, 69 tweets, 44 min read Read on Twitter
This weekend going to be tweeting excerpts from our Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College trial coverage, will take a while, watch this thread. Let's start with administrator suggesting campus worse than nursery school legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Oberlin College claimed administrators were at the protest to calm things down, policeman disagreed legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Local reporter testified Raimondo tried to block him from taking photos of protest and handed him flyer accusing Gibson's of racial profiling legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Oberlin College had "no trespass" list keeping about 400 locals off campus, and it had "a disproportionate number of African-Americans on it” -- sounds like the college was the racial profiler, not Gibson's legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Raimondo testified she didn't know if racial profiling accusations true legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Former Oberlin College security director was at protest and testified college admins not trying to calm things down and college admin tried to intimidate him into not taking photos legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Former nurse at college, went to comfort David Gibson's wife who was "distraught" as protests raged outside legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Wonder why the jury found actual malice? Internal emails are big part, including Raimondo's "unleash the students" and "fuck him" (directed at retired prof defending Gibsons) legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Sometimes lawyers ask question just to make a point: “You did these things to appease the students, for the school to be thought of as treating minority students better, right?” Plakas asked. “That statement is absolutely false,” Raimondo answered." legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
African-American bakery employee denied racism, said Raimondo "orchestrating" protest and flyer distribution “She had a stack of them and while she was talking on the bullhorn, she handed out half of them to a student who then went and passed them out.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Oberlin College provided logistical support for protesters, including pizza and copying of defamatory flyers legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Student protesters initially entered bakery and harassed customers and staff: “I asked them to leave and they wouldn’t, and then they started pushing their cameras in my face and yelling things at me.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Store employees had tires slashed, huge emotional toll, Lorna Gibson on husband David: “It isn’t just a job for him and all of us. It’s been our life. It is crucial for him and our family. It is us.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Oberlin College promised full investigation of incident, but never did: "Raimondo suggested to Jones they should “dodge” the media’s question because “our phrasing was unfortunate” that they said they were indeed doing an investigation." legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
Senior college admin rejected community warning “the students are on the wrong side of this issue” and “they refuse to [listen to] anything that doesn’t fit their narrative … the townspeople are furious. I find this misdirected rage very disturbing.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
That completes Day 4 of 13 days of witness testimony -- keep in mind as Oberlin College tries to spin this as them being held responsible for student speech -- that's not what case was about, it was their own conduct and speech legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/what-t…
Keep in mind brilliant trial strategy by @TzangasPlakas -- start Gibson's Bakery case by going directly after and destroying key Oberlin College witnesses and defenses, as I noted on Day 1 legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas 90-yr-old Allyn W. "Grandpa" Gibson testified “[We’ve had] some threats made to us... Some of the students seem afraid to come in the store after the protests .... so their friends don’t see that they shopped with us.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Steve Gibson (son of David, grandson of Allyn W.): “My Dad was shocked and confused when all [these racial accusations] happened ... He was very worried about his family and friends. Nervous. Stressed out.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Marketing expert called by Gibsons pointed out college-age consumer decisions driven by desire "to be perceived as fitting in" - obvious implications for reputational damage in college town like Oberlin, jury paid close attention legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College (unsuccessfully) tried to keep out police records showing no racial profiling at Gibson's Bakery: 40 arrested, 32 were white (80%), six were African-American (15%), and two were Asian (5%), pretty much matched city's racial makeup.
legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Culture of corruption - large percentage of shoplifting arrests were Oberlin College students (82.5%), what student mag called the Oberlin College "Culture of Theft" (mag not admitted in evidence, stats were)
legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas On day 7 they didn't rest, they presented plaintiffs' damages expert: the bakery/market had already lost and will lose about $5.8 million from the school’s alleged racist accusations (note - jury ended up giving business about half that for compensatory) legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson takes witness stand in emotional testimony: “I realized very soon on how everything had been going in this, that my dad was going to pass away labeled as a racist.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson wanted corrective statement from Oberlin College to clear his father's name, it never came: "They caused this thing, and they needed to step up and do the right thing. They never did,” he said, looking to his father. legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson made repeated requests for corrective statement that they were not racist and no racial profiling: “They ignored me" -- if Oberlin College had done that the lawsuit might have been avoided, but the arrogance of the college got in the way legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College officials didn't bother to tell David Gibson directly the bakery was cut off, food service company told him ‘It comes from the college and it comes from the top.’ -- this was part of intentional interference with business relations claim legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson: Oberlin College wanted bakery to drop charges against students to get business back, and set up special procedure for student shoplifters at Gibson's Bakery -- call college not police legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson: “I told them we could not give students special treatment ... I look at this now and realize they wanted me to drop charges this time, and set up a system when we would call the college for first-time offenders" legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson: college “had been accused of being racists by students in the previous year, and I think they used us to deflect from that problem they had .... they were using us as a target so that their racial problems with their students would go away” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson: “I am not going to just give up this business over something like this. If we were to close the store right now, it would be telling everyone that there is something to this issue of us being called racist. I’m not going to let that happen.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson on impact on his father, Allyn W. Gibson: "It’s very sad to see” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas David Gibson: “I recall [Raimondo] offering up students we could meet with and discuss the situation, but that would not make sense until the college released a statement retracting the racist claims.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas With that, Gibsons rested their case, defendants made motion for directed verdict that was denied legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College alumni were mostly in the dark about the case as the trial was underway (not anymore) "Not one of the 20 or so alums I spoke with heard anything about their school being accused in court of racist defamation of a town business"
legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College alumni were mostly in the dark about the case as the trial was underway (not anymore) "Not one of the 20 or so alums I spoke with heard anything about their school being accused in court of racist defamation of a town business" legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas And on Day 10, the defense started its case - Raimondo questioned over her use of term "support" for protesters: “Did you in any way “support” what the protesters were doing,” Panza asked. “Our job was to focus on safety and lawful behavior,” she answered. legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas On cross, Raimondo insisted "support" didn't mean "support" as in support: “You can twist my words any way you want. No matter how you try to twist [them], it’s not what I meant.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas In an email Raimondo had called a reporter who said she handed him a flyer a "liar" - but she admitted in court she did hand him the flyer -- that couldn't have helped her credibility with jury legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Former Pres Marvin Krislov blamed Raimondo 4 dropping Gibson's Bakery: “Meredith had decided the food would not be eaten [by the protesting students].... The question we had to think about is why would you buy food that people wouldn’t eat.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Former pres Krislov worried that “people with guns might come to Oberlin to defend Gibson’s" legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Culture of Theft Part 2: Oberlin College feared criticizing shoplifting at Gibson's Bakery: “[I] worry that mentioning shoplifting will trigger a [bad reaction]" ... "We were trying to get students to realize that shoplifting was harmful.”
legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College calls expert to say Gibson's Bakery worth only $35k, less than the cost of one semester at Oberlin College legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas The defense tactic of low-balling the value of Gibson's Bakery that at time of protests supported 3 generations of Gibsons and almost a dozen employees was baffling and an insult to the jury's intelligence - and obviously was rejected legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College expert who said Gibson's Bakery worth only $35k was paid twice that by defense for testifying, also said history of family and bakery "irrelevant" legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas And then Oberlin College and Meredith Raimondo rested their defense. They put on a weak defense, with their narrative of being peacemakers and protecting student free speech having been destroyed in the first couple of days of the trial.
