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Court awards $33m (max punitive damages) to bakery libeled and harassed by Oberlin College

Kenpachii

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I wonder what their argument was? I'm not expecting them to give up at all - in their minds, they are the heroes, and the heroes must prevail.
Government should start to look into the school if it's still a neutral playground and otherwise sack the entire administration. See how fast they take the L.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Landmark ruling, and I'm happy that justice prevailed. Schools should be held accountable for the mobs they indoctrinate if they wish to be held in esteem for the geniuses they cultivate. Road goes both ways.
 
Dec 15, 2011
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Ok, now this is funny. Oberlin College defamed the jurors before they finalized deliberation.

So, just to back-track a little here, this story is a series of bad decisions and questionable motives. But the timing and tone of the email here is the very opposite of damage control. There are some interesting take-aways from the linked article that was written prior to the punitive damages outcome just reported:

Article said:
The next stage is a punitive damages hearing, since the jury found the defendants acted with intent and malice. A separate punitive damages hearing is required under the Ohio Tort Reform legislation that passed several years ago. The point is to keep some of the more inflammatory evidence that does not go to liability or compensatory damages away from the jury during the initial deliberations. That additional evidence relevant to punitive damages could include information as to the wealth of the defendants, but also additional information supporting the need for punishment.

In this context, there is nothing more baffling than a statement sent to alumni after the verdict by Donica Thomas Varner, Oberlin College’s Vice President and General Counsel.

The statement was contained in a mass email sent to alumni (and possibly others) criticizing the jury verdict and repeating the same stale defenses that failed at trial
...
Article said:
Procedurally, the email is baffling because the trial is not over. The jury will hear more evidence and render a verdict on punitive damages that could add another $22 million to the $11 million compensatory. The objective of any communications at this sensitive stage must be to first do no harm. That’s how Scott Wargo, Oberlin’s spokesman, handled it when contacted by me and other media after the verdict, indicating the college had no comment on the jury verdict. Wargo’s statement was the professional response one would expect in this circumstance, so why are others at the college not heeding that basic corporate communications strategy?
...
Article said:
Substantively, the email is infuriating to anyone who has followed the case. Oberlin College and Raimondo were not “held liable for the independent actions of their students.” Rather, the defendants were held liable for their own conduct in aiding and abetting the publication of libelous documents, interference with business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Let me repeat, it was the college’s and Raimondo’s own conduct that was at issue before the jury.

That the General Counsel of Oberlin College doesn’t understand that — even if she disagrees with the jury conclusion — tells me something went very wrong with the way this case was handled internally at Oberlin College.
...
Article said:
I saw this phenomenon when I was in private practice representing employees against securities firms, which usually had in-house counsel involved in termination decisions. When the in-house counsel who advised as to termination also showed up overseeing the litigation, I knew there were going to be problems because that person had an interest in defending his or her own termination advice, rather than providing a cold, disinterested litigation assessment.

We would have to know more about Varner’s involvement in overseeing the litigation. But if she was the key point person at the college as to the litigation strategy, she may not be the right person to handle corporate communications.
Assuming these pieces all fit, it would make some sense: The person overseeing the litigation has a personal investment in what was originally advised - compromising their capacity to conduct proper litigation strategy or corporate communications.

TL;DR: We all feel our own ideas are the best.

This just underpins the whole story of people preferring the smell of their own farts to such a degree that they can't think straight.

And now, a series of bad decisions, driven by emotion and ideology, have created a $33m hole.

And whilst Oberlin has already cried about "think of how this will affect the students!!", it's clear that such an interest in student welfare never concerned them before and so rings terribly hollow now.

But, to end a rather heavyweight post, let's enjoy a picture of the person most responsible for this drama at court earlier today.
The one, the only, Oberlin College Dean of Students - Ms Meredith Raimondo!!

 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Just wait until Covington lawsuit settles.

