… 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.