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  #51  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:42 PM
Ruken is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Every time I log into my work PC, I have to click OK on a disclaimer that I won't use the PC to defame or harass anyone. And if my boss said "If you want to harass someone we'll pay you for it at your regular rates and also spring for lunch" I doubt it would reduce their liability.
And I don't have to click anything. I still don't see how my boss is responsible if I misuse the equipment I didn't see where anyone was paid to defame anyone. And again, sending pizza does not make one responsible for what the recipients say.
  #52  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:43 PM
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But sure, if my boss knows what I'm doing and allows me to bill my time to overhead, then sure, she can expect some shit from that.
  #53  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:54 PM
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I still don't see how my boss is responsible if I misuse the equipment
The disclaimer is there because my company thinks they might be.
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I didn't see where anyone was paid to defame anyone.
No, they got class credit for defamation. That's roughly equivalent to being paid by an employer.
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And again, sending pizza does not make one responsible for what the recipients say.
In and of itself, probably not. But it makes it marginally harder to argue that they had no involvement, and didn't support the defamation.

Regards,
Shodan
  #54  
Old 06-27-2019, 01:15 PM
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What I've read here is that they got credit for attending, not for any particular message.
  #55  
Old 06-27-2019, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
As I noted above, the fact that the article writer went out of the way to shoehorn in a well-known racist dogwhistle does not inspire confidence.
I would certainly not encourage anyone to blindly accept their editorial stance or their analysis (and in fact, I would discourage blindly accepting anyone's editorial stance or analysis, particularly when it flatters your preconceptions). I have no doubt that their ideological bent also colors their factual reporting: which facts they choose to report, how they choose to report them, and so on.

In this particular instance, though, Occam's razor suggests to me that the linked documents are genuine. That is, there are three possibilities I can see:
  1. The documents are fakes.
  2. The documents are genuine but were never filed.
  3. The documents are genuine and were filed.
For my part, I think the third possibility most likely. But if you judge differently, I'm not going to try changing your mind!


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I started out as "jr8". Name change can happen - just PM a mod once you've given it some "mature consideration".
Thanks. It's just something I've never gotten around to doing because as you can see I don't post here much!
  #56  
Old 06-27-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
Folks, this is one jury verdict. There's already an appeal in the works. It's not a SCOTUS decision. Here are two relevant SCOTUS decisions:

Teachers have the right to express opinions in public: Pickering v. Board of Education (1968).

Pickering, a teacher, wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, a form of public protest. SCOTUS ruled that Pickering's letter was constitutional free speech. From Oyez:

Bearing on the Oberlin case: The professors and other employees have the right to voice opinions publically. Even if the allegations of racism (past or present) were false, the Oberlin faculty and other employees would have to have known the statements were false or made them recklessly, i.e., without due consideration.

Did the college, itself--that is, the administration under the auspices of the Board of Trustees--sponsor the protests? I can't find evidence of that, but if it did, does the (private) college count as an individual, as SCOTUS said corporations do?

Boycotts are legal: NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982)

From Oyez:

SCOTUS decision : Unanimous*

Bearing on the Oberlin case: Businesses cannot recover damages from boycotters.

And some context: in 1835, two years after its founding, Oberlin, a private college founded by Presbyterians, became the first US college to admit Blacks. Two years later, it admitted women. It fought for abolition. By 1900, a third of all blacks with college degrees graduated from Oberlin. Once again, history is relevant to understanding.

And this is a long way from over.


*Justice Thurgood Marshall didn't take part in consideration or decision.
Most of this misses the point and the rest is simply wrong. Yes, you have a right to boycott and speak in public. However the "actual malice" standard in libel law is only applicable for commentary on public figures. Libel is and always has been an exception to free speech.

This was a statement about a private person on a matter not of public concern. In those cases, truth is still a defense, but the standard you are held to is mere negligence if it turns out to be false.

From the facts presented, the jury may very well have gotten this one right. The college sided with the students and defamed a long standing business in the community with accusations that were false. That's libel.

The college and every student at the college had an absolute right to not frequent the business anymore. They can tell their friends not to go to the business. But when you convince someone not to do business with someone because of a false reason, that is actionable.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/472/749/
  #57  
Old 06-27-2019, 04:44 PM
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Just an idea. Before this started I read how the students at Oberlin had protested demanding an end to grades below a C.

THIS article says 1 in 10 student freshmen actually intend on attending a protest while in college.

So the recipe is:
1. Students wanting to protest - something.
2. Students angry at administration over grades.
3. Black students angry over perceived racism on campus and around town.
4. Recent election of Trump which already made the left angry and wanting to lash out.
5. Administrators had seen demonstrations and sit-ins at colleges like University of Missouri getting out of control leading to the president resigning, a professor getting fired for getting involved and egging on the students, and a big drop in enrollment.

The Oberlin administration didnt want the students anger directed at them. They wanted it directed to an outsider. Then the bakery shoplifting situation lands at their feet and they push that. In a sense, throwing the bakery under the bus to protect their asses.

