Meanwhile, Back at the Court House …


Legal Insurrection reports that the judge in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case has ruled that the jury won’t be allowed to see the Oberlin email criticizing them, but he also ruled that the jury will be allowed to authorize the court to add attorneys’ fees to the award in addition to any punitive damages.

As we understand the procedure, the jury will get to determine whether to give the judge the power to award the Gibsons attorney’s fees. If the jury so authorizes, the amount will be up to the judge. It’s unclear to us whether the judge could award the amount of the contingent fee (which presumably is the basis on which the plaintiffs’ lawyers took the case), because if so, that could add many millions to the ultimate judgment. Even at an hourly rate, it still would be substantial.

Oberlin filed a motion for a mistrial. The motion was denied, and the case will now proceed to the punitive damages phase.

5 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back at the Court House …

  1. Unfortunately for Gibson’s whatever award they are granted will take years to be paid due to appeal after appeal by the college. And the email the college sent out just reinforces to the students that they can do and act in any way they want with the blessing of the administration.

  2. Oberlin College to Jury: We’re cash poor and big punitive award to Gibson’s Bakery will hurt students

    The defense then argued that notwithstanding the Form 990, the college had cash flow and liquidity issues that would make a large punitive award difficult for the college. The defense compared the relatively poor financial condition of Oberlin College to other colleges and universities in Ohio. The defense argued that students would be harmed by a large verdict because the college might have to cut back on grants given to students.

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