin College goes, I’m afraid that will have an even greater impact on Gibson’s Bakery and the town at large.

CaliforniaJimbo | July 31, 2019 at 9:11 am

I think that with the wording of the bond, the bond issuer should have read it aloud to the judge dressed in colonial America attire complete with white wig, tri-cornered hat and buckle shoes.
The concluding words should be “in thine mercy, amen”

In for a penny, in for a pound.
Actually, in for $36,367,711.56, in for a pound.

What would the approximate premium cost to Oberlin for this bond?

    JPL17 in reply to fscarn. | July 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I bet it wasn’t cheap. Even if Zurich only charged them 1% of the face amount of the bond, that would be a premium of $363,677!

      Andy in reply to JPL17. | July 31, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      oh the commission on this beauty just bought daddy a new yacht.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to JPL17. | July 31, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      My understanding is that the bond fee should be about 1% PER YEAR and placed on TWICE the amount to be bonded if attached to property. Therefore, it could be 1% of $73 million, or about $730,000 a year until this thing is finally put to bed.

      Oberlin just keeps digging.

    pfg in reply to fscarn. | July 31, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Oberlin is really running up the costs here. The overall judgment, cost of the surety’s policy, its own legal fees it paid for pre-trial/discovery work, trial work, now its own legal fees to do the appeal, and assuming Oberlin loses the appeal then Gibson’s legal fees for doing the appeal.

    And it all could have been avoided if Oberlin had exercised some common sense over its employees, especially that overpaid/overweight dean, and failing that, some humility patching up the disaster caused by that dean.

      The_Next_Michael_Jordan in reply to pfg. | July 31, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      Your very simple point really is the key this whole sordid story. Whatever it ends up costing Oberlin—-judgement, legal fees, the surety fee to Zurich, the lost enrollments (and there will be most certainly students who decide not to attend because of this mess)—-add them all up. It will be millions. And for what? It was all so easily avoidable.

      I’m not sure when it will happen (probably soon enough) but, when the amount of financial damage ceases to be an abstract number and starts to feel real to the Board, the President, the Goof Ball Dean of Students, others who helped push this garbage attack on the Gibsons, all of them will get the hook. When the extent of Oberlin’s Leadership Malpractice starts to be recognized, none will remain on the payroll. Some new turn-around President will have to be recruited and hired to clean up the mess. he (or she) will have to apologize to the Gibsons, the village, the alumni, clean up the damaged finances and put in place a new culture that requires students, faculty and administrators to act like mature adults.

      A sensible apology could have put this while thing to bed. It is just an amazing story of ineptitude, worthy at some point, of a book and movie.

        I would guess that Oberlin is banking on the alumni never finding out what really happened. This is why Twillie is off selling her first amendment fantasy version of the story. It has gone so far off base at this point that even I sometimes have a hard time believing that it got this far. While part of me still believes that the initial impetus may have had to do with the parking lot, the remainder is now sticking with the beief that it has become all about preserving the race card. The only tool that the Left has against Trump is to call him a racist on anything, and if that now comes with financial consequences, people may decide it is not worth the risk of pulling it out. So by keeping the final judgement in a “pending” state, Oberlin can claim that they haven’t lost. I guess that they want to go down in the record book as the Karen Ann Quinlan of defamation cases.

        That is the why for me, but who is the “actual who” that is driving it? We can argue that keeping it alive keeps a few of them employed for a bit, but it “should” also effectively end their employability at this level in this field, forever. So that leads me to consider that there is a sugar daddy out there who is keeping it alive who has enough resources to keep the Oberlin principals believing that there is an afterlife for them in academics or a related field. I don’t think that they planned for this outcome to be this bad. But now that they are stuck with it, it has just become a day to day matter of trying to keep it going so that they don’t have to actually face any real consequences (all are still getting paychecks) for as long as possible. Other than a large meteorite hitting, I really don’t see any way that they can avoid the inevitable. Even when I divorce myself from reality and go into alcohological thinking mode, it still doesn’t make sense. Can someone else make out any light at the end of the tunnel, or the bottom of the hole, because I sure don’t see any? The path they are on is going to be multiple times worse than just paying up the $31.5M from a week ago. I seriously see a $50M loss from the trial and much more from the loss of reputation. So why can’t they, or should phrase it as, why aren’t they allowed to see it?