It's funny, THIS article says often the way colleges meet student demands is to hire some sort of "Dean of Diversity" or building some new cultural center or something. Of course the costs are then passed onto the students.

No administrator wants student anger directed towards them.

Sidenote: Back when I was in college in the 80's students were angry at administration over the parking issue and the administration asked why students were not instead, protesting an outside cause like South Africa or the environment.


So I ask, did the Oberlin administration support the protests to keep the students from going after them?
  #58  
Old 06-27-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
Just an idea. Before this started I read how the students at Oberlin had protested demanding an end to grades below a C.

THIS article says 1 in 10 student freshmen actually intend on attending a protest while in college.

So the recipe is:
1. Students wanting to protest - something.
2. Students angry at administration over grades.
3. Black students angry over perceived racism on campus and around town.
4. Recent election of Trump which already made the left angry and wanting to lash out.
5. Administrators had seen demonstrations and sit-ins at colleges like University of Missouri getting out of control leading to the president resigning, a professor getting fired for getting involved and egging on the students, and a big drop in enrollment.

The Oberlin administration didnt want the students anger directed at them. They wanted it directed to an outsider. Then the bakery shoplifting situation lands at their feet and they push that. In a sense, throwing the bakery under the bus to protect their asses.

It's funny, THIS article says often the way colleges meet student demands is to hire some sort of "Dean of Diversity" or building some new cultural center or something. Of course the costs are then passed onto the students.

No administrator wants student anger directed towards them.

Sidenote: Back when I was in college in the 80's students were angry at administration over the parking issue and the administration asked why students were not instead, protesting an outside cause like South Africa or the environment.


So I ask, did the Oberlin administration support the protests to keep the students from going after them?
I want to reply to my own post.

I found THIS article which goes along with what I was saying along with some background for the college, the town of Oberlin, and the county where it resides.

Some quotes:
"
A few years ago, they had students saying they wanted finals cancelled because they were protesting minority men being shot by police in nearby Cleveland; in Dec. of 2015, the school’s black student union published 14 pages of racial accusations against the school with 58 demands to fix them; and the school had students thinking that the sushi in their cafeteria was “cultural appropriation” and unfit for eating because of that.

Instead of the school telling their students, “You are all crazy, and get back to studying,” they took on the “these poor snowflakes need our support” attitude.

It was the tail wagging the dog in the end, and ended up how most things like that do.
"

Also according to the article students were angry about Trumps election and needed a way to vent:
"
From the beginning of this mess that Oberlin College found itself in, it was what they did not do which was the most egregious. Their students were looking for some venting possibilities in the days after the Nov. 2016 presidential election, and the shoplifting case at Gibson’s was grabbed by the students as their symbolic protest expression of how they hated the world because of who was now president.

Instead of realizing that college students often do emotional and stupid things – especially when politics are involved – the Oberlin College administration added fuel to the fire. This is what the school president, Marvin Krislov, and dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, sent to students while the protests were still going on.

“This has been a difficult few days for our community, not simply because of the events at Gibson’s Bakery, but because of the fears and concerns that many are feeling in response to the outcome of the presidential election. We write foremost to acknowledge the pain and sadness that many of you are experiencing. We want you to know that the administration, faculty, and staff are here to support you as we work through this moment together.”
"

So a very good read.
  #59  
Old 06-27-2019, 06:10 PM
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How about you try using a site that's a wee less partisan than "Legal Insurrection"?
  #60  
Old 06-27-2019, 07:27 PM
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How about you try using a site that's a wee less partisan than "Legal Insurrection"?
It's hard to avoid Legal Insurrection as a cite here because they seemed to be the only folks with someone present reporting literally every day of the trial.

The quality of their commentary was not high.

But the reports also had plenty of direct quotes from the trial, and those direct cites (ignoring the lower quality commentary) seemed to strike other legal observers as extremely damning of Oberlin's behavior, even regardless of the legal point of issue. Another lawyer I found commenting on the trial said something to the effect of "When the law isn't on your side, argue the facts. And the facts here are so incredibly terrible for Oberlin that they should've settled." My favorite example is when a former college security employee testified that a low-tier Oberlin admin present at the bakery protest told him to stop taking pictures, and threatened to key his car if he didn't stop.

I don't know much about defamation law, but there were just so fuckin many dipshit stories like that about the Oberlin admins, especially about the vice president of the college, like when they found her own email saying "Fuck them" and that she was tempted to "unleash the students".

Regardless of the law (about which I know very little), the abject hatefulness and flagrant mendacity from the Oberlin admins could not have possibly been helpful to their case in front of a local jury. I don't think the low-quality commentary from that website clouds how bad the college acted here.

Last edited by Hellestal; 06-27-2019 at 07:30 PM.
  #61  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:27 PM
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There's one part I'm missing from all the coverage of this story: I have heard from former Oberlin students that Gibson's was known for racism for many, many, many years before this shoplifting incident. The shoplifting is merely the thing that broke the camel's back. These former Obies cannot understand how the college can defame the family if the accusation is well-founded.

