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Gibson’s Bakery Wins! Ohio Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Oberlin College Appeal

Gibson’s Bakery Wins! Ohio Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Oberlin College Appeal

Hopefully the long, hard road Gibson’s Bakery has traveled in its fight with Oberlin College has come to an end. The Gibsons now can collect approximately $36 million.

Hopefully the long, hard road Gibson’s Bakery has traveled in its fight with Oberlin College has come to an end.

The Ohio Supreme Court just refused to accept jurisdiction over Oberlin College’s appeal (the Court also refused to hear the Gibsons’ appeal seeking to reinstate the full punitive damages award). It was a 4-3 decision, and it means the Gibsons now can collect approximately $36 million.

We received the following comment from Lee Plakas, lead trial counsel for the Gibsons:


On behalf of the Gibson family and the trial team, Truth Still Matters, David can still overcome Goliath.

We and the Gibson family are gratified that all judges on the court of appeals and the majority of the Ohio Supreme Court recognized the rights of individuals rather than the bullying tactics of the big institutions.

We received quotes from the Gibsons and the trial team:

“Oberlin tried to frame this case with claims and issues that weren’t on trial. This has never been a case about a student’s first amendment rights. Individuals’ reputations should never be sacrificed at a false altar of free speech. The Gibsons and the entire State of Ohio should appreciate that the jury, a unanimous Ninth District Court of Appeals, and a majority of the Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court recognized that the deplorable conduct of Oberlin College could not be camouflaged by misleading claims of free speech.”

“The jury recognized Oberlin College’s bullying tactics. The students admitted their misconduct, but Oberlin College could never admit that they were wrong. They presumed that they could bring the Gibsons to their knees. The power of truth has enabled the Gibson family to survive Oberlin’s onslaught.”

We reached out to Oberlin College for comment, but have not yet received a response.

Previous posts on the appeal:


Several commenters mention Oberlin College going to federal court. That is a long, long, long shot. The appeal would be from the Ohio Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. The likelihood the U.S. Supreme Court would agree to hear a case the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear is not zero, but it’s approaching zero. I would not be shocked if they tried, but they would have to obtain another stay of enforcement of the judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court, another major hurdle that has little likelihood of success.


We still have not received a response from the college, but it did provide this statement to the local newspaper:

“Oberlin is disappointed that the Ohio Supreme Court has chosen not to hear our appeal of the Gibson’s Bakery judgment against the college,” the college said. “The issues raised by this case have been challenging, not only for the parties involved, but for the entire Oberlin community.”

“We remain committed to strengthening the partnership between the College, the City of Oberlin and its residents, and the downtown business community. We will continue in that important work while remaining focused on our core educational mission,” the college said.

This post has a thread at Memeorandum, with lots of shout-outs to us:

 William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion:

Gibson’s Bakery Wins!  Ohio Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Oberlin College Appeal  —  Hopefully the long, hard road Gibson’s Bakery has traveled in its fight with Oberlin College has come to an end.  The Gibsons now can collect approximately $36 million.  —

[Featured Image: Gibson Family and legal team after punitive damages verdict][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]


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Does this mean the checks in the mail?

    Dr P in reply to r2468. | August 30, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    of course not

    I could see the College appeal to SCOTUS
    – just out of spite
    – to drag it out longer

      Ken McKenna in reply to Dr P. | August 30, 2022 at 3:00 pm

      Oberlin will likely file in Chapter 11, imposing an automatic stay on its insurance company’s right to realize on Oberlin’s assets. The insurance company should still pay Gibsons, but bankruptcy courts sometime improperly enjoin such payments for a while. In any event, if Oberlin files in federal bankruptcy court under Chapter 11, all appeals from that point on will be in the federal courts, with the SCOTUS as the last stop, and with the insurance company just another Oberlin creditor.

        Ken McKenna in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 3:07 pm

        Also, if Oberlin files in Chapter 11 and Gibson has to sue the insurance company to force it to pay on the bond, it is possible that action might also end up removed to the bankruptcy court as a so-called “adversary proceeding.” An adversary proceeding falls within the bankruptcy court’s “related to” jurisdiction if “the outcome of that proceeding could conceivably have an effect on the bankruptcy estate [Oberlin] being administered in bankruptcy.”

          Ken McKenna in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 3:13 pm

          And if Oberlin files in Chapter 11, the entire Gibson case against Oberlin and its assets will be automatically transferred to the federal bankruptcy court. That case should not include the insurance company’s obligation to pay Gibsons. But then there adversary proceedings considerations.

          freddy33 in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 6:29 pm

          In Chapter 11, the debtor retains possession of all assets and continues as a debtor in possession subject to the authority of the trustee. 11 USC 1107. The bankruptcy court would not automatically take over the state court case. The state court case would be stayed under 11 usc 362.

          RandomCrank in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 31, 2022 at 4:29 pm

          If Oberlin doesn’t pay, Zurich American pays. Insofar as Chapter 11 is concerned, ZA would be a creditor not Gibson.

        kyrrat in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 5:57 pm

        Chapter 11 will close the university, and they are funded with trusts. I’m really not seeing chapter 11 as viable.

          Ken McKenna in reply to kyrrat. | August 30, 2022 at 8:49 pm

          The debtor in possession does retain its assets in Chapter 11, but all actions to realize on those assets will have to run thru the bankruptcy court.

          Ken McKenna in reply to kyrrat. | August 30, 2022 at 9:07 pm

          No. Filing in Chapter 11 would definitely not close Oberlin’s. The whole point of Chapter 11 is to allow the debtor to continue operating while it reorganizes.

          But if Oberlin has to divert $36 million from its $180 million operating budget, its operations and applications would likely be completely disrupted, probably destroying the school.

          Ken McKenna in reply to kyrrat. | August 30, 2022 at 9:50 pm

          There are no financial or insolvency requirements for filing a voluntary Chapter 11 case other than the good faith requirement that the case be filed primarily for purposes of reorganization. A voluntary Chapter 11 debtor may be solvent or insolvent, its assets may exceed its liabilities by any amount (or vice versa), and its income may be substantial or nonexistent. The only financial restriction is the practical one of whether the cost of the case to the debtor is justified by the intended benefit.

        UtahChris in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 6:03 pm

        They are worth billions – no Chapter 11 – likely delay in payment as long as possible until the court ORDERS them to pay. More likely the bakery will need to start putting liens on assets (vehicles, construction equipment, land, etc) but Oberlin will delay and delay.

          Ken McKenna in reply to UtahChris. | August 30, 2022 at 9:03 pm

          Oberlin’s entire endowment is about $1 billion. Most college endowments are highly illiquid. Oberlin’s annual operating budget is about $180 million. Having to pay an additional $36 million all at once would probably destroy the college, meaning it cannot pay its debts as they come due … the normal dwfinition of “insolvency” permitting a debtor to file in Chapter 11. A debtor need not have obligations in excess of its assets to file in Chapter 11.