        I did notice that the bonding paperwork included a mention of “up to the US Supreme Court.” I thought that we had decided that this could only go as high as the Ohio Supreme Court. And I also thought that Plakas did a good job in the Rolling Stone article of stating that this was not a first amendment issue at all. Are they holding out on a 0.01% probability that Trump loses, that they immediately get two ultra-liberals on the court, and that the Supreme Court agrees to hear it? In medical cases I had a boss who said that all miracle cures begin with a misdiagnosis. But we have followed this all along and there is no “mis” element to the case. So why are they still chasing miracle-level odds?

      JusticeDelivered in reply to pfg. | July 31, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      And don’t forget interest, that will be about 2 1/2 times the bonding fee annually.

    RandomCrank in reply to fscarn. | July 31, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I am also interested. There are some people with real-world experience who comment in the Oberlin threads. I hope we’ll hear from them.

      In addition to the premium itself there are likely a lot of associated costs to induce the surety to write the policy. For example, wouldn’t the surety want to make sure that Oberlin doesn’t spend down its assets or to transfer some of its assets (land, buildings) to unrelated parties. Sure, Ohio has statutes preventing fraudulent transfers to defeat a creditor, but the surety doesn’t want to even get into those battles, so wouldn’t it want to tie up Oberlin with restrictions such as a recorded restrictions on deeds to head off those underhanded attempts. So the costs to Oberlin would be more than just the premium.

        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to pfg. | August 1, 2019 at 11:54 am

        The bond would attached specific named assets that would be certified to be clear of other liens and encumbrances. If Oberlin violates the bonding requirements, the bonding firm is no longer liable and will report the breech to the court. This could result in either Oberlin needing seek a new bond, which will be much more expensive if they breeched an earlier bond, or result in some sort of court sanction like having to post a letter of credit or a holding of money or property transferred to a third party in fiduciary.

Paul In Sweden | July 31, 2019 at 10:02 am

When Oberlin loses the appeal will they also be levied the additional attorney’s fees and costs for the appeals trial?

I personally would have like to seen Gibson’s Bakery seize assets!

Redundant, I know, but I just can’t help it:

“Here Oberlin, try this BIGGER shovel”

Someone with a lot of money has to be bankrolling this because if the College loses in the end, the race card as they know it is dead. The entire democratic platform rests on a little case in a little insignificant town in the heartland. Whodathunk?

So my question to myself is, is the bankroller willing to burn the college to the ground to make a point, or at some point will they simply up and vanish leaving the college in the lurch. The very fact that $5M was spent on lawyers tells me that at one point this whole fiasco meant a lot to someone who is not named Gibson.

    j-comment in reply to MajorWood. | July 31, 2019 at 10:58 am

    I can’t tell how much of Oberlin’s behavior is being driven by outside actors, and how much they’re doing on their own.

    It’s certainly true that there are players out there who are deeply invested in the narrative of white privilege, racial profiling all over the place, and the need for social justice warriors to right all the ills of society. I can imagine that some of those are in there supporting the college, perhaps monetarily.

    It’s also true that the college is itself deeply invested in that narrative. I’ve seen numerous examples of people who are so certain that they’re right, that they’re willing to destroy themselves and all around them in order to stick to their position. The college’s actions seem to me to be consistent with that posture.