These woketavists already made it permissible in Western society to play the victim. So what happens when all their victims -- the numerous targets of their smears, of their mobs -- smell money in the water and start pushing back? What happens when snakes within the ideology see the tides turning and decide to sell out their former allies for fame, if not merely to distance themselves from the collapse?
 

MayauMiao

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OOF!

 

DeepEnigma

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OOF!

Get woke, go broke.
 
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merlinevo

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Please let this be a bellwether that academia is finally coming to its senses and expelling the sickness that is grievance study and intersectionality from its campuses. This sickness has done nothing but welcome in incompetence, division, and lies, things that are antithetical to higher education. The faster this sickness gets contained and expelled, the healthier the nation will be and sanity will return.
 
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KINGMOKU

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If this doesnt wake some colleges and those in academia up, nothing will. These kind of lawsuits will start cropping up now that precedent has been set.

Be wary those that will protest a store. Be wary those that back them with their beliefs and money.

No free lunch(or booze in this case).
 
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Teletraan1

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The tactics will change in cases like this. They will just slowly bleed a place out with more subversive tactics rather than directly inciting protests. That will be the only lesson imo.
 

StormCell

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I don't understand how the stance of the college isn't "please don't shoplift from the local businesses and for sure do not get two of your buddies to help beat up the owners of local businesses" and also those kids are booted out.

Instead they seem to be sending the message that if their students are stealing from and beating up people in the local area then they are going to fully back the students.

How are the students even able to leverage that kind of power over an educational institution? "Yeah, we robbed the guys store and beat him up but if you don't back us here then it won't go well for you either".

Do these colleges legitimately fear the students?
Nope. They're the ones programming the students. There are faculty at that college who likely don't believe it is shoplifting. Legally, it's theft, but the greater wrong in this case, in their eyes, is that someone obviously preemptively watched a person of color closely to see if they were stealing (ie. racial profiling). You see, there's no reasonable excuse for catching a person of color stealing because you just admitted to being racist.

Furthermore, this mindset prevails at colleges like this one. They're teaching and positively reinforcing this social think so it should come as no surprise what the internal communications look like. There's nothing for them to fear from the students because the students are doing nothing more than what the masters want. Only thing is, they probably didn't expect to get whomped in a lawsuit. Hopefully this ushers in a new set of social pressures to dump these social thought leaders from the leading roles of the college.
 

#Phonepunk#

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this is an insane case. damn 33million.

what's more insane is that it's probably a drop in the bucket. these colleges are swimming in wealth.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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this is an insane case. damn 33million.

what's more insane is that it's probably a drop in the bucket. these colleges are swimming in wealth.
Yeah in @Schrödinger's cat summary above, they mentioned the college is estimated to hold $1 billion in assets.

Still, this sends a message, and I fully expect the tides of litigation to turn against these ideologues.

The smell of money determines many outcomes, especially when you're dealing with attention-seekers and The Mob itself.
 

Vade

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Can anyone give me a reasonable argument why a college such as Oberlin exists? They do not seem to turn out engineers, scientists, finance/accountants, basically anything STEM or business related. They focus on quote "Experimental College, which offers for-credit courses taught by students, administrators, townspeople and faculty that tend to focus on nontraditional subjects like the fundamentals of rock climbing or community organizing. " .

I guess they are quality in music per USN "Conservatory of Music, which offers bachelor of music degrees and a number of master’s programs and is regarded as one of the best undergraduate music schools in the country. The four-week winter term in January enables students to pursue a specific topic through an individual or group project; past projects have included traveling to India to study Gandhi and an intensive group course on electronic music. "

I just do not see on turning out $260,000 (based on the average yearly expense per student) indebted musicians is actually benefited the students or the country as a whole. Honestly it seems as if someone created a great get rich scam and then called themselves higher education here.
 
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StormCell

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Can anyone give me a reasonable argument why a college such as Oberlin exists? They do not seem to turn out engineers, scientists, finance/accountants, basically anything STEM or business related.

...