I, too, have a hard time understandning how Gibson's could be entitled to $11 million in compensatory damages. Shit, their whole store and everything in it isn't worth $11 million!
A business isn't just worth the price of its fixed assets. In the case of compensatory damages they are going to look at current lost revenue, expectations for future lost revenue, personal damages to the owners that may make it harder for them to open up new businesses or get jobs, yada yada. It's complex.

For example, let's say you work out a business plan for a new business. You invest $1 million in the business infrastructure, and you understand that business will ramp up slowly and you need to build a community presence, goodwill, and trust before the big bucks come in. So in the first year you barely break even, and in the aecond year you make $10,000. But business is growing, and you are on track to be earning maybe 10 times as much in five years, then your plan is to expand and grow.

Now someone comes across and defames you in your second year, and organizes a boycott based on lies, and does grave damage to your reputation and forces you to close. How much damage did you suffer? Just the $10,000? Or $10,000 plus the million is cost you to start the business? What if you had spent another million on advertising? What if you were on track to be making $500,000 per year in five years, and that's no longer going to happen?

Or for a closer scenario, let's say you had a family business that had been in the area for 80 years, and you had built up extensive goodwill and name recognition, and you could expect your business to keep running for another 80 years. Then someone irreparably damages you and forces you to close. Are uou only entitled to the fixed value of the business? Clearly not. Things like brand value and relationships with suppliers and customers also have value, as does expectation of future profit.

I don't know what the correct number is in Gibson's case, but it sure as hell is 't the value of their fixed assets or a year's worth of income. It's much more than that.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 06-27-2019 at 09:27 PM.
  #62  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:07 PM
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Regardless of the law (about which I know very little), the abject hatefulness and flagrant mendacity from the Oberlin admins could not have possibly been helpful to their case in front of a local jury. I don't think the low-quality commentary from that website clouds how bad the college acted here.
Another thing that would not have helped in front of a local jury was the suggestion from Oberlin admins that in the future, if an Oberlin student was caught shoplifting, the bakery shouldn't call the cops and instead call Oberlin.

That suggestion of preferential, lenient treatment for Oberlin students, while local kids have the police called on them, is exactly the kind of policy that inflames local feeling against the elite university.
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  #63  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:20 PM
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There's one part I'm missing from all the coverage of this story: I have heard from former Oberlin students that Gibson's was known for racism for many, many, many years before this shoplifting incident. The shoplifting is merely the thing that broke the camel's back. These former Obies cannot understand how the college can defame the family if the accusation is well-founded.
If it was so well-known that the bakery was racist, Oberlin's lawyers shouldn't have had any trouble finding evidence of racism.

The fact that they weren't able to prove a pattern of racism suggests that perhaps the common knowledge was nothing more than gossip that wouldn't stand up in a court of law. Oberlin wasn't helped by the fact that the youths involved admitted that they were properly caught shop-lifting, and that there was no racial element involved in their particular case.

Quote:
I, too, have a hard time understandning how Gibson's could be entitled to $11 million in compensatory damages. Shit, their whole store and everything in it isn't worth $11 million!
Welcome to the world of American civil juries, which have a reputation for giving grossly inflated awards that get cut down on appeal.

Quote:
I'm also puzzled as to how the college could be put on the hook for such vast sums, for what seems to be a second-fiddle role in the boycott. Does this imply that the student protesters themselves, had they been sued, would have been subject to even greater penalties?
Haven't read the coverage, but it sounds like joint and several liability: all the tort-feasors are equally liable to the plaintiff for the full award of damages, and then have to apportion it amongst themselves. In practice, that means that even if the deep pockets defendant was only responsible for a portion of the injury, it pays the full amount and then goes to the other tortfeasors ( in this case the students and the faculty members who were also defendants), and tries to recover from them. Shouldn't be a problem; most students and faculty have a million or two lying about.
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  #64  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:27 PM
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It's hard to avoid Legal Insurrection as a cite here because they seemed to be the only folks with someone present reporting literally every day of the trial.

The quality of their commentary was not high.

But the reports also had plenty of direct quotes from the trial, and those direct cites (ignoring the lower quality commentary) seemed to strike other legal observers as extremely damning of Oberlin's behavior, even regardless of the legal point of issue. Another lawyer I found commenting on the trial said something to the effect of "When the law isn't on your side, argue the facts. And the facts here are so incredibly terrible for Oberlin that they should've settled." My favorite example is when a former college security employee testified that a low-tier Oberlin admin present at the bakery protest told him to stop taking pictures, and threatened to key his car if he didn't stop.

I don't know much about defamation law, but there were just so fuckin many dipshit stories like that about the Oberlin admins, especially about the vice president of the college, like when they found her own email saying "Fuck them" and that she was tempted to "unleash the students".