    Either way, the telling point will be if the college finds a way to appeal the verdict, presumably in a different court in a different place, and somehow gets it overturned. Given the evidence that seems like a tough job, but who knows. If they don’t manage that, then every action they take to try to evade or change the story is another nail in their coffin. IOW, they’ve found their bigger shovel, and are busy digging with it. Perhaps eventually they (or their hypothetical backer) will decide they’ve had enough, pay the judgement, and stop talking about it.

    Owego in reply to MajorWood. | July 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Good point. Agree wholeheartedly. There’s more going on here than meets the eye and it’s interesting how little national attention this affair is getting. I’ll qualify that by confessing I pay little attention to national media; nevertheless, it does beg the question.

    Board Chair Canavan is an associate of Soros. However, I suspect it is more of a cultural problem. What makes the situation even more perplexing is that, in my opinion, the bad press and inability to work on repairing the reputational damage while this is ongoing might end up costing them more in weaker than otherwise enrollments and alumni donations than anything they might gain from appealing.

Ol' Jim hisself | July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am

Maybe Gibson’s should just seize the college’s cafeteria and run with it. . .
If they seized any other buildings, they would have a hard time decontaminating them.

It preserves administrative rights to the official college narrative. In the long term it’s not a great idea, but since when has the left been about the long-term good.

Off the top of my head, it would appear that Oberlin has thus far spent about $11 million in non-recoverable costs- $5 million for attorney fees and and an estimated $6 million for the cost of the $36 million bond.

Aladin, the student who shoplifted the wine, made a written statement to the court where he admitted that racism was not a factor in his arrest. Had Oberlin College made a similar statement to the Gibsons, there would have been no lawsuit.

This is significant. A material financial event has occurred. That bond didn’t come for free.

The big question is whether Oberlin will have to report it to US News and World Report, and whether it will affect their USNWR ranking. How many of next year’s applicants for admission (and admitted students deciding whether to enroll there) will know about this case?

There is obviously an expensive agenda in play. What is it? It almost seems that the agenda is being driving by a force outside of the college. It could be basic sociopath behavior where “I am never wrong.” But, we are now spending real money on an appeal based on what? This does not pass the “Does this make sense?” test. What is behind the scenes?

    C. Lashown in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 31, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Hmmm… LET Oberlin go bankrupt, then pay the bond and seize the university. A pre-built University for a very small price of 50 million situated on a nice campus. Get rid of the clown patrol who run Oberlin now, and install your own ideological cadre of instructors.

    C. Lashown in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 31, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    AND exactly how much would 100-200 million set back Soros, a Saudi prince, a Gates, a Bezos or a Buffett? These are all goal oriented men willing to spend the money to get what they want. Someone wants something, and the Oberlin reputation isn’t worth a wad of used TP in the real world. The only thing on the table is the University or the pastry shop. LOL

      MajorWood in reply to C. Lashown. | August 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      What bothers me the most is that I still don’t think that I have heard the truth. And by that, I mean a logical explanation for the series of actions that have been taken. What I have seen are a bunch of people telling different stories (which often differ from the factual events) as they paint themselves further into a corner, or dig themselves deeper into a hole. People just seem to keep doing dumb things because someone is telling them to do them. And for someone to approve throwing $5M at a $100K problem, well, there needs to be a pretty good agenda behind it, and one with failsafes.

      And as strange as things have gotten, we now have a suggestion made that someone with a lot of money might be instructing people to do things which might deliberately cause the college to go down the tubes, so that said individual(s) can swoop in and buy it up for pennies on the dollar, which is way less expensive than building a University from the ground up. And the disturbing part is that this is as good an explanation as I and others have come up with over the last year or two to explain the goings on in the little bizarro-bubble that is Oberlin. About 100 years ago the Duke family threw a lot of cash at Trinity College in Durham, NC and came away with a self-named university. We have a lot of colleges around the country named for the big bucks donors and I am sure that there are a number of current Billionaires who would like to join this club. And what better way than to allow the college to devalue itself which can save beaucoup $$ in the process as well as allowing one to be seen as a magnanimous benefactor saving the college from ruin. As I said, seems as good an explanation as the others.

