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Everyone is waiting for the appeal in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case that has captured the attention of the nation. The judgment is for almost $32 million in damages and defendants were required to post a $36 million bond to secure the judgment pending appeal.
The appeal phase, as I’ve previously indicated, is the most perilous for the Gibsons. Their case was so strong on the facts, and the trial defense so tone deaf, that a jury verdict in their favor was likely. But appeal, there are legal landmines the defense will try to raise that could torpedo the jury verdict. I’m not predicting that, but in any lengthy trial there are a myriad of issues a losing party could raise on appeal.
Under the Court Order setting post-trial motion deadlines, defendants had until August 19 to file post-trial motions, plantiffs had 14 days to respond to the motions, no replies were permitted, and the Court will decide the motions by September 9.
On August 14, defendants filed two motions, a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (pdf.) and Motion for a New Trial (pdf.), copies of which are embedded at the bottom of this post. So the Gibsons have until August 28 to file their objections.
If you want to know what the appeal will look like, read the motions, which largely mirror each other. The defendants challenge a large number of the pre-trial and trial legal and evidentiary rulings. In that respect, it’s a re-litigation that defendants are required to attempt, or they can’t raise the issues on appeal. It’s kitchen sink time in that regard.
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