Regardless of the law (about which I know very little), the abject hatefulness and flagrant mendacity from the Oberlin admins could not have possibly been helpful to their case in front of a local jury. I don't think the low-quality commentary from that website clouds how bad the college acted here.
Along with that and agreeing with what I said above, that the administration threw the bakery under the bus to deflect future problems with the students:

"
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.
"
It goes on to say the admins feared the students would mount protests in the school cafeteria and throw food on the floor and stomp on it in protest.

Yes - the administrator says the students act like they were in nursery school.
  #65  
Old 06-28-2019, 12:23 AM
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How about you try using a site that's a wee less partisan than "Legal Insurrection"?
How about the local paper?

I think the NYT had an article on the verdict, but the Chronicle-Telegram followed the story a lot.
  #66  
Old 06-28-2019, 07:28 AM
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From the facts presented, the jury may very well have gotten this one right. The college sided with the students and defamed a long standing business in the community with accusations that were false. That's libel.
The jury may well have gotten it right but I have yet to see in this thread where the college made false accusations.
  #67  
Old 06-28-2019, 11:33 AM
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How about the local paper?

I think the NYT had an article on the verdict, but the Chronicle-Telegram followed the story a lot.
Thanks. I do find the request that the shop call the school rather than the police if any student was caught shoplifting disturbing. I mean, WTF? These adults, not young teenagers who need Mom and Dad if they get in trouble. You're at college to learn and grow, not to be sheltered and treated like a little kid.
  #68  
Old 06-28-2019, 11:46 AM
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Thanks. I do find the request that the shop call the school rather than the police if any student was caught shoplifting disturbing. I mean, WTF? These adults, not young teenagers who need Mom and Dad if they get in trouble. You're at college to learn and grow, not to be sheltered and treated like a little kid.
They don't want to be treated like little kids. They want to be treated like what they think they are - beings superior to the common masses, whose thoughts and lives are above petty things. So allowances must be made.

The rules are different for me. I was made for better things than sullying myself with petty details about earning a living, especially by the likes of Those People.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:02 PM
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They don't want to be treated like little kids. They want to be treated like what they think they are - beings superior to the common masses, whose thoughts and lives are above petty things. So allowances must be made.

The rules are different for me. I was made for better things than sullying myself with petty details about earning a living, especially by the likes of Those People.

Regards,
Shodan
You say "get off my lawn" unironically and frequently, don't you?
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:08 PM
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You say "get off my lawn" unironically and frequently, don't you?
I have servants to do that for me.

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  #71  
Old 06-28-2019, 02:40 PM
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Haven't read the coverage, but it sounds like joint and several liability: all the tort-feasors are equally liable to the plaintiff for the full award of damages, and then have to apportion it amongst themselves. In practice, that means that even if the deep pockets defendant was only responsible for a portion of the injury, it pays the full amount and then goes to the other tortfeasors ( in this case the students and the faculty members who were also defendants), and tries to recover from them. Shouldn't be a problem; most students and faculty have a million or two lying about.
According to THIS, Oberlin College has an endowment of $887 million.
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Old 06-28-2019, 02:45 PM
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It seems to me the college is past the point where they will win there case anymore and it comes down to the question of amount and terms. I'm guessing a lump sum followed by payments over several years and a formal letter of apology. Part of this whole case was the family not wanting their 90 year old grandfather who started the business, to die with the title of "racist" hanging over his head.
  #73  
Old 06-29-2019, 07:43 AM
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Discuss away! I'd never heard of the incident until I started clicking your links and immediately got sidetracked. It seems the N.Y. Times — the venerable New York Times for God's sake! — has hired two right-wing liars so that it can be "fair and balanced" also. Bahhh! I want to throw up.

So ... some of us are outraged that the bakery was given a mere $33 million because some Americans exercised free speech? Is this the biggest injustice underway in the U.S.A. today?

I'll ask OP and other thread participants what they think of armed militants shutting down the Oregon state government with active encouragement from the GOP. Answer that question; THEN I'll take time to study the latest bakery incident and comment on that.

Thanks in advance.
posters are missing point--Oberlin was sued for using libel as reason for cancelling contract with Gibson's
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:03 AM
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I dont know if this has been discussed, but I wanted to discuss the case of Oberlin college vs a local bakery. It seems that in 2016 a black student was confronted for shoplifting and him and 2 friends got into a fight with the bakery store clerk and were later arrested for it. Many students at the college started protesting the bakery because they felt the charges were racist and bakery itself was racist. The bakery eventually sued the college because it feels like the college's administrators actively supported the protests and used school resources to accuse the bakery of racism which cost them alot of business. The jury awarded $11 million then another $33 million for more damages.

How had the college supported the protests? THIS article says an administrator from the college was there with a bullhorn egging the students on and helped by handing out flyers called the business racist. The school also sent over pizza and drinks to the students protesting. Although THIS OPPOSING article says the administrator only attended as a bystander and just to make sure everyone was safe.

Furthermore THIS article said the school also demanded the bakery drop all charges against the shoplifters and in the future, if students are caught stealing, to call them instead of police.

Now from what I read, this has sent a message to other colleges that they also might be sued for things their students do and they either support or do little to stop. The Oberlin college president thinks so.