        Occam’s Razor – pick the simplest explanation. I wonder if the simplest explanation is that this is (required) SJW behavior, logic has nothing to do with it, and any rationale – it is a “free speech” issue – will do to justify it??

    You are right in smelling something fishy here. This whole fiasco has been punctuated by the college’s foxes spinning their forever redacted versions of whatever happened in the Gibson’s henhouse. Nothing new here.

    An interesting legal question: Must President Trump report the substantial contributions in kind which the college has made to his re-election campaign?

    /s/JD Nobody, OC ’61.

Will someone explain why Raimondo is on the bond? She was removed from all liability by the college. Zurich is a notable company and it surprises me of their involvement. They must be in for a large payday with little or no risk!
The company I was employed by was covered by Zurich and they were tough cookies. every job site was inspected. Oberlin to sign Zurich was a feat or strings pulled and I suspect the latter. time will tell! Zurich 2018 395 billion world wide
George can come out of the dark now!!!

    Raimondo is on the bond because she, along with Oberlin, is a judgement debtor. Unless she was named on the bond, the Gibsons would have been free to start picking up her assets for execution.

    The fact that Oberlin has stipulated that it is going to stand for any judgment entered against Raimondo does not mean that she can simply ignore the effect of the judgment. (For example, rotsa ruck if Raimondo wants to apply for a mortgage anytime soon . . . she will still have to disclose on the financial statements / loan applications that she has a >$30 million judgment against her.)

    OTOH, the fact that Oberlin has now bit the bullet and spent nonrefundable big bucks for the supersedeas bond to me signals that they intend to fight this out to the bitter end. The *logical* thing for Oberlin would have been to either settle with the Gibsons outright for some discounted amount of the judgment, or at least reach an arrangement with them in lieu of a bond (e.g., Oberlin pays the Gibsons 75% of what the bond premium would have been been in exchange for an agreement not to execute until appeals are exhausted, with an agreement that such amount is nonrefundable but will be credited against the judgment if the appeal fails, plus give the Gibsons a conditional security interest in assets worth $35 million).

    The fact that Oberlin did neither, but instead spent very serious coin on a supersedeas bond, makes it pretty clear that they are in it for the long haul *and* are fighting based on perceived “principles” rather than logic or economic common sense.

    Another Voice in reply to grumpet007. | July 31, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Raimondo, Vice President and Dean of Students at Oberlin College and Oberlin College were named as Defendants on the charges of libel. The verdict is one of the same holding them jointly responsible for value of damages assessed.

    markm in reply to grumpet007. | August 5, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Oberlin has a $700 million endowment. If they could put a substantial part of that up to guarantee the bond, they would have no trouble getting bonded by any company that can go so high. The only concern a bonding company would have is whether there could be other liens against the accounts.

    OTOH, if it’s against buildings, a whole lot of due diligence would be needed. Including figuring out what a classroom building is worth when the institution that was holding classes has committed suicide.

Someone should spend some money publishing that evil that Oberlin has become so that students considering to choose Oberlin make an informed choice.

Ann in L.A. | July 31, 2019 at 3:19 pm

It’s the “and 56 cents” that really hurts.

Another Voice | July 31, 2019 at 4:52 pm

As an add on, based on the assumption that Oberlin is going to keep her employed for the next 3/4 years until the case is resolved, her ability to have any credit line, new or increased, will be quite limited if even impossible. Even more limiting would be any possibility if she were to seek “other” employment.

As a straight white christian conservative male, I must admit that I am a bit envious of someone who can screw up so royally that they HAVE to keep her employed. And they say that I have privilege? Seriously, in what world?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to MajorWood. | July 31, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Will she ever be able to get another job in an administrative position? Are there people and institutions dumb enough to hire her?