          Ken McKenna in reply to UtahChris. | August 30, 2022 at 9:12 pm

          Oberlin is already experiencing serious financial stress:

          Dimsdale in reply to UtahChris. | August 30, 2022 at 11:39 pm

          Considering that Oberlin had no concern that Gibsons was going to be destroyed by the college’s actions, I see little reason to care about Oberlin’s fate.

          Inasmuch as Oberlin has forfeited its presumed academic role, and instead, become a reeducation camp for its students, closing might be for the best.

        Jay Phillip in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 9:10 pm

        Oberlin has an endowment of $1.09 Billion.
        They would need 3.30% of it to satisfy this judgement, and have enough left over to satisfy all alumni student loan debt.

          Ken McKenna in reply to Jay Phillip. | August 30, 2022 at 10:54 pm

          That $1.09 Billion is obviously out of date. And nobody is arguing that Oberlin does not have gross assets necessary to pay this judgment.

          As I noted, filing in Chapter 11 requires only a good faith belief in the need to reorganize, not “insolvency” by any definition. I assume that Oberlin’s endowment is broken into many restricted trusts, and is almost entirely illiquid. The university is already under financial strain, with the faculty in near revolt. Some major reorganization In Chapter 11. Pulling 436 Million out of an organization with an operating budget of about $180 will almost certainly require a substantial reorganization.

          In a Chapter 11 proceeding every creditor’s claim is evaluated by the bankruptcy court. Oberlin could assert defenses, including that the Gibson claim is invalid because it violates the First Amendment. The bankruptcy court’s decision on the validity of such a defense would be appealable in the federal system right up to the SCOTUS.

          Ken McKenna in reply to Jay Phillip. | August 31, 2022 at 2:28 pm

          I apologize for the garbled passage of my reply. That passage should read:

          “Some major reorganization In Chapter 11 may be justified by Oberlin’s need to restructure the contractual restrictions on the trusts in its endowment and to exit some illiquid investments. A pre-packaged bankruptcy where the proposed plan of reorganization is included in the bankruptcy filing might be possible. But contesting the Gibsons’ claim on any grounds would at least delay an approval. Pulling $36 Million out of an organization with an annual operating budget of about $180 will almost certainly require a substantial reorganization.”

          The_Mew_Cat in reply to Jay Phillip. | August 31, 2022 at 3:22 pm

          If there is stress on their operating budget and they have restrictions on their endowment, can’t Oberlin just borrow the $36M from a bank to pay the judgement and pay the bank back over time? They could impose a social justice fee on the students to pay back the judgement over the next 10 years, or maybe fire some administrators. The only reason to go CH11 would be if Oberlin wants a semi-legitimate excuse to remove some of the endowment restrictions.

          Ken McKenna in reply to Jay Phillip. | September 1, 2022 at 2:52 pm

          Yes, borrowing the money and raising fees might work. But Oberlin is already under financial strain, and the whole liberal arts college sector in which they compete is in trouble. Taking out a deadweight $36 million loan might not be easy, and might still be cheaper and easier as debtor-in-possession financing. Also, Oberlin could challenge the Gibsons’ claim and attempt a cram-down of it in the Plan of Reorganization, which might induce the Gibsons to settle for less.

          Chapter 11 is expensive and dangerous, but Oberlin has been irrational through all of this.

        diver64 in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 31, 2022 at 5:02 am

        Oberlin can file what it wants but the bond company owes the money. The fight would be between the bond company and Oberlin so Zurich would have to file bankruptcy also and that won’t happen. Isn’t this true?

          Ken McKenna in reply to diver64. | August 31, 2022 at 2:17 pm

          Yes. Totally true.

          But bankruptcy courts will sometimes (improperly) enjoin payments by third-party insurers.

          By the way, I hope the Gibsons collect every penny, and I consider everything Oberlin has done to be utterly disgraceful.

        Bankruptcy is not likely an option here. Below is the last paragraph of page 31 of the Oberlin College 2021 Annual Report covering the Gibson litigation:

        “The College has overlapping umbrella and excess insurance policies. Insurance coverage will not be determined until the appeals are exhausted or the matter is otherwise resolved. As required by financial accounting standards, the College has recorded a liability of $31,615 at June 30, 2019 which is included in other non-current liabilities on the consolidated statements of financial position.”

          Ken McKenna in reply to JRD47. | September 1, 2022 at 2:41 pm

          That’s interesting. I was not aware of Oberlin’s insurance situation. Many schools of Oberlin’s size self-insure.

          One cautionary point: ordinary insurance often does not reimburse the insured for liability from willful and deliberate acts, and Oberlin’s defamation was definitely willful and deliberate…right up to its president and trustees.

    JAWilson in reply to r2468. | August 30, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    Probably not right away. But I do think the interest on the judgement keeps on building.

    Oberlin will go kicking and screaming into that good night, but it is getting a lot closer now!

    Their bitter tears make my cocktails so much better.

    lahela in reply to r2468. | August 30, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    I pray that justice prevails for the Gibson family. The smear from Oberlin towards this family business made me sick to the bone. I hope this is a lesson to those that want to use race as a tactic to bully innocent people who are just doing their job – running a business. Grinding the wheels that make the American economy go. This hubris of Oberlin is so great; they will never admit they were wrong and apologize. And hubris is said to precede the fall.

    jomel1 in reply to r2468. | August 31, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    I would think that the Oberlin College posted collateral with the insurance company before the insurance company issued the bond.

    jomel1 in reply to r2468. | August 31, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    I would think that the college transferred collateral to the insurance company before the insurance company issued the appeal bond, which would mean that the insurance company has a lien on the collateral.

Great news! Made my day.

JackinSilverSpring | August 30, 2022 at 9:33 am

A 4-3 decision? What were the 3 judges thinking? This should have been 7-0. Anyway, good for Gibson. Of course, watch Oberlin stonewall.

    The 3 didn’t say they were inclined to rule for Oberlin, but merely that they thought there was enough there to make the appeal worth hearing. And one of them said he would also like to hear the Gibsons’ cross-appeal to reinstate the full award, which would come to almost an extra $20M by now, I would think.

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2022 at 10:36 am

      Could this be appealed to a Federal court under a “civil tights” claim? Considering the initial issue dealt with “racial discriminatipn” I wouldn’t be surprised that is the next step. At least Oberlin will give it a try as they have friends in high places and it is 2022.

        Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | August 30, 2022 at 11:05 am

        I doubt it. The fact that race is involved is completely irrelevant. I don’t really see any federal issue here, but we shall see whether they try it.

          SeiteiSouther in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2022 at 11:19 am

          The only thing I could see the college doing for a Federal Question jurisdiction is try the 1st Amendment angle. And since they didn’t remove it to federal court timely, I highly doubt this will work.

          henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2022 at 3:37 pm

          I’m trying to figure out how race can be completely irrelevant to a case that was brought by a plaintiff because he was libeled as a racist.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2022 at 4:12 pm

          First of all, the libel was not that Gibsons is racist. Calling someone racist is not actionable, because it’s an opinion. The suit was because Meredith Raimondo, speaking for the university, made specific factual statements about Gibsons that weren’t true. At trial the defendants didn’t even try claiming the statements were true.