This article says it also fallows a recurring "Town vs Gown" issue.


Now the question I'd like to debate is, will or should colleges be held liable if their students protest a private business?

Will this suit encourage other people to sue a college if its students protest them?

What do you all think?
what's interesting is that nobody discusses the fact that the black student was in fact guilty of shoplifting, but claims it's racist because he got caught? how does so-called 'profiling" charge change fact that alleged "victim" was actually doing crime. Basically saying that I'm guilty but you shouldn't have caught me?
  #75  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:37 AM
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I can't find it in all the news articles that have been linked, but the three students admitted at their sentencing that they had been shoplifting and the Bakery did not racially profile them.

It's almost as if all this could have been avoided if people would just wait for the court process to work. I guess that's just too old-fashioned.
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  #76  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:50 AM
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posters are missing point--Oberlin was sued for using libel as reason for cancelling contract with Gibson's
That doesn't even make sense and doesn't reflect anything presented in this thread.
  #77  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:36 AM
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I can't find it in all the news articles that have been linked, but the three students admitted at their sentencing that they had been shoplifting and the Bakery did not racially profile them.

It's almost as if all this could have been avoided if people would just wait for the court process to work. I guess that's just too old-fashioned.
In one of the articles I linked to above, that point was also brought up. Thing is IF they had just waited for this to go to court, most likely the three would have gotten a light sentence like a fine or community service or such and the whole thing might have gone away quietly.

BUT, they instead the next day showed up with signs and bullhorns and ruined the reputation of a business that had served the community and the college since 1885.

The 3 students arrested because of the publicity ended up getting the book thrown at them so in the end, the students ended up hurting their own.
  #78  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:41 AM
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HERE is a link to a letter to USA Today from the owner of the bakery (well actually the son) telling his side of the story.


Some quotes:
"The bakery has long been a popular stop among students, residents and returning alumni. Our family and business’ reputation was a source of pride for generations. But all that changed in 2016, when protesters drew national attention to our store in Oberlin."

"
Police arrested the student. But the next day, hundreds of people gathered in protest. From bullhorns they called for a boycott. The sidewalk and park across the street from our store were filled with protesters holding signs labeling us racists and white supremacists. The arrest, they said, was the result of racial profiling. The narrative was set and there was no combating it.

Despite the lack of any evidence, our family was accused of a long history of racism and discrimination. Oberlin College officials ordered the suspension of the more than 100-year business relationship with our bakery, and our customers dwindled. We were officially on trial — not in a courtroom, but in the court of public opinion. And we were losing.
"

"
In the end, the words of my father inspired me to continue the fight. He said, “In my life, I’ve done everything I could to treat all people with dignity and respect. And now, nearing the end of my life, I’m going to die being labeled as a racist.”

There wasn’t enough time, he feared, to set the record straight. His legacy had been tarnished and he felt powerless to stop it. I had to see this case through.

This experience has taught me that reputations are a fragile thing. They take a lifetime to build but only moments to destroy.

Ultimately, the jury sent a clear message in our case — that truth still matters. They awarded us $33 million in punitive damages and $11 million in compensatory damages for libel, tortious interference with business relationships and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

It’s my hope that the jury’s verdict against Oberlin College is a wake-up call. In an age where social media can spread lies at an alarming rate, what happened to Gibson’s Bakery could happen to anyone.
"
  #79  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:56 AM
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Some quotes:
None of which address any libel by the college.
  #80  
Old 06-29-2019, 11:09 AM
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They still dont get what they did was wrong.

Here is a video of the college president on CBS News.

Just start counting all the things the pres left out and she STILL doesnt think the college did anything wrong or the Gibsons bakery was hurt. Also notice how the CBS interviewer only asks lowball, easy questions and doesnt challenge her. Talk about the press watering this all down.
  #81  
Old 06-29-2019, 11:12 AM
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A judge just cut the verdict in half, mostly based on limits set on such lawsuits.
  #82  
Old 06-29-2019, 11:17 AM
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Oberlin college and free speech debate


Responding to Ruken:

The College acts through intermediaries. There seems to be evidence that the College, through its employees and officials:

1. printed up pamphlets that accused the Bakery of racism

2. was represented by a dean at the protests, where the protestors accused the bakery of racial profiling and racism;

3. gave class credit to the students who went to the protests and accused the bakery of racism.

I appreciate that those facts may have been in dispute, but that's what juries are for: to listen to contested facts and make a final determination of the facts.

In this case, those three facts, if accepted by the jury, would seem to support a finding of libel.

And yes, there doesn't appear to be any evidence that the senior administration of the College directed or participated in those actions, but that doesn't let the College off the hook.

The doctrine of vicarious liability says that an employer can be held liable for the tortious acts of its employees. For example, if Joe Deliveryman runs you down while driving a truck for his employer, ABC Deliveries, both Joe and ABC Deliveries are potentially liable to you for the injuries: Joe directly, and ABC Deliveries vicariously. ABC can't avoid liability by saying that they didn't tell Joe to run you down. They gave Joe the truck and told him to drive it, which caused the injuries to you.