    In all fairness to Ambar, we don’t know to what degree the trustees ordered her to behave as she has. Most of the posts on this blog seem to ignore the years of dereliction of duty by the trustees and their indecisive mishandling of the Gibson matter. I would not rule out that Ambar is being set up as a fall girl by the SJW trustees.

    President Trump has many glaring shortcomings, so let’s blame the whole Gibsons mess on him.

    /s/JD Nobody, OC ’61.

If the judgment is paid from the bond and only a few insiders know who or how the bond was funded, could it be a cover for a leftist outsider to anonymously pay the judgment?

It’s worth remembering that this all started when Oberlin trashed Gibson’s for calling the city police instead of campus security. Raimondo saw that as a direct challenge to her authority. This is a power struggle. Reason has nothing to do with it.

harleycowboy | August 1, 2019 at 8:47 am

Anybody find it strange that they can come up with a $36 million bond but not $32 million to settle the case?

    The_Next_Michael_Jordan in reply to harleycowboy. | August 1, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Retired banker here. This is a bit of a guess but is based on past experience. I think, at this point, the surety may still be “unsecured”; that is Oberlin likely (“likely” is my best guess but not assured) wasn’t required to post specific collateral In situations where there appear to be plenty of assets (and maybe even potential future financial assistance from WOKE alums or third parties) the Surety can issue the bond without encumbering the college’s assets. It is likely (again in my view) the surety agreement has multiple negative covenants which limit Oberlin’s ability to spend available funds, take on new financial obligations or make decisions which could threaten the surety’s ability to seize assets at some future date. And, certainly the Surety has some legal instrument that “springs” and encumbers Oberlin assets in the event of certain negative events—-like substantial declines in enrollment, cash receipts or decline in the value of the collge’s investment portfolio.

    As noted in other articles about Oberlin, the college’s endowment totals about $800 million. However, it is very likely that a significant portion of the funds contributed to the endowment came with limitations regarding their ultimate use. For example, Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music is very strong and well respected nationally. Much of he endowment likely contains assets restricted in their use to benefit solely the Conservatory and would not be available to pledge to the Surety or to pay any final judgement.

    In addition, as speculated, the typical fee for this surety is in the 1% range. However, the fee may be greater if the Surety is not holding specific, liquid collateral.

    The state of Ohio has jurisdiction here so federal courts will not be involved. The projected interest calculation due the Gibsons on the judgement assumes three years for the case to conclude. That is, I understand, the typical time period it takes for the Ohio Supreme Court to issue final ruling on appeals—-this case could take less time but probably will not require more. The Supreme Court in Ohio (like many states) is an elected body and, no doubt, politics will play a part in the final ruling.

    I am certain that Oberlin’s attorneys are hard at work trying to reach an out of court settlement with the Gibsons.

    Although Oberlin really has to appeal the verdict (given the size of the judgement and their potential liability), the college does not benefit from this case remaining open. Although the national Media has not run the story, I live in Ohio, and it has received coverage locally. Alumni are very aware of what has occurred. And, believe it (or not) there are many Oberlin alums who are seething about this situation. Many have verbalized that this situation, besides being a huge embarrassment, has devalued the Oberlin brand.

    For their part, who can blame the Gibson family if they decide to settle for something less than awarded value, like say $15 million. I hope they hold out but they have been enduring this lawsuit for several years now and I’m sure it has consumed substantial time and energy.

    As I stated earlier, this story is a case study in incompetent leadership and terrible institutional governance. If it occurred in corporate America, heads would have rolled at Oberlin long ago.

      This has indeed gotten adverse national press, e.g., NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal. I fear that the damage to their brand may be serious and possibly long lasting. If parents who would otherwise be paying full price, or most of it, develop doubts as to the employment value of a diploma and stop applying, their budget could be thrown even more out of balance. That is why I have favored settling ASAP and putting this behind them.

        fredp0444 in reply to jb4. | August 1, 2019 at 11:25 pm

        Surely Liberal America will come to Oberlin’s rescue……as soon as they can find other people’s money to pay for it!