          And at this point it doesn’t even matter what the statements were; the jury found them to be (1) false and (2) defamatory, and (3) to have been made by the defendants. That’s all that matters any more.

          In any case, race doesn’t make it a federal case. Even the original defamation case wasn’t federal, because it wasn’t about civil rights, it was only ever about whether Oberlin made those specific statements and whether they were true.

    There are remedies. In the early 1960s, Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) expropriated land from my family in order to build part of Interstate 10. Problem was that they insisted my family simply give the land to them.

    My mother (all of about 4’10” and maybe 90# soaking wet) was the lead lawyer in the suit which, incredibly, went to court. The verdict was simple: pay up. The president of Jeff then made a strategic level error: he told my mother “ok, you got your judgment. Good luck with getting it paid.”

    She went back to her office and filed an attachment to Jeff’s funds. That meant that while they still retained ownership of the money, they were unable to spend it. I learned about all this at the dinner table that night.

    Then she sat back and waited for payday.

    When it came, she got a phone call. “OK, you’ve had your fun and made your point. Release the attachment so we can make payroll.”

    “That will happen as soon as we’re paid.”


    A few minutes later, “We can negotiate this, but we’ve gotta make payroll. We’ll set up a meeting next week.”

    “Get serious. Attachment ends when I have a cashier’s check in hand, and not a minute before.” We’re talking about close to half a megabuck—in the early 1960s—not a trifling sum.



    And about an hour later a courier delivered the check.

    No reason not to do that here. Oberlin and Jeff are the same: in the wrong and clearly I’ll-intentioned. I’m surprised they didn’t offer Gibson’s a payment schedule—that they could then slow pay.

      Edward in reply to coyote. | August 30, 2022 at 1:16 pm

      IIRC an insuror has the money in escrow so it wouldn’t be Oberlin making the payment.

        Another Voice in reply to Edward. | August 30, 2022 at 3:40 pm

        Only upto the point of a final appeals ruling which appears to be the case here, The Ohio Supreme Court would include copy of the final legal decision which entitle them to release the funds from escrow. Perhaps a couple of weeks from date of decision to finalize legal required postings with all parties. Insurer is a 3rd party with no stake in the game at this point other than to follow courts orders.

        Oberlin might fill need to a make claim on the insurer for releasing funds and causing them harm before they could take the route of filing a SCOTUS claim on Ohio Supreme Court. It would be in keeping of the case to date. They are NEVER in the Wrong.

        Strelnikov in reply to Edward. | August 30, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        The bond only pays if the insured, Oberlin, refuses or fails to pay. The bond issuer, the insurance company, then pursues Oberlin to re-coup its payment. Sooner or late, it comes out of Oberlin’s pocket.

      OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to coyote. | August 30, 2022 at 6:46 pm

      Some people seem to forget with eminent domain, there is a just compensation clause. A good eminent domain attorney knows how to have their client made whole. I know of a case where an expressway filed against a retired couple. They had planned wisely, had no debt, lived in a modest home where, with all their state constitional property tax exemptions in place, paid no property tax. After the Order of Taking was filed, they negotiated out the details. The couple ended up in a nice over-55 condo with many time more than their modest home. Then, they got their property tax bill for the new residence. The attorney went back to court, saying his clients had not been made whole; they now have a tax bill where they had none before. The constitutional homestead exemption that they had on their modest home, one that provided no property tax bill whatsoever, was declared to be ‘portable’, and so the judge ruled that their new residence, valued much higher than their previous residence, was also 100% ‘homesteaded’, just as their previous residence was.

      I think most people would not have considered the just compensation to be made whole aspect, and would have been happy with something more than what they paid for their property.

        They had planned wisely, had no debt, lived in a modest home where, with all their state constitional property tax exemptions in place, paid no property tax.

        My goodness, what state do they live in. Texas is killing us with property taxes

      gonzotx in reply to coyote. | August 31, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      Have need a lot more of your mother around this land

      Good for you

      What a Dame!!!

    Maybe they were thinking the punitive damages weren’t high enough. Just because they refuse to hear the case doesn’t mean the 3 dissenters are on Oberlin’s side.

Although this is great news, since there are serious Constitutional issues that need to be resolved, I predict an appeal to federal court.

I am curious how the bond aspect of the appeal will be managed.

    Joe-dallas in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 10:25 am

    curious – what would the federal issue be?

      From Oberlin’s petition:

      Proposition of Law No. 2:
      Imposing liability on a college for facilitating student speech
      contravenes First Amendment principles and cannot survive an
      appellate court’s independent review of the whole record,
      including whether: the plaintiff is a public figure; there is clear
      and convincing proof of constitutional actual malice; and the
      damages awarded are limited to unprotected conduct.

        number crunch in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 11:03 am

        As I recall, this was not about facilitating student free speech but that college officials aided and abetted defamation and used college facilities to do so.

        Indeed, “facilitating student speech” only requires that the college not intervene but this was not the case; they actively encouraged false statements that material damaged a business.

          Milhouse in reply to number crunch. | August 30, 2022 at 11:09 am

          Yeah, I think they’re calling that “facilitation”. But facilitating just means enabling the students to speak, and it was established right at the beginning of the case that it would not include anything the students said. If the Gibsons want to go after the students they will have to sue them separately. This case was entirely and only about the college itself, in its own voice, repeating the students’ lies, and the first amendment doesn’t help it there. So I don’t see any federal court accepting such an appeal; but who knows?

        kyrrat in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 6:00 pm

        That isn’t the cause examined by the Jury. They lost based on statements made by school administrators that were not factual. Oberlin never even defended themselves on the statements and never claimed the statements were not false.

    freddy33 in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Appeal route is to the US Supreme Court not any other federal court. SCOTUS is not likely to grant cert since the Ohio Supreme didn’t either. All issues had to be raised at trial or are deemed abandoned so no new issues. The Ohio CofA dealt with the red herring of first amendment of students issue. Any attempt in the lower federal courts would have to start in the District Courts. That would be viewed as a collateral attack on the judgment which are disfavored under the res judicata doctrine. They would have to allege something like a failure of due process which would be that they did not get a chance to make their case in court. Given the track record of this case that is beyond doubtful.

      puhiawa in reply to freddy33. | August 30, 2022 at 12:37 pm

      I agree. This would have to be a direct appeal to SCOTUS. The only way to get into the Federal system otherwise would be to assert a claim other than those brought and disposed of at trial, assuming the other Federal jurisdictional elements are satisfied.

    UtahChris in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    The only appeals that can happen is to U.S. Supreme Court both for a stay and a general appeal (EXTREMELY LOW LIKELIHOOD OF SUCCESS). You should really understand how the courts work. State Supreme Court decisions can ONLY be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. They can’t make a new claim arising from this case in a new case. Their opportunity came in this case alone.

    kyrrat in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 31, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    You really need to read all the Oberlin articles on the website. The professor followed the entire case and explained very clearly every legal issue. Free speech by the students never entered into this case. It was explicitly stated repeatedly that this was the case throughout the trial. This wholly centered on the statements of Meredith Raimondo, Dean of Students at the time and various Oberlin admins.