So, the College could be vicariously liable for the libel perpetuated by some of its employees, even if the higher admins of the College didn't know about it and hadn't directed it.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 06-29-2019 at 11:21 AM.
  #83  
Old 06-29-2019, 01:35 PM
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Friendly reminder that this particular grift is ongoing right-wing propaganda.

Do note:

"THIS article" is the National Review Online, known right-wing propaganda outlet.

"THIS OPPOSING article" is a local paper directly on the ground.

One of these sources is trustworthy. The other is not. No points for guessing which is which.

Anyways, this is one of those cases where the mask slips. As the Oberlin Review put it:



Students are being told to shut up about perceived racism from a business, and the college is facing lawsuits for supporting the students. I'm sure Dave Rubin will be on the case any day now.
I don't think that is what is happening though. In this case it was not racial - the clerk saw two bottles secreted (clearly not well) away. He apprehended a thief - not wise, but not illegal and sure as hell not racist.

Students took an alternate view and protested as is their right and I support that even though I disagree with them. Individual faculty lent material assistance and support, again well within their rights.

The university as an [u]institution[/b] took a vocal and public stance that gave tremendous weight to the defamatory accusations of racism. The university, institutionally, was wrong to do so and was way out of line - just as they would be if the had punished the students because the institution disagreed.

As far as schools go the only chilling effect this should have is on taking a public stance against a private entity without sufficient information.
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  #84  
Old 06-29-2019, 04:17 PM
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Responding to Ruken:

The College acts through intermediaries. There seems to be evidence that the College, through its employees and officials:

1. printed up pamphlets that accused the Bakery of racism

2. was represented by a dean at the protests, where the protestors accused the bakery of racial profiling and racism;

3. gave class credit to the students who went to the protests and accused the bakery of racism.
1. What was reported in this thread is that some employees allowed students to make photocopies of libelous flyers free of charge. Nobody has presented any evidence that said employees weren't acting independently or thatthey were acting in a manner that serves a goal of the employer.

2. My employer is not liable for what I say at protests. Or what my boss says. I don't see why anyone finds this relevant.

3. They gave credit to students to attend the protest, which is not itself libelous. What the students then choose to do is between the business and the students.

So what I'm guessing is that there was infact libel but we just have a case of shitty reporting. Although alternatives include no libel and the school having a shitty lawyer or a jury of one's "peers" being about as terrifying as it sounds.
  #85  
Old 06-29-2019, 04:24 PM
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Are you a civil lawyer? Because, while shitty reporting is certainly a good possibility, the possibility also exists that your opinion on their liability may be in error.
  #86  
Old 06-29-2019, 04:32 PM
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Oberlin college and free speech debate


Right. We're just getting the summaries. We weren't there in court, hearing exactly how everything happened. Was that one Assistant Dean just standing there, watching events? Or was she encouraging the students to say the racism things? Were College resources being used to encourage civil engagement by the students, or to support the racism allegations? Factual issues like that turn on credibility of witnesses, how the testimony hangs together, and so on.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 06-29-2019 at 04:32 PM.
  #87  
Old 06-29-2019, 09:20 PM
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I don't think that is what is happening though. In this case it was not racial - the clerk saw two bottles secreted (clearly not well) away.....
And this was after the shoplifter tried using a fake ID.

Cite.
  #88  
Old 06-29-2019, 09:35 PM
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Are you a civil lawyer? Because, while shitty reporting is certainly a good possibility, the possibility also exists that your opinion on their liability may be in error.
Given that an actual jury found them actually liable, I'm going with the latter.

Jury trials are SO yesterday, anyway. Everyone knows the path to real justice lies with star chambers of university officials passing judgement without due process.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 06-29-2019 at 09:37 PM.
  #89  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:32 PM
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Right. We're just getting the summaries. We weren't there in court, hearing exactly how everything happened. Was that one Assistant Dean just standing there, watching events? Or was she encouraging the students to say the racism things? Were College resources being used to encourage civil engagement by the students, or to support the racism allegations? Factual issues like that turn on credibility of witnesses, how the testimony hangs together, and so on.
If you go back to the Legal Insurrection site they actually have a near day to day recap of the trial.
  #90  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:34 PM
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Given that an actual jury found them actually liable, I'm going with the latter.

Jury trials are SO yesterday, anyway. Everyone knows the path to real justice lies with star chambers of university officials passing judgement without due process.
Even better, just everyone start posting on social media and get everyone going.
  #91  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:39 PM
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Oberlin college and free speech debate


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If you go back to the Legal Insurrection site they actually have a near day to day recap of the trial.


That's good, but still not as good as being there in the courtroom and hearing/seeing each witness testify. That's the strength of the jury system, and also why it's very difficult to overturn a jury's factual findings.

I've read scads of court transcripts over the years. I've also been present in court and listened to and watched witnesses. The transcripts are never as illuminating as being there, seeing and hearing the witness.