        Interesting that you should comment on the adverse publicity that has been so prominent. Just about everybody has seen it. The college has sent me many smokescreen emails in the apparent belief that enough distraction will make most people forget that anything happened even though everyone knows something big did happen.

        I am coming around to the view that something nefarious is going on because a credentialed lawyer like President Ambar certainly knows better than to endlessly spin libel and slander as freedom of speech. Shame, shame, shame.

        When smart people go around acting dumb, look out.

      Couple of thoughts from a lawyer who represents bankers.

      1. Federal courts can get involved as an appeal from the Ohio Supreme Court to the US Supreme Court is possible but not likely. The one issue that I see that would be interesting tot the supremes is the constitutionality of the statutory punitive damages cap. In Gore v. BMW the Supremes laid out a test for if punitives in a case were permissible. The Ohio statute doesn’t follow that analysis.

      2. A look at the docket sheet shows the occasional involvement of an insurance company, Lexington Insurance Company (part of AIG), a surplus lines insurer. I would bet that there are at least one insurance company with potential coverage. Probably defending under a reservation of rights which probably means that Oberlin hasn’t been writing the checks for the defense lawyers. It may also mean that the bond is actually being paid for by the insurance company which may not have to post assets to cover.

      3. Assuming Oberlin had to put up assets It would be possible for them to grant a security interest under the UCC in various securities. A good reporter might check to see if there are any new UCC1s.

      4. The Endowment seems to be in three large chunks but in a non-segregated fund. The chucks are unrestricted, board restricted and donor restricted. The first two are easily obtainable by a creditor.

      5. According to the Bond Buyer (an industry paper) Oberlin is doing a refunding transaction on the $190 million in debt.

      6. everything I have seen and read leads me to believe that Oberlin has little interest in settling. They may have a belief, probably mistaken, that the insurance companies will pay.

        markm in reply to freddy33. | August 5, 2019 at 11:03 am

        @freddy33: It’s extremely unlikely that an insurance company would agree to double down on stupid and evil like Oberlin is doing.

        But thanks for explicating what part of the endowment would be safe from being seized by creditors. I assume that “board restricted” is a part that the college administration cannot draw on without the board meeting and changing the restrictions (and perhaps it could have entailed the assets to where even the board could not free them), but creditors could seize them.

        If I understand this correctly, one thing the bonding might do is to protect Oberlin from the Gibsons maliciously choosing the assets they go after first – say, the administration office building… A bonding company would choose financial accounts because they are the easiest to convert to cash. Am I correct in assuming that when the bond has to be paid off, the bonding company can seize assets from the board restricted accounts? That gives the college a way to draw on assets they could not touch otherwise, without any immediate effect on their cash flow.

        Of course, if parents and alumni realize that the Oberlin administration was teaching students that it’s OK to steal and wrong to arrest thieves, the cash flow from tuition and donations is going to shrink.

          freddy33 in reply to markm. | August 5, 2019 at 11:48 am

          The docket sheet shows the involvement of an insurance company. Exactly what level we don’t know. At a minimum I’d be willing to bet that there is a reservation of rights letter or two out there. Also remember that the duty to defend of an insurance carrier is larger than the duty to indemnify.

          As to the endowment, if its Oberlin on the hook (could be an insurance company) then my experience is that the bond company wants easily liquidated assets, not just a lien. If the debtor is offering security other than cash or easily liquidated assets like bonds, then the bond company will want a irrevocable letter of credit from a bank. Bank will in turn take a security interest in more difficult assets. Also the Oberlin endowment report says it is invested in ” endowment has a highly diversified portfolio with allocations to hedge funds, private equity and real assets, which include venture capital, private real estate, private energy and other alternative investments. Our allocations to alternative investments have been higher than many other endowments our size.” I doubt you’re going to find many shares of XOM or MO in their portfolio.