Thank heavens; I was thinking O’Connor was too far gone to the dark side, but apparently she has some small shred of justice left in her.

I wonder if Oberlin is simply going to refuse to pay? They have made so many statements over the years indicating a completely false narrative(flat out lying) regarding what happened in the original incident and even in the trial. I wonder if they’re just going to say, “No, we refuse to reward racism,” or some other nonsense? Are they actually going to force the court to begin the confiscation of college property?

    Groty in reply to JohnC. | August 30, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Gibson College has a nice ring to it.

    Milhouse in reply to JohnC. | August 30, 2022 at 10:28 am

    It’s not up to them. That’s why the money is in escrow. Now it can be released.

    freddy33 in reply to JohnC. | August 30, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Bond company (Zurich American) will pay as soon as final. Last thing they want is a reputation with courts of not paying this bonds on time. Typically there is a formality of sending orders or mandates back down the chain to the trial court. That may take a week or two. On the bonding company, they will pay timely. This bond is less than two days PROFIT for this company. They already made their fee (maybe a couple of percent plus something for the years) and they are secured as to getting paid by Oberlin. (This isn’t their first rodeo.)

      If Oberlin tries to shaft the bonding company…. Well, it will not go well for the college, but they’ll get an education for certain.

        Dimsdale in reply to georgfelis. | August 30, 2022 at 11:47 pm

        Might be the first time in decades on that alleged college…

        RandomCrank in reply to georgfelis. | August 31, 2022 at 3:55 pm

        I have multiple sclerosis, and good disability insurance. I have told many a doctor that the insurance companies scare me a lot more than MS does. Zurich American is an old-name, highly established company. If Oberlin couldn’t beat the Gibsons’, they won’t stand a ghost of a chance if they get into it with ZA.

        You never know. Oberlin been pretty stupid (putting it ever so mildly) up to this point. Are they going to go Full Moron and try to F with ZA? I’d buy tickets to sit in that courtroom. LOL

      Strelnikov in reply to freddy33. | August 30, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      See my comment above re procedure on bond payment. Nothing is in “escrow”. No money has been put aside.

        pst314 in reply to Strelnikov. | August 30, 2022 at 5:19 pm

        [ Jaw drops. ]
        I’d swear I read discussion here of an escrow account, although the case *has* been dragging on for a long time.

        randian in reply to Strelnikov. | August 30, 2022 at 5:40 pm

        The bond agent still has to pay, and presumably has the wherewithal to do so, whether or not Oberlin has deposited funds with them.

        RandomCrank in reply to Strelnikov. | August 31, 2022 at 4:18 pm

        Do you actually know that? In any case, Zurich is on the hook. How they collateralized the bond is their problem.

    healthguyfsu in reply to JohnC. | August 30, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    The bond is out…it’s not in their hands any more.

    UtahChris in reply to JohnC. | August 30, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    The cash is sitting in an escrow account that the insurance carrier (Zurich I think) has maintained including the interest that is accruing. Now the Bakery will need to ask the original judge to order the release of the escrow account. Sounds simple, but more time will transpire to get on the docket to get that order. No arguments will be hear. No briefs. Simple order from the court.

      OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to UtahChris. | August 30, 2022 at 6:51 pm

      Didn’t they already ask to be paid immediately with the lower court? Hence the appeal to the state supreme court?

Thank God.

Now it goes to Federal court. You don’t really think Oberlin will give up that easily, do you??

    freddy33 in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 30, 2022 at 11:29 am

    How does it go to federal court?

    number crunch in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 30, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Ask a lawyer for the procedure but as far as I can tell, plaintiff request for removal to Federal court would have to be within 30 days after the initial pleading and require some justification as to jurisdiction or a unique point of Federal law or other grounds for removal. We lost after trial doesn’t cut it in my mind. Neither does Oberlin’s attempt after trial during appeal to raise a 1st amendment free speech point for students in a defamation case against college officials. So unless there’s some fine point of law that a lawyer can explain, I think that this is over.

      The_Mew_Cat in reply to number crunch. | August 30, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      Others seem to think a Federal appeal can only go to SCOTUS, and Sotomayor oversees Ohio. So if she grants a stay, that at least forces the other Justices to discuss the case. That doesn’t mean it would work, but it could delay the execution of the judgement for several months at least, and if 4 Justices want to take the case, for possibly a year. It may be a “Hail Mary” play on Oberlin’s part, with little chance of success, but their lawyers would be negligent if they didn’t try.

        Another Voice in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 30, 2022 at 4:09 pm

        You have brought up talking points..not legal. The release of the news today goes to the heart of the case which was first voiced here at L.I. by Prof. J. MSM did not pick up until after the 1rst court case was heard just before the juries finding of defamation. You can also find everyone of those posts here (perhaps archived) including the day to day hearing of the trial.

        I point this out as it is obvious from your post you do not know twit on this case and legal rulings of follow up appeals case and rulings. Which brings us here today on the final closure which ends with; Oberlin -PAY UP.

        silverpie in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 30, 2022 at 6:13 pm

        That’s changed. The Sixth now has Kavanaugh as its circuit justice.

      Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars any effort to relitigate what was decided against a litigant in state court. No federal jurisdiction in a lower federal court for what is effectively a collateral attack on a state judgment. Only exception is federal habeas corpus.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | August 30, 2022 at 9:56 am

I am very happy for the Gibson family. One’s name is your most valuable possession. They defended it we’ll

    They defended it with everything they had including their lives

    Very brave and honorable family

    Shame shame shame on Oberlin and it’s nasty employees, students and parents who sent them there.

Nice win but evil is beaten in steps.

smalltownoklahoman | August 30, 2022 at 9:56 am

Justice at long last! Oberlin delayed as long as they could but I seriously doubt they can hold out much longer on paying the Gibsons what they are owed. I advise the Gibsons to relocate to a nicer location, one that doesn’t rely on a woke college for their main source of revenue.

What a great story of justice, David over Goliath. Followed this the whole way.

I think since the payment is in bond from the insurance firm, they get paid. Any further litigation would be between Gibson and the insurance firm. Any attempts to further appeal or pursue would be an attempt to pursue after the fact and recover the paid money:

Made. My. Day.

I would like to see from Legal Insurrection or posters comments on the prospects for Federal court action now, delaying this for years more.

I bet this isn’t the end of Oberlin’s foot-dragging.


Gibson posted a bond that guaranteed payment of the judgment. If Oberlin doesn’t pay, the insurance company issuing the bond has to. If the insurer doesn’t pay, its license gets yanked and it gets placed into receivership. So, this will get paid.

I know of no basis on which a federal court might intervene to prevent collection of this judgment.

Sadly, though, I predict the Gibsons only see about half of this money. Some will go to their attorneys. And some might well have to be paid to the federal government in taxes.

    The US Supreme Court has its own rules about granting stays.

    However, the Supreme Court may not act quickly enough to prevent Gibson’s from collecting on the bond.

