Oberlin College-aligned Media Effort To Unseal Gibson’s Bakery Clerk Facebook Records Goes To Briefing In Ohio Supreme Court
The Facebook records dispute is a sideshow to the main appeal from the Gibson’s Bakery verdict, but it’s a nasty sideshow done by a media outlet that appears to be doing the college’s dirty work in the hope of portraying the Gibsons as racists.
WEWS-TV in Cleveland, where Oberlin College’s lead trial counsel used to work as a legal commentator, is continuing its effort to unseal the confidential Facebook records of Allyn D. Gibson, the Gibson’s Bakery clerk who stopped a black college student shoplifter leading to accusations of racial profiling, protests, and the defamation case against the college that went to trial in 2019.
This is a sideshow to the main appeal, which is still pending and could be ruled on any day, in which (1) Oberlin College and Dean of Students Meredith Raimando seek to overturn the compensatory and punitive damage awards totalling, after reduction under Ohio tort reform law, $25 million, plus over $6 million in attorney’s fees, bringing the judgment to over $32 million, and (2) the cross-appeal by Gibson’s Bakery and two members of the Gibson family (including the widow of the late David Gibson) seeking to restore the full $33 million punitive damages award.
The Facebook records dispute is a sideshow, but it’s a nasty sideshow done by a media outlet that appears to be doing the college’s dirty work in the hope of portraying the Gibsons as racists, as we have explored and explained in numerous posts:
- Cleveland Media Seek Access To Gibson’s Bakery Store Clerk’s Sealed Facebook Records in Oberlin College Case, But Why?
- Gibson’s Bakery alleges Cleveland media collaborating with Oberlin College to unseal store clerk’s Facebook records
- Cleveland media fail to deny allegations of collusion with Oberlin College to unseal Gibson’s Bakery store clerk’s Facebook records
- To Dox The Store Clerk or Not, That Remains The Question In Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College
- We interrupt this pandemic to update you on Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case
- Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Court rejects attempt to unseal store clerk’s private Facebook records
- Cleveland Media appeal denial of access to Gibson’s Bakery store clerk Facebook records
- Update on Cleveland Media attempt to gain access to Gibson’s Bakery store clerk Facebook records
- Media Aligned With Oberlin College Take Quest To Unseal Gibson’s Bakery Store Clerk’s Facebook Records To Ohio Supreme Court
In that last linked post above, I noted that the Ohio Supreme Court sent the case to mediation (docket), but I didn’t read much into that:
I don’t read much into that referral to mediation, which strikes me as something appeals courts routinely do. I can’t see mediation being successful in this circumstance, but courts require litigants to try.
Not surprisingly, mediation didn’t work and the case has been redocketed for briefing by the Ohio Supreme Court. The case is WEWS-TV against the trial court judge, because WEWS-TV is seeking “mandamus,” and order directing Miraldi to unseal the records. Miraldi’s response is due 21 days from August 25.
An Entry of Appearance has been entered by the Lorain County Prosecutors Office, who will represent the Judge. While I assume the prosecutors’ office will do their best, the real party in interest here is Allyn D. Gibson, after all it’s his records that would be unsealed. I don’t know whether the Gibson family lawyers, the ones who represented Allyn on the intermediate appeal, will move to intervene or at least be heard.
We will continue to follow both appeals.
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