      I’m one of those alums who are seething.

      If anybody had told me before the whole incident started, or even before the lawsuit started, that the college was going to get into this pickle, I’d have said they were nuts. Even wack-job-crazy ultra-left administrators should have had enough awareness of the real world to know that at a certain point, you STOP. Never mind the financial aspect; once the press coverage went as solidly against them as it’s gone, they should have realized that the reputational damage is huge. That won’t go away any time soon.

      I still hold out some hope that something will change the minds of the college admins. Or cause the board to wholesale change the admins, though with this board, the next crop could be even worse.

        There is one thing that holds out some hope for future sanity in the college’s governance. There are and always have been many Oberlinians who manage to get out of bed each morning and screw their heads on without cross-threading them.

        /s/ JD Nobody, OC’61

      Don’t bet your last dollar that the cocky are willing to negotiate. With SJWs like Oliver Cromwell alive once again and rampant in the land negotiating is trying to strike a bargain with the Devil.

      /s/JD Nobody, OC ’61.

So unless they throw out the entire judgement, Gibson will definitely get some money?

Hopefully most all of it pour encourager les outres.

Oberlin is not a real college. It’s a Radical Far Leftnut Propaganda Center, doing evil and destructive things to their captive students. When AOC talks about “concentration camps” she better look at Oberlin.

    Pouncekitty, you exhibit an appalling ignorance of Oberlin. We are critical and independent thinkers, which is why the majority of us are extremely disgusted with the college’s blind SJW behavior in the Gibson matter. The Gibson incident is a high watermark in a long history of most Oberlin students (both current and past) not saluting when stupid decisions are made by the college administration. Remember, only about 5% of the student body showed up for the bogus racism protest against Gibson’s.

    Your post is an offensive, SJW style assault on the many decent people who are part of Oberlin today and it insults their intelligence. Moreover, it is far more psychologically revealing about you than you probably realize. Indeed, do you have any more intellectual integrity than AOC?

    Now you can say in all honesty that Nobody has told you of your folly.

    /s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.

      markm in reply to J.D.Nobody. | August 5, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Your picture looks much older than a typical current Oberlin student, and so I think you might be out of touch.

      At some point during this case, statistics were found for shoplifting arrests at Oberlin. Were you aware of those? IIRC, 32 out of 40 were white, and 33 were Oberlin students. Perhaps that is most of the thieves attending Oberlin, but I think it’s far more likely that all too many students will steal when encouraged – and the Dean of Students made it clear that she’s against arresting thieves, so I can see one place that encouragement was coming from. Nor was there any sign of her advocating rational thought.

        I am indeed more mature than the typical Oberlin student seems to be, and have been acutely aware of the stats on the 40 shopliftings which you cite. Moreover, just as recently as yesterday I spent more time in Oberlin digging further toward the truth in the Gibson matter.

        In my earlier posts on this blog I have roundly called out the board of trustees for their apparent dereliction of duty and breach of fiduciary duty in the Gibson matter. The trustees’ gutless stupidity defies comprehension. The board is a more important issue than how in tune I might with the average student today. Indeed, the students are probably only following the sick example set by the board and their lackeys in the college administration. There is irony in Attorney Ambar insisting there are freedom of speech issues in libeling and slandering the Gibsons. Raimondo’s doctrinaire inverse Trumpism implies that deep down she must really love President Trump.

        The truth is starting to look even uglier for the college than many of the other posts on this blog imply. It is premature to talk about what I am finding from digging into the mess.