      According to this source since the case is from Ohio, the case would be assigned to Sonia Sotomayor. Therefore, Oberlin will file its motion either today or tomorrow and the stay will be granted this week.

        Gosport in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 11:16 am

        A stay doesn’t stop the interest charges from adding up. At some point the insurance company is going to have no choice but to say “enough”.

        freddy33 in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 11:37 am

        SCOTUS gets over 7000 applications for cert every year which average out to over 25 per day. About 80 per year are granted. Stays pending cert are very rare. That’s why they generate new articles. Very doubtful she grants a stay.

          But Oberlin is “special”.

          Ted Bell in reply to freddy33. | August 30, 2022 at 2:58 pm

          Like most law students, I was able to meet and speak with several Supreme Court justices when I was in law school. To echo what ParkRidgeIL said above, in a discussion with one of the justices the question about deciding whether to take a case, he answered, “we only have 80 silver bullets for each term. Is this an issue I’m going to sacrifice one of those silver bullets for?” One important consideration is how broad is the issue from a public standpoint? If a person has been horribly wronged but it really has no bearing on the rest of society, they will not hear the case. They are not really interested in the people involved in the case but on how many people are potentially affected by the overall issue in the case. The two primary considerations that lead to them hearing the case are 1) is there a significant split among the Circuit Courts one this issue (i.e., in some circuits the rule/law on these facts is ‘A’, but in other circuits it is the opposite of ‘A’); or 2) is it a signicifant federal issue. Oberlin will try to argue #2 under the first amendment argument listed elsewhere in the article and comments, but the hurdle they face is convincing the court that this ruling/issue, which is in reality a pretty limited scenario and also has no legal weight outside of Ohio, will significantly impact a large number of people. If the Court heard 1000 cases a term they might take this one, but I strongly doubt they will use one of their 80 silver bullets on it.


        As per your link “If the application for a stay is referred to the Court, five Justices must vote to grant the stay” and I don’t see five willing to stick their necks out for these nutcases. That doesn’t mean the Oberlin lawyers won’t try, because they’re paid by the hour after all, but all Oberlin is doing right now is running up their legal bills *and* the end judgement which is accumulating interest faster than they are able to use their endowment to earn. (wonder how that thousand point drop in the stock market affected their bottom line…)

        Olinser in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 1:42 pm

        No possible way she grants a stay.

        If she does, than she’s even dumber than I anticipated.

        I can’t see any scenario where any of the conservative justices overrule the decision, the likely outcome of the SCOTUS actually taking the case is going to be establishing the precedent that organizations ARE legally liable for calling organizations racist without any actual evidence to back it up.

        And that would be utterly catastrophic for liberals in general.

        UtahChris in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 6:16 pm

        Rule 23. Stays
        1. A stay may be granted by a Justice as permitted by law.
        2. A party to a judgment sought to be reviewed may present to a Justice an application to stay the enforcement of that judgment. See 28 U. S. C. §2101(f).
        3. An application for a stay shall set out with particularity why the relief sought is not available from any other court or judge. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, an application for a stay will not be entertained unless the relief requested was first sought in the appropriate court or courts below or from a judge or judges thereof. An application for a stay shall identify the judgment sought to be reviewed and have appended thereto a copy of the order and opinion, if any, and a copy of the order, if any, of the court or judge below denying the relief sought, and shall set out specific reasons why a stay is justified. The form and content of an application for a stay are governed by Rules 22 and 33.2 .
        4. A judge, court, or Justice granting an application for a stay pending review by this Court may condition the stay on the filing of a supersedeas bond having an approved surety or sureties. The bond will be conditioned on the satisfaction of the judgment in full, together with any costs, interest, and damages for delay that may be awarded. If a part of the judgment sought to be reviewed has already been satisfied, or is otherwise secured, the bond may be conditioned on the satisfaction of the part of the judgment not otherwise secured or satisfied, together with costs, interest, and damages.

        I see this as being EXTREMELY UNLIKELY to be successful after Ohio Supreme Court rejected the stay. I recall the Robert Alton Harris stays in California and the 9th Circuit and the abuse of the judicial process that ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court slapped down. Not a lot of similarity, but shows how easily courts can be manipulated to accomplish political purposes rather than establish good law.

          Joseph K in reply to UtahChris. | August 30, 2022 at 6:30 pm

          Actually a couple weeks ago they did leave the stay in place. They knew the judgement was coming soon. And boom!

        silverpie in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | August 30, 2022 at 6:21 pm

        Outdated source (notice it lists RBG as covering the 2nd, for example). Sotomayor took over the 2nd and gave up her others (2 is a heavy-duty circuit). The 6th is now handled by Kavanaugh (link above at the Court’s website). But usually, any but the most obvious cases are immediately referred to the full court, which needs five votes for a stay (although only four to grant cert).

    The taxable income of Gibson Bros. Inc. will include the proceeds of the litigation minus deductions for litigation expenses. (I expect that the corporation has elected S Corporation status, to avoid double taxation.)

I’ll be attending a wedding near Oberlin in 2 months and and I am looking forward to giving Gibson’s some business.

The Gentle Grizzly | August 30, 2022 at 11:18 am

Question: What became of the students who did the shoplifting and got this entire thing going? Did they learn a lesson, go on, graduate, and fade into society?

Or, did they go on to.. other things?

Justice delayed beats justice denied

Steven Brizel | August 30, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Oberlin could file a petition for cert. Yeshiva University just filed one after exhausting its state court remedies in a case commenced by a gay students club

    Milhouse in reply to Steven Brizel. | August 30, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Nothing stops them from filing, but it has no chance of being granted, and even less chance of a stay.

    YU’s petition has almost no chance either. Its situation is entirely of its own making. People who are prattling about religious liberty have no idea what they’re talking about, because they’ve never bothered finding out what the case was about.

    The entire basis for Judge Kotler’s decision was that by its own repeated declaration, YU is not a religious institution at all. For decades YU has explicitly denied being one, or having any religious mission. It wrote that into its foundational documents. And it obtained various benefits from its secular status. Now it suddenly woke up and got religion, but the judge said it can’t have it both ways. If it wants to have its religious principles accommodated all it has to do is amend its documents and bylaws and declare itself to be a religious institution after all. If it won’t do that then it can’t expect to be treated differently from any other secular institution.

    This is not Hobby Lobby (which is the closest case I can think of). Hobby Lobby was always openly a religious company. The question in that case was whether a corporation can be religious, and the supreme court said that in the case of a small, tightly held company it can be. If all the shareholders are religious, and they’ve always been running the company in accord with their religious principles, then the company is religious and protected by the first amendment. But here the company has been explicitly denying it.

Now I need to go reply to their email to me about an order I placed. They have been overwhelmed with internet orders, evidently, and have lost track of some because of it.

My wife is an Obie. All fundraising mail gets thrown out now. She is disgusted with their behavior.

    henrybowman in reply to Joseph K. | August 30, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    The MIT Free Speech Alliance has a more pointed response. They have informed the Tute that their N members are now funneling all their donations exclusively through the Alliance’s escrow account. The account will not be delivered until MIT accedes to the following list of free speech demands, The members return solicitation envelopes with the same message. I understand that receipt of this message in Cambridge involved some changing of underwear. Perhaps it’s time for Obie alums to do something similar.