@TzangasPlakas In closing argument, Lee Plakas argued: “If it wasn’t for the arrogance of this powerful institution we wouldn’t be here ... We must care when powerful institutions don’t care enough. You can tell them loud and clear that their behavior has to change.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas More plaintiffs' closing: “Oberlin College had a choice at one point to appease their base of students and they could either deal with the issue or pass it off on someone else. They chose the latter, and in so doing, sacrificed Gibson’s in the process.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas “When a powerful institution says you are racist, you are doomed" says lawyer for the Gibson's Bakery in closing legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Defense closing: “Something happened that night [of the shoplifting] which ignited the students ... Whatever it was, it was the catalyst that inspired the entire affair. It was student-led and the school had nothing to do with it.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas And then the VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College, and the media woke up to this case, but @LegInsurrection readers had been following it for weeks legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/verdic…
@TzangasPlakas Oberlin College had just lost an $11 million compensatory verdict, with a punitives verdict to follow, so what did it do? CRITICIZE THE JURORS! Makes perfect sense if you live in a bubble legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberli…
@TzangasPlakas After $11 million compensatory verdict, Oberlin College with some mainstream media help played victim, as if it was held responsible for what the students said and this is a free speech case -- but it's not. legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas And then the judge denied a motion for a mistrial and a motion for a new trial legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/11-mil…
@TzangasPlakas And then I wrote in The Wall Street Journal about the $11 million verdict - incredibly, many of the readers had heard nothing about the case or verdict before that legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Separate punitive damages hearing held as required by Ohio Tort Reform law, so jury doesn't hear about defendants' wealth and other material during compensatory phase. It went badly for the defense legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberli…
@TzangasPlakas At punitives hearing, Oberlin College claimed it was cash poor and begged for mercy -- (with a straight face) legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberli…
@TzangasPlakas Plaintiffs punitives closing: “Why is the country watching you. Because the country agrees that what happened to the Gibsons should not happen to anyone, but could happen to everyone.” Ending with John Donne's For Whom The Bell Tolls legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Defense punitives closing: “We cannot change the past, we can learn from it.” “This will impact people who had nothing to do with the protest …, it also means less students who are not able to afford a college education will be able to do so.” legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/gibson…
@TzangasPlakas Jury took only a few hours, enough to have lunch, and then BOOM -- Oberlin College hit with maximum PUNITIVE DAMAGES (capped at $22 million by law) in Gibson’s Bakery case
legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberli…
@TzangasPlakas "I appreciate from the jury that they took care of this Goliath. That took a lot of guts on their part. They made it so that we have a chance and an opportunity to keep the lights on. [overcome with emotion] Gives us an opportunity to keep the lights on for another generation.”
@TzangasPlakas Punitive damage verdict against Oberlin College “was like a seismic wave moving quickly through the courtroom” legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/puniti…
@TzangasPlakas Daniel McGraw: The Gibson family was visibly shocked by the amount... The family hugged and cried a bit. David Gibson said the jury verdicts had come down to exonerate his family’s reputation. He gave me a handshake, and then hugged his 11-year-old grandson, Cashlyn.
@TzangasPlakas And there was joy in the courtroom for Gibson's Bakery and the legal team legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/puniti…
@TzangasPlakas It ain't over 'till it's over. Oberlin College President vows to keep fighting: "Let me be absolutely clear: This is not the final outcome. This is, in fact, just one step along the way of what may turn out to be a lengthy and complex legal process." legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberli…
@TzangasPlakas What comes next? Post-trial motions as to punitive verdict (inclu reducing punitives to statutory cap of 2X compensatory), then need to assess attorneys fees, prejudgment interest, this all could push final judgment to $40 million or more. Then appeals, then more appeals
@TzangasPlakas Special shout out to @DanMcGraw1 our guy in the courtroom
@TzangasPlakas @DanMcGraw1 We will continue to follow the case post-verdict, including any additional court proceedings. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date …linsurrectionfoundation.salsalabs.org/misignupform/i…
@TzangasPlakas @DanMcGraw1 This was all brought to you by the Legal Insurrection Foundation, our (relatively) new non-profit research, investigative and educational group. Donations are tax deductible to full extent allowed by law. legalinsurrectionfoundation.org
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