Lorna Gibson, wife of the late David Gibson, and trial attorneys Lee Plakas and Owen Rarric reveal new details about what it was like to fight the “billion dollar bully” and win, and the emotional and physical toll it took: “It’s bittersweet … My husband did not see the end, my father-in-law did not either.”
On September 15, 2022, Legal Insurrection Foundation held what I think was the best of our many online events.
It was a night to hear from the inside about the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case we have covered since the inception of the shoplifting incident through trial and appeal, and on to the announcement that Oberlin College “has initiated payment in full of the $36.59 million judgment in the Gibson’s Bakery case”.
As some of you know, it was not always easy covering this case, at one point Oberlin College tried to subpoena OUR records, After legal challenge, Oberlin College withdraws subpoena seeking our journalist communications.
Our online event featured Lorna Gibson, and trial attorneys Lee Plakas and Owen Rarric. Kemberlee and I made some brief comments, but it mostly was Q&A of Mrs. Gibson and the trial counsel.
It was, IMO, fantastic. We learned a lot about what went on behind the scenes, the emotion and financial toll it took, and what the future looks like for the bakery, which has an online ordering and shipping business.
You may recall that Gibson’s cookies and swag were served when I gave a speech about the case in November 2019 for the James Wilson Center, VIDEO — Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College: Identity Politics on Trial.
One of the things we learned during the event was that Legal Insurrection and our readers were closely watched by the Gibsons and their counsel (and I assume the college and its counsel). This moving tribute to us at the event was very much a surprise and appreciated:
Lee Plakas, lead trial counsel:
We’d like to thank Professor Jacobson. And we’d like to thank all of the readers because although you did not know it at the time, and the time that this family was going through the challenge, Legal Insurrection, Professor Jacobson, and your readers gave the family the support and the courage that they needed to persevere in what literally was a David and Goliath battle. And you don’t know this, but every night, our trial team, before we would retire for the evening, and the evening wasn’t the evening, it was always two or three o’clock in the morning because as Professor Jacobson said, there was an onslaught of motions and efforts, and we had a billion dollar bully doing everything they possibly could to destroy this iconic bakery. So every night we actually would read Legal Insurrection because, and not because we had time on our hands, but because we knew that from the collective minds and observations of everybody, you were making comments. And we wanted to make sure that in this battle that we didn’t miss any nuance that one of your readers or Professor Jacobson may have identified. So we could incorporate it into our presentation. And because to be frank, we needed every advantage we could get ….
Lorna Gibson, wife of the late David Gibson:
… I do want to thank Legal Insurrection because you guys have been there from the start throughout this entire six years, and I really do appreciate all the coverage and just being there, it really helped for me to sit and look through all the comments and things every night. It gave me some hope. So thank you very much.
There was so much more. Too much to summarize or transcribe in the hour and 15 minute event.
Watch the whole thing.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.