What will Oberlin do next? Appeal to the UN? To the Hague?

Or just ignore the the court rulings and dare them to enforce them? It’s the Brandon Way, after all. Can Brandon intervene?

After all, these pesky laws are only useful for keeping the peasants and ‘semi-fascists’ in their place. They do not apply to Party members and supporters and Swamp creatures in the same way they apply to everyone else.

    Milhouse in reply to JHogan. | August 30, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Neither the UN, nor The Hague, nor even Brandon have any jurisdiction. And they can’t ignore the ruling, because the money is already in escrow and will be paid as soon as the trial court releases it.

I’d be filing liens against the college’s property……

    RandomCrank in reply to Guy Gadbouis. | August 31, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    I’m sure Zurich American has it covered. Their mothers didn’t raise any fools. If Oberlin thinks otherwise, they will learn some more lessons.

That’s one small step away from Diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism), Inequity, and Exclusion (DIE), one giant leap for the People and our Posterity under the Declaration and Constitution as the Founders envisioned.

Congratulations Gipsons. I salute you on keeping moral standards!!!!!!

BierceAmbrose | August 30, 2022 at 2:49 pm

Does Gibson’s sell popcorn?

Oberlin College obtained a bond securing payment of the full judgment against it ($36 million) from an insurance company. That bond allowed its now-rejected appeal to proceed to the Ohio appellate court and then the Ohio Supreme Court. The insurance company should now pay Gibson’s Bakery.

On the other hand, many observers believe that Oberlin College will become insolvent if it has to reimburse its insurance company.

Likely outcome: The insurance company pays Gibson and Oberlin files in Chapter 11, stalling the rights of the insurance company to realize on Oberlin’s assets.

If Oberlin files in Chapter 11 quickly, the bankruptcy court might restrain the insurance company’s payment to Gibson for a while. That would be improper, but bankruptcy courts sometimes do that kind of thing.

What a mess. Bye bye Oberlin. Probably.

    pst314 in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    “many observers believe that Oberlin College will become insolvent if it has to reimburse its insurance company.”
    The $36 million judgement is only about 3.5% of Oberlin’s $1 billion endowment, so I would think that Oberlin would be able to find sufficient funds.

      Another Voice in reply to pst314. | August 31, 2022 at 9:59 am

      Which was established via the courts at the time post verdict in the midst of the appeal Oberlin filed.

    pst314 in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    “Oberlin College obtained a bond securing payment of the full judgment against it ($36 million) from an insurance company.”
    Do you mean that Oberlin did not pay the full $36 million judgement into an escrow account? That was my understanding.

    freddy33 in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 30, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Oberlin obtained an appeal bond (sometimes called a supersedeas bond) that has the sole purpose of staying an execution on a judgment while an appeal is undertaken. It has nothing to do with “allowing” them to appeal. It just stops execution on the judgment.

    Oberlin’s current business model has some problems because according to the reporting their operating income is insufficient to cover operating expenses. This is completely outside of the issue of Gibson’s Bakery. Whether or not they would seek protection under Title 11 is another issue. Looking at their tax return ending in June 2019 Oberlin has $175,032,961 in tax exempt bond liabilities. They paid their lawyers $1.5 million that year. They are slowly circling the drain. Makes me wonder if Carmen Twillie Ambar is the right person for the job. A number of liberal arts colleges are folding.

    When they got the bond, as I have stated elsewhere in these comments, they either posted an irrevocable letter of credit issued by a bank or some liquid assets (think stocks, bonds, etc.). The bond company is secured in those assets. Assuming it was an ILC the bank would have taken a security interest in something. All this leads to the conclusion that the bond company/bank, etc. will be just fine.

    Oberlin has (I last looked a year ago) an endowment of around $1 billion. Stock market is down so assume it lost 20% and is now $800. According to various sources much of the endowment is restricted funds. This limits their ability to use those. There should have been sufficient funds to use the endowment to cover the needs to get the bond.

      RandomCrank in reply to freddy33. | August 31, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      Oberlin has a valuable art collection. Its value is apart from the endowment. If push comes to shove, enough of it can be sold.

    RandomCrank in reply to Ken McKenna. | August 31, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Oberlin thought it’d be ruthless with the Gibsons? If they try to stiff Zurich American, they’re going to be schooled in ruthlessness. LOL

      iconotastic in reply to RandomCrank. | August 31, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Don’t insurance company attorneys first clerk in one of Dante’s Circles before moving down to working for an insurance company?

        RandomCrank in reply to iconotastic. | August 31, 2022 at 5:31 pm

        Just about. If they’d been around in the time of Moses, there’d have been another commandment on the list: “Thou shalt not fck with an insurance company, because they are more vindictive than even an angry God.” LOL

I worry about the capability of the 4 judges on the state supreme court who thought there was an issue here, worthy of their examination.

    freddy33 in reply to mishka. | August 30, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    What you don’t know is why they wanted to hear the case. The cross-appeal has some interest with the statutory cap as opposed to requiring a court to go through the US Supreme Court analysis. There is an opportunity to clarify Ohio defamation law. All this while still giving Gibson’s the win.

    RandomCrank in reply to mishka. | August 31, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    I worry about your inability to count to three.

Sometimes, after digesting a day’s worth of news, I despair. Today is not one of those. So happy!
Wish the deceased were still with us to see this.

Does interest accrue?


1) Started reading this site to follow this case. Very gratifying.
2) Oberlin will file with the USSC but will fail to get review there. (I’m a lawyer who just retired after 40 years. I know what I’m talking about.)
3) Regardless of outcome, Oberlin, its students, faculty, and administration, will continue its current jihad against the family and business. No individual has resigned or been disciplined much less fired. They will go forward knowing they are good people in the good fight for the cause.

    opie taylor in reply to Strelnikov. | August 31, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    1 – What’s the deadline for OC to file an appeal with the USSC?

    2 – All of the players in this event have moved on. None of them work for OC anymore.

    Raimondo, who was a named party in the suit left the college and holds a similar position at a college in Georgia.

I am an OC alum and I HOPE this judgment leads to the demise of that now shite institution.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | August 30, 2022 at 7:09 pm

I don’t know if ol’ Ragspierre was forever-banned from LI, but I would have found his commentary popcorn worthy!

Sweet, sweet victory!

“The Ohio Supreme Court just refused to accept jurisdiction over Oberlin College’s appeal”

The OH Supreme Court has jurisdiction that is the entire point of a state supreme court. Is that their way of saying ‘we decline to hear the appeal?’

    Wisewerds in reply to tbonesays. | August 31, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Yes. Most (or maybe all) of the highest courts in each state take only those cases they choose to hear, and decline most of the requests to review lower appellate court decisions.

And a reminder to consider. All Gibson’s wanted was a public apology from the school. They were forced to go to court to defend their good name by Arrogant Elitist College Administrators from Oberlain. Yeah, yeah. But I wanted to capatilize for emphasis.