I guess they are quality in music per USN "Conservatory of Music, which offers bachelor of music degrees and a number of master’s programs and is regarded as one of the best undergraduate music schools in the country.

...

I just do not see on turning out $260,000 (based on the average yearly expense per student) indebted musicians is actually benefited the students or the country as a whole. Honestly it seems as if someone created a great get rich scam and then called themselves higher education here.
One man's trash is another's treasure, I guess.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that there are colleges entirely focused on non-STEM topics that are doing really, really well. In fact, going to university for anything music is really expensive. Most of the people I know who chose to major in music (not even talking about going to a distinguished music school) plan on teaching it and also playing in an orchestra or some such. It might not be the high-paying career of an engineer, but for those who are rather exceptional at their craft, going to a school such as this one is probably the ticket to playing with a world renowned organization of some sort.

So yeah, $1-billion in assets and you bet your sweet ass the Dean is probably making 8-figures. SMH...
 

KINGMOKU

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this is an insane case. damn 33million.

what's more insane is that it's probably a drop in the bucket. these colleges are swimming in wealth.
Not according the college.

"Cash strapped".

It's amazing to me how you have some folks siding with billion dollar corporations, and colleges.

It seems some have forgotten that a university is a business as well...
 

Kenpachii

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More insane is that that college has so much money something they clearly do not need.

Sounds shady as shit to me.
 

Trojita

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Can anyone give me a reasonable argument why a college such as Oberlin exists? They do not seem to turn out engineers, scientists, finance/accountants, basically anything STEM or business related. They focus on quote "Experimental College, which offers for-credit courses taught by students, administrators, townspeople and faculty that tend to focus on nontraditional subjects like the fundamentals of rock climbing or community organizing. " .

I guess they are quality in music per USN "Conservatory of Music, which offers bachelor of music degrees and a number of master’s programs and is regarded as one of the best undergraduate music schools in the country. The four-week winter term in January enables students to pursue a specific topic through an individual or group project; past projects have included traveling to India to study Gandhi and an intensive group course on electronic music. "

I just do not see on turning out $260,000 (based on the average yearly expense per student) indebted musicians is actually benefited the students or the country as a whole. Honestly it seems as if someone created a great get rich scam and then called themselves higher education here.
Oberlin Nobel prize laureates
 

monegames

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Oberlin Nobel prize laureates
Seems like they were doing something right 60 years ago.
 

autoduelist

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Can anyone give me a reasonable argument why a college such as Oberlin exists? They do not seem to turn out engineers, scientists, finance/accountants, basically anything STEM or business related. They focus on quote "Experimental College, which offers for-credit courses taught by students, administrators, townspeople and faculty that tend to focus on nontraditional subjects like the fundamentals of rock climbing or community organizing. " .
Sure. I'll try to keep it short to avoid wall of text, but you'll need to fill in some blanks.

For a number of reasons, after WW2 we saw a drop in lower skill jobs available in the US. This was in large part to various pro-worker movements [unions, minimum wage, regulations] causing much manufacturing to leave the US, really becoming an issue around the 70s - the car industry leaving really put a scare in people. At this same time, illegal immigration started to spike, further eroding the number of lower skill jobs available to Americans. Despite this, we had a strong middle class and the technology boom was birthing, so many people saw higher education as a necessary path to success.

So, these factors and more caused higher education to change from being seen as a rare, selective filter for the cream of the crop to a neccessary requirement for anyone who didn't want to flip burgers. Universities and media helped push this narrative, absolutely ignoring skilled trades as a path to success [and, if anything, ridiculing them].

In 1965, we also saw the federal government guarantee student loans. This means that if a student fails to pay a loan, the government 'guarantees' it and will pay it [this causes many problems, like subprime loans did in the housing market]. This ultimately caused a massive bubble because now lenders have no problem giving loans to people that are high risk, because they know the govt will cover the debt. Meanwhile, universities then begin to increase tuition because more money is now available to pay for education and more people want to go.