        /s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61

      The_Next_Michael_Jordan in reply to J.D.Nobody. | August 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      I think Mr. Nobody is on target here. At least, for now. Oberlin has a strong reputation among private liberal arts colleges. Its Conservatory of Music is probably a top ten nationally and there a slew of well know alums who have contributed much to society—even (OMG!) a former Wall Street CEO (John Gutfreund of “Liars Poker” fame). I too am a senior citizen so I may be a bit ignorant of changed conditions on college campuses. Certainly, I cannot argue that today’s college student seems less respectful toward others and no doubt, Oberlin has a good share of Social Justice Warriors who, it seems, respect nobody. But, I believe there are probably a good number of students who will become responsible citizens in due time, even if they never vote Republican.

      Oberlin is not Antioch. It will remain relevant unless the current Admin. finds more ways to shoot themselves in their posterior. A small liberal arts college with an $800 million endowment speaks volumes for the school’s history and reputation.

      I’m not arguing that there aren’t plenty of undisciplined and immature members of the current Oberlin student body but, if you think about it, there are plenty of those everywhere these days.

Brave Sir Robbin | August 2, 2019 at 2:58 am

Oberlin has to appeal to have settlement leverage. Their appeal is not necessarily indicative they intend to fight all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. They can’t try and lower the obligation if they do not appeal.

    MajorWood in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | August 2, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Irony is Oberlin spending $10M to get the judgement lowered by 2.

      That depends on how strong Gibson’s believes its position is. All of Oberlin’s costs – interest, surety bond and legal costs – are likely time dependent. If in a couple of months Gibson’s settles for $25M total (including legal fees), Oberlin might gain some versus paying the whole $31.5M recently, allowing them to claim a minor victory.

There seems to have been little consideration given here to whether the Gibson’s mess might be a matter of federal jurisdiction. The interstate commerce clause has been sufficiently twisted inside out over the years that it should be applicable to just about anything.

Certainly, both Gibsons and the college are engaged in interstate commerce as it is defined today. The use of electronic communications in creating this mess (phone, internet) would normally be a matter of federal jurisdiction. Virtually all telephone conversations today are encoded into internet protocol (IP) packets that apparently fall under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It is my understanding that federal jurisdiction even applies to a cell phone conversation in which both parties are in the same room. It would be really nice if the Gibsons could find a way to make the bogus racism charges against them boomerang back onto the college in the form of a criminal civil rights case.

Indeed, don’t the Gibsons, even if racist, have a right to feed their families? Isn’t the Gibsons’ right to run a small family business for their income, without being slandered, a civil right? Haven’t the Gibsons’ civil rights been violated in this regard?

Where are the trial lawyers who can think outside of the box and come up with a better way to resolve this matter, without just interminably thrashing around in all the legal weeds that are growing in Oberlin?

Federal courts have no jurisdiction here. The US isn’t a party, there is no federal question and there is a lack of diversity for diversity jurisdiction. The ICC was dissolved in 1996.

Also, it would be nice to come up with a better way. They tried mediation but my read of the reporting is that Oberlin would only pay little to none. So you’re left with the courts.

    Hypothetically, if a higher court totally overturns the judgment and Gibson’s ends up bankrupt, the SJW would cheer, but could Oberlin still pay a major price in the real world of applications and enrollment? (“David” does not win, but neither does “Goliath”, a “lose-lose” scenario.)

    I misspoke. I meant the FCC, not the ICC.

    My central point was that Gibson’s might see an opportunity to raise an issue around illegal use of the electronic communications that are under FCC jurisdiction. There may be no federal crime here, but the college has been dancing around the edges of one.

      markm in reply to J.D.Nobody. | August 5, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      Interesting. But Gibson already won big in state court, so why start a different lawsuit? And the use of electronic communications to slander them, interfere with their business, and raise a mob against them was already counted in the $11 million damages and 2 X punitive damages.

      If anyone is going to go into federal court, it’s Oberlin. But if it happens, either their lawyer is incompetent or they’re doing it against the advice of counsel. Take it to the federal courts and by the time it reaches the Supreme Court, there will be 3 Trump appointees among the 6 justices ready to roast Oberlin for continuing to use frivolous arguments and attempt to deceive the courts.