If Oberlain closes it has only itself to blame. And in my opinion it should be forced to close.

This has been a most educational story to follow. Very fitting that it ends with one of the best comment threads ever.

Just a side issue but what happens to the endowment fund after Oberlin goes bankrupt and out of business and the Gibsons have collected their $36 million? Does it spin off as a separate entity? Is it liquidated? Does it turn into a trust? Does the government seize those assets?

    RandomCrank in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 31, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    If Oberlin goes bankrupt, the endowment will be part of attachable assets. Oberlin has been foolish thus far, but if they actually think they’ll dance away from Zurich American then even Oberlin is a lot dumber that I thought.

Sweet sweet justice. Heading out to Gibson’s to have a Bear Claw and a cup of coffee . . . .

Thank you to Legal Insurrection Foundation for following this story from the very beginning. You would receive a Pulitzer, if journalism were an honest profession and not pure State propaganda.

    Another Voice in reply to MTF. | August 31, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Absolutely! MSM totally ignored this case in the onset of the trial and when they did, skewed it for being about free speech rights. It was this case I believe was the catalyst that launched L.I. into national recognition status and now stands with it peers of being a highly reliable alternate to MSM. Prof. J. and his team have added to the reliability of factual news and is one of the few which allows we readers to post without a paywall. One area this site excels at is how academia has impacted our government and our families. When it comes to getting news, Main Stream Media is a misnomer for it is anything but.

    Andrew Breitbart is smiling down saying “Good Going Professor J.”

    scfanjl in reply to MTF. | August 31, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Amen! My thoughts exactly. Thanks Prof Jacobson and LI, it is good for the soul to see justice prevail.

This is the earliest posting at Legal Insurrection about Oberlin’s surety bond. It discusses Oberlin’s claim that they would be hard-pressed to pay the full judgement.

    iconotastic in reply to pst314. | August 31, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    it was very interesting to see the comment that of the endowment Oberlin (in 2019) only some $59 million was unrestricted (could be used at the discretion of the college). Since Oberlin has other debt obligations, Gibson’s was concerned the college would clear out that account paying other debts. Hence the motion for the bond insurance.

    It was fascinating that the attorneys gamed out almost to the dollar what the final payment would be by Oberlin. Maybe this is easy for skilled attorneys but it impressed me that they estimated the time it would take to get a final judgement.

      RandomCrank in reply to iconotastic. | August 31, 2022 at 5:40 pm

      Yes, that’s interesting. The endowment is mostly restricted, but if Oberlin is stupid enough to declare Chapter 11 in an effort to weasel out of paying Zurich American after ZA writes the Gibsons a check, those restrictions will vanish. Should that happen, Oberlin can kiss any future contributions goodbye.

      What a pack of morons, especially considering that the Gibsons would never have filed a lawsuit had they gotten an apology and the college’s declaration that they weren’t racists and had done nothing wrong. File this whole thing under an old saying: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

      So Oblerin thought they were above ancient wisdom. Oops.

        OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to RandomCrank. | August 31, 2022 at 6:53 pm

        A $36,000,000.00 (+/-) [non]-apology.

        How hard it is for some to say “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

        iconotastic in reply to RandomCrank. | August 31, 2022 at 7:07 pm

        Oberlin has a lot of illiquid assets (buildings, land, artwork, musical/sound equipment) besides the endowment trusts. If it gets down to bankruptcy court, it will be a popcorn time to see how it all plays out.

I am curious whether Oberlin will have a fight with their insurance company about whether the judgement is covered by insurance.

Oberlin got hit with punitive damages, which is awarded for intentional acts.

Generally, insurance does not cover intentional acts.

Should Oberlin be denied insurance coverage?

    RandomCrank in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | September 1, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    I might have read it incorrectly, but I don’t think Oberlin has insurance to cover the underlying tort. I think they hired Zurich American to cover the appeal bond. From what I gather, next step is for the trial court to order Oberlin to pay up. If they don’t, then ZA pays, and Oberlin must pay ZA. Oberlin is not insured for the $36+ million.

When is the deadline for Oberlin to decide if they want to advance this to a federal level? Wouldn’t that be the final nail in the coffin?

That said, sounds like the Gibson’s have won and will be paid. The story now pivots to the fight between Zurich and Oberlin to see if Zurich gets paid. I’m guessing that the whole bankruptcy ploy is too much additional cost and bad publicity for Oberlin to bear. I’m guessing that quietly, woke alums/trustees like Ed Helms will write checks to make Oberlin/Zurich whole. Side note – all the players in this saga have moved on – students, president, chief inhouse legal counsel, and good old Meredith Raimondo!
Too funny!

“Side note – all the players in this saga have moved on – students, president, chief inhouse legal counsel, and good old Meredith Raimondo!
Too funny”

Not too funny, the family has had 2 members “move on” too…

This has been a most educational story. Not that I want to be a lawyer but two of my kids are lawyers and the tale has been beautifully covered here. Like the Gosnell case it has been ignored by legacy media. Thanks for all the work.

Lotta fairies are going to need lotsa counseling.

Has anyone heard of Meredith Raimundo looking for a second or third job to pay for her part i the suit? Afterall, she’s the one who started the brohu-ha- ha.

Captain Keogh | August 31, 2022 at 3:37 pm

Meredith Raimondo got another academic job in some other college. She is the number one villain in this case.

I wonder how much this case will be worth.

The fan who was banned by BYU does not appear to have yelled slurs at volleyball match, campus police say
University officials are asking for help with their investigation after police initially reviewed footage of game against Duke.

Got the news right as I hit a really busy streak so I couldn’t respond in a timely manner.

First, the payment to Gibsons is in the form of a bond. When released by the court, the insurance company will pay Gibsons, and it is up to the insurance company to be reimbursed by Oberlin. Oberlin WILL NOT stiff them. If they do, then their bond rating goes to DDD, which is really really bad. (Please ignore obligatory stripper joke here). Oberlin will not be able to fund another project, and some if not all of their outstanding loans will be in jeopardy as everyone gets in line to be paid first. I don’t think Oberlin is stupid enough to try that route, but then, they have really surprised me a lot recently.

Second. The cost is closer to $50M. The judgement is around $36M, but you also need to consider how much Oberlin has spent on lawyers at this point, which was at least $6.5M based on the jury recommending that the Gibsons receive $6.5M for legal costs. Oberlin has continued to pay out $$$$ to several firms over the last few years, plus the cost of the bonding, which I assume will be around 10%. So I think it is fair to speculate that Oberlin is in this at this point to the tune of $10-14M.