However, just because more of the population now wants a degree does not mean they suddenly have the drive, intelligence, or ability to become a high skilled scientist or engineer. Colleges and universities are happy to oblige [money is money] and so the arts and humanities blossom. So, now we have millions of kids going into massive govt guaranteed debt for degrees that have no chance to pay back skyrocketing tuitions. This also funds the start of grievence studies, where angry blue hairs can spend 120k to find reasons to hate why they didn't choose a degree in engineering. Meanwhile, fat wallets encourage spending, so universities also bloat and create more levels of management and offices of this and that, further driving up prices.

And that is how you end up where we are. Useless institutions pushing useless degrees due to layers upon layers of well intentioned, but economically stupid, governmental policy.

Don't worry, though. The same type of people that destroyed it all in the first place now want the government to just pay for all education in the first place... which will be even worse for everything than guaranteed loans.
 
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Vade

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So the basic gist between @Trojita and @autoduelist is that: Oberlin use to be STEM and have top level people ~80 years ago.

Now days they are just a school that receives free loans from the US Government in the form of government guaranteed loans that pays for inflated salaries of professors and administrators? The 'degree' is more or less paper pushed?
 

autoduelist

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So the basic gist between @Trojita and @autoduelist is that: Oberlin use to be STEM and have top level people ~80 years ago.

Now days they are just a school that receives free loans from the US Government in the form of government guaranteed loans that pays for inflated salaries of professors and administrators? The 'degree' is more or less paper pushed?
My post is about what happened to higher education in general.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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I hope they get the money.

If they get the whole $44M I hope they still stay in business. With so much money, they can probably cover operational costs just on the interest alone.

In that case, sell all stuff for breakeven. It'll get tons of customers and show everyone what two-faced people look like. On one hand, they'll protest. But offer them dirt cheap freshly baked goods for 40 cents each and watch the lines go around the block - protesting students included.
 
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Tweet thread from Legal Insurrection:

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Grinchy

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Imagine robbing a bakery and then a quasi-parade is thrown for you... that privilege.
The kids going to the college who take Sociology 101 are taught that it wasn't the black kid's fault that he was robbing the bakery. The crux of the entire subject is that white people (mostly white men) are the cause of all problems facing groups of non-white people.
 
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switchback27

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Jesus Christ, if the entire thread is free of bias or sensationalism, Oberlin College does have a case--for malpractice against its attorney, because that was a horrific performance.
 

KINGMOKU

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Jesus Christ, if the entire thread is free of bias or sensationalism, Oberlin College does have a case--for malpractice against its attorney, because that was a horrific performance.
This is what eluded to earlier in this thread.

The motions made during the case seemed to come from a layman, not a lawyer.

This is absolutely puzzling.

Feelings over established law? What's to be gained from this?
 

Afro Republican

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All this while it is mostly the white and asian students who put in the hard work and fill the hard sciences disciplines and contribute to America in real meaningful ways.
Yes, lets' pretend white democrats aren't using fake black avatars to stir up race riots the blacks don't even know about until it's thrown in their face with fear tactics. Also the ones implementing the quota systems.

Also let's pretend that the sports issue wasn't a way to dismantle higher education in the cities since the 70's.

Also let's pretend those Asians keep their money in America. Oh wait...

Better to avoid fixing the problem and just blame the victims so that this keeps happening over and over again. Surely this circular solution will eventually break right?

The issue with this is the school (which is run by woke white women primarily like most educational institutions) purposefully started a false narrative specifically for its own benefit and to cause havok, while lying about where the "racism" that didn't happen took place and encouraging vigilantes to attack the "bad guys". I think there should be investigations into schools like this because there are a lot of them and we can find out how and why they are run in such a way.
 

rorepmE

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I was going to update my resume but ended up reading all that.

Thanks a lot, asshole.
 
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desertdroog

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Temper tantrums and stomping on food?

No wonder college kids need safe spaces and cry closets.
 
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