Viva voce beats the transcript every time.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 06-29-2019 at 10:41 PM.
  #92  
Old 06-30-2019, 06:26 AM
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Are you a civil lawyer? Because, while shitty reporting is certainly a good possibility, the possibility also exists that your opinion on their liability may be in error.
What's been posted here is primarily quotes and summaries of the complaint, not any actual evidence presented in court. Given that employers are not automatically liable for actions/speech of their employees, then that is indeed shitty reporting.

Last edited by Ruken; 06-30-2019 at 06:27 AM.
  #93  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:41 AM
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That's good, but still not as good as being there in the courtroom and hearing/seeing each witness testify. That's the strength of the jury system, and also why it's very difficult to overturn a jury's factual findings.

I've read scads of court transcripts over the years. I've also been present in court and listened to and watched witnesses. The transcripts are never as illuminating as being there, seeing and hearing the witness.

Viva voce beats the transcript every time.
True:

HERE is a link to an article which goes over testimony from Meredith Raimondo, the schools vice president. She was a witness and gave testimony over 2 days and it looks like her testimony was the most damaging to the colleges case.

"
Raimondo took the stand for a second day Tuesday as an adverse witness, meaning her testimony was compelled by subpoena and not voluntary, in the civil trial between Gibson’s Bakery and Oberlin College. Gibson’s sued the college and Raimondo for libel, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and trespass in 2017. The bakery also is suing the college for negligent hiring, retention and supervision.

Lee Plakas, the lead attorney for Gibson’s Bakery in the case, repeatedly insinuated that Raimondo could have influenced the students who protested in front of the bakery Nov. 10 and 11, 2016, due to her role as dean of students.

Raimondo, however, disagreed repeatedly with that statement, saying she has “a leadership role” but wouldn’t say she has “control of the students.”

Plakas highlighted incidents that he contended prove Raimondo did have control over the actions of students.

One of them was an email Raimondo sent to Oberlin College Student Senate members after the second day of protests saying she would “encourage folks not to go to the protests downtown (Nov. 12).” Raimondo also said in the message that at that point, the demonstrations were “driving Gibson’s business,” which Plakas took to mean “you (Raimondo) weren’t happy that there was business now being given to Gibson’s for people who supported them in response (to the protests).”

Plakas noted students did not protest Nov. 12.

Another example he gave of Raimondo’s influence regarded the student senate resolution that urged students to boycott the bakery because it had “a history of racial profiling.”

The resolution hung in Wilder Hall at the college for a year after the student senate passed it, Plakas said. After Gibson’s filed the lawsuit against the college, Raimondo asked the students to take it down, Plakas said.

“Sir, I don’t have control over the students,” Raimondo said. “I would not agree with that.”

“After you asked them to take it down, they took it down,” Plakas said.

“I know they took it down,” Raimondo said. “I can’t speak as to why they chose to do that.”

What other reason would the students have to remove it, Plakas asked.

“I don’t have any information about their thinking,” Raimondo said.

The testimony later shifted to Raimondo’s interactions with other administrators at the college and whether their “ill-will” or “malice” toward Gibson’s caused them to take sides in the protests and the aftermath.

Emails and text messages shared among them played a big factor in the testimony.

Plakas read the jury an email from Oberlin College Vice President of Communications Ben Jones.

“We should just give all business to Leo at IGA. Better donuts anyway,” Jones’ email said. “All these idiots complaining about the college hurting a ‘small local business’ are conveniently leaving out their massive (relative to the town) conglomerate and price gouging on rents and parking and the predatory behavior towards most other local business. (Expletive) ’em.

“I wanted this to work out in a restorative way with shared responsibility (albeit generous on our part) because it’s what’s best for the town. But they’ve made their bed now…”

Tita Reed, special assistant to the president for community and government relations for the college, then replied in the email thread: “100%!!!!!!!”

Plakas asked Raimondo if, after seeing the emails, she told them that their responses were inappropriate and asked whether she had tried to “de-escalate” the situation.

“I wouldn’t have considered that an appropriate response,” Raimondo said.

“You don’t think it would be appropriate to de-escalate?” Plakas asked.

“No, I did not,” she said.

Plakas then circled back to the issue of whether Raimondo controlled the students by saying that she actually felt she controlled them as if they were on a leash.

“I assure you I did not,” Raimondo said.

That’s when Plakas read an exchange between Raimondo and other administrators about Roger Copeland, a professor with the college who had been critical of Oberlin College’s handling of the protests at Gibson’s.

“(Expletive) him,” Raimondo said in a text message. “I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us.”

Plakas asked Raimondo if she felt that had been an appropriate response.

“I regret that the jury has seen that unprofessional language,” Raimondo said. “This is a private text message exchange between friends, and sometimes, in my private communications, I speak that way. I do not speak that way in public or professional contexts.”
"
"
  #94  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:56 AM
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Right. We're just getting the summaries. We weren't there in court, hearing exactly how everything happened. Was that one Assistant Dean just standing there, watching events? Or was she encouraging the students to say the racism things? Were College resources being used to encourage civil engagement by the students, or to support the racism allegations? Factual issues like that turn on credibility of witnesses, how the testimony hangs together, and so on.
I hope my above post helps to answer that question.