So, that means $50M of likely income-producing wealth has been removed from the endowment. At 6%, that means that about $3M of income a year has been yanked from the budget, FOREVER! Just think what $3M represents. Fourty full-ride scholarships at $75K each. 15-20 FT professors at $150-200K each. This list of possibilities goes on. The college won’t go bankrupt. But, what will happen is that a long progressive (I just had to use that term here) slide to obscurity has started. When I attened in the 70’s we were ranked about 10-15th nationally for traditional liberal arts achools. I believe that Oberlin is currently #38 with USNWR. Kenyon is 30th, and Dennison is 43rd. What is see is Oberlin being the 3rd best school in Ohio in a few years, as opposed to being a school with a national reputation not too long ago. Oberlin is in a positive feedback loop now. They can no longer give out money to highly qualified students who show need. The number of faculty will be reduced (because they have shown that they cannot let go of administrators, no way). So the quality on several fronts will suffer, and as a result they will have to back off on what they can charge for tuition, which means more cutbacks, a lower ranking, and the cycle just continues.

All because some egotistical idiot couldn’t make an apology for an obvious wrongdoing. As my dad taught us, “if you can’t do the time, don’t commit the crime.” Oberlin has no one to blame here but themselves.

The obvious solution here is to locate every individual who co-signed this BS and fire them. Cut them out like the malignancy that they are. But being liberal academics, they will never get a clue as to where the source of the problem is located.

Prime example, which the alumni here are already aware of. Ambar sent out an email yesterday to the alumni to let everyone know that birth control is still available at Oberlin despite the local hospital being run by a catholic organization. Yeah, THAT is their current big problem. Guess it isn’t that hard now to see how the whole Gibsons incident got out of control. Clueless effing Morons, all of them.

    a small pool of deep pocketed , brainwashed donors will step in and supply the $30 plus million needed. They won’t be cutting back anything, there is a group of well heeled parents who will continue to feed the school with a pool of students who can pay the $75k yearly cost of school.

      RandomCrank in reply to buck61. | September 1, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      You never know, but I’m going to be surprised if that happens. I’ll be even more surprised if we ever find out.

    Joseph K in reply to MajorWood. | September 1, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    They have some really rich alums; it could happen.

” committed to strengthening the partnership between the College, the City of Oberlin and its residents, and the downtown business community. ”

dont bother strengthening anything. juststop with the pile ons and the mob activities. and by all means, getback to education and not leftwing agitprop

Another point. It was said here “that the main stream media all but ignored this case.” That is wrong. The MSM paid a lot of attention to this case. What they didn’t do was report on the case. They paid attention because the outcome, I believe, heavily affected the Nick Sandmann case. The MSM was quick to setlle because they just saw that a jury could smell their BS and go after them for big $$, and more importantly, a trial meant discovery and it was discovery that sunk Oberlin. The initial suit, I believe, was four different items and the Gibsons were requesting I believe about $50K for each of them. But as the case went on, more and more of Oberlin was exposed, and the depth and nature of their involvement is what really seemed to TO the jury into their final numbers. Oberlin screwed up by getting woke counsel who also drank the kool-aid. What they needed was a lawyer like my departed friend who was known for saying “what part of STFU wasn’t clear.”

    Biggest culprits in this fiasco, IMO?

    1) Marvin Krislov, former President of OC (and now of Pace Uni) who, in his arrogance, allowed his subordinates to initiate their pogram against the Gibsons and
    2) Donica Varner, former Oberlin General Counsel and Secretary (now at Cornell! lol) who apparently overslept and missed her first-year class on the day they were teaching contracts. (It seems to me that Oberlin’s unilateral breaking of the dining hall contracts were the initial money issue that gave the Gibsons an entre into the courtroom, and interested plaintiff’s counsel into taking this quixotic case in the first place!)

      MajorWood in reply to mian9. | September 3, 2022 at 2:55 pm

      Go back further and one discovers that Varner worked for Krislov when he was general counsel for U. Mich. I guess it would be fair to say that they all benefit from being members of the “Old Comrades Club.”

      As I see it, Oberlin has a choice here. They can clean house, or the house will clean them.

      Some have suggested that a cabel of wealthy alumni will bail them out. I don’t see that happening. Perhaps in the beginng there was some sort of backroom agreement, but the truth of the matter here is that Oberlin completely failed. And not only did they fail with the assigned task, they have managed to generate backlash in the process. It would be difficult to convince me that the initial $44M judgement didn’t send a lot of shivers down the spines of the MSM higher ups who were in a similar position with Sandmann. Ooops! Fast and “quiet” settlements were the new rule of the day. To me, Oberlin is going to be the place that gets shunned. Suddenly invitations no longer fill the mailbox. They aren’t the cool kids anymore like, say, after Kent State. That living off of the reputation of 60’s activism has died. Now they are just a camp for SJW’s whose effect barely makes it out of the county. If they changed the hearts and minds of any people recently, it wasn’t of those who live in Lorain County. Locals who once were OK tolerating them have now gone into scorn mode.

      Watching Oberlin right now is like watching a person slowly drink themselves to death. Some time back I suggested that if one took the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and changed the word Alcohol and its variations to Academia etc, then one would have a perfect blueprint for what went down. I have had sponsees with less than a year who would have taken the initial situation, applied step 10, and been done with it. But those eggheads at Oberlin decided to make a mountain out of a molehill, all while claiming to be the victim here.

      This passage from page 82 just seems so appropriate: I shall change but one word.

      The “academic” is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, “Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?”

      There is another term from AA which applies here. It is called “the geographical,” wherein the old behavior is taken to a new location to be repeated. Krislov, Varner, and Raimondo likely have not changed. It will only be a matter of time before their pathology rises to the surface again. Like the scorpion, they cannot help it, as it is their nature.

      Oberlin requires an intervention, and it needs to be done by the alumni, as I suspect that the real culprits in all of this are on the board. Remember, it all started when a board member arranged legal counsel for the shoplifter. This whole situation started to stink within days of the actual incident.
      And as long as it remains “pending final outcome,” the college is not obligated to tell the alumni the sordid details of their collosal screwup. So the intervention will never happen, but that doesn’t mean that the rot will stop. We should set up a pool for when Oberlin reaches #40 on the USNWR ranking of colleges. That is the direction that they are headed. Sure, other colleges are sinking, but Oberlin is sinking faster. Then it will be 45, and 50, and then obscurity. At some point the hiring of Ambar will become a “what were we thinking moment?” But I doubt it, because that would require a liberal to admit that they were wrong, and that simply is not something in their toolbox. And the alumni who do know what is happening no longer care about the school. None of us send our kids there. I am not saying that they are beyond redemption, but as it stands, they are pretty damn far from it. This article explains what the Gibsons went through as a result of Oberlin’s scorched earth defense of millions for defense and not a cent for tribute. If Gibson’s has a website, visit it and support it!

    That was a heartbreaking story by Mrs. Gibson on what she went through at the hands of Oberlin College. Here is their website – They have some baked goods and merchandise available. A friend bought me a cap some time ago, as a gesture to a friend who no longer believed his alma mater stood for anything worth preserving. .

There is probably an interesting side story with the principal villain here. It doesn’t appear she was fired, but probably was told it might be better if she changed scenery.

Any word from “Tats” Raimondo on this? Or the kid who swiped the wine? Twillie is in over her head. I hope the elder Gibson’s are looking down from heaven and having a good laugh.

The Gibsons should wait a reasonable time and then start seizing any and all property of the college to satisfy the judgement. They should also be allowed to add the costs of doing so to the debt,