HERE is another article, where the college attorney, during trial and after the jury had found the college libel, but still had not slapped them with the massive fine, admits it "learned it's lesson":

"
Oberlin College’s attorneys, meanwhile, tried to convince the jury that the college has learned its lesson and is being a better community partner by educating its students on how to be good neighbors and residents.

Oberlin attorney Rachelle Kuznicki Zidar had a different take, telling jurors that her client heard the message they sent when they ruled against the college.

“You have sent a profound message,” she told the jury. “Colleges across the nation have heard you” and Oberlin College in particular “never wants to sit at this table ever again.”

To prevent a repeat of what occurred at the college between November 2016 and January 2017, Zidar said Oberlin College will monitor more closely the activities of student organizations including the Student Senate, scrutinize how student activities funds are used, monitor internal communications and explain to students and the campus community its expectations for their behavior.

“Bad conduct has already been discouraged by the verdict you have rendered,” Zidar said. “We want to repair the harm.”
"
  #95  
Old 07-01-2019, 04:24 AM
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None of which address any libel by the college.
Right after the libel decision was handed out by the jury and the Gibsons awarded $11 million, the second part of the trial started. The one where the decision to award another $44 million came from. This part of the trial should just have been about money and finding out how much money the college has and if they could indeed afford another $44 million.

Well it turns out Oberlin couldnt keep its mouth shut and sent out a letter slamming the juries decision and the email made it into court and was probably what cost them the additional money.

That email, slamming the juries decision, was presented to the SAME JURY, which had just previously ruled against them.

If you had any brains you DON'T slam and go after the jury who had just ruled against you.
  #96  
Old 07-01-2019, 04:47 AM
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That's good, but still not as good as being there in the courtroom and hearing/seeing each witness testify. That's the strength of the jury system, and also why it's very difficult to overturn a jury's factual findings.

I've read scads of court transcripts over the years. I've also been present in court and listened to and watched witnesses. The transcripts are never as illuminating as being there, seeing and hearing the witness.

Viva voce beats the transcript every time.
More than what was SAID, but what about what was SEEN and the general atmosphere of the courtroom.

Every day of that trial (which lasted april thru June) in the courtroom was the 90 year old matriarch of the family, sitting right behind the Gibsons box with his walker in hand and a brace around his neck. A neckbrace from an injury sustained because of a confrontation over his supposed racism. He was a little old man who had run a respected family business all his life. You couldnt help but not be sympathetic.

On the other side was an obviously arrogant college administrator and her legal team.

I would have given anything to see the look on their faces as the juries decision was read.
  #97  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:09 AM
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I put a link to those numbers above.

Thing is your talking about a business that dates back to 1885 and this incident basically, or at least tries to, wipe them out. The income of 3-5 generations, plus many hired staff, wiped out.
Yes, Oberlin was totally at fault and got their well-deserved karma....the usual suspects are just piling on you because of your past posting history and political slant.
  #98  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:32 AM
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Well, personally I "piled on" because the writer of the article he was using as a source blatantly shoehorned a well-known racist dogwhistle into the article.

But yeah, Oberlin appear to have majorly screwed the pooch on this one.
  #99  
Old 07-03-2019, 01:13 PM
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I can't find it in all the news articles that have been linked, but the three students admitted at their sentencing that they had been shoplifting and the Bakery did not racially profile them.

It's almost as if all this could have been avoided if people would just wait for the court process to work. I guess that's just too old-fashioned.
Well, it says that they plead guilty and in their plea colloquy said that it was not a racial thing. However, it could have been a condition of his plea deal that he "acknowledge" that.

I'm with you; I do not think it was racial, but simply because the defendant said it in a plea deal doesn't make it so.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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Well, it says that they plead guilty and in their plea colloquy said that it was not a racial thing. However, it could have been a condition of his plea deal that he "acknowledge" that.

I'm with you; I do not think it was racial, but simply because the defendant said it in a plea deal doesn't make it so.
Yeah, I think the real quarrel was against the college administrators not the shoplifters. I read how the shoplifter had a good defense attorney (which the college paid for) and admitting fault might have been part of the plea bargain.

The college administration encouraged and pushed the students into demonstrating, making unjustified accusations, and personal assaults on the family and then refused to admit they were wrong and refused to tell the students to back off even a year later and then got arrogant in negotiations telling them to never call the cops on a student again and such.

If you listen to the new college president she still wont admit they were in the wrong and instead says it was all about free speech.

You would think by now after Duke University getting sued over the lacrosse student scandal and the professor at the University of Missouri getting fired for egging on students in 2016 they would get the message. In the future they should warn students that actions have consequences (such as handing out pamphlets calling a person racist) and college staff should stay out of it.
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