As part of our coverage of the lawsuit between the Nolans, their company, The Nolan Network, and Ocean Spray, we’ve run many pieces. Most recently, these three have dealt with the results of the trial and feedback after the trial:
In the final of those pieces, we had received a little note from one of the jurors, whose name we withheld:
I was a juror on the Nolan Network v Ocean Spray trial and I was crying as I read your story. I am so happy I was part of this victory for Mrs. Nolan and her late husband Jim. God Bless.
Now, another juror also sent a note:
I also was a juror on the Nolan vs Ocean Spray trial. I was happy to read your coverage after the trial was over. I’m proud to have served as a juror and even more delighted by the outcome. Hats off to Mrs. Nolan for not giving up and for standing up to the big guys. Please pass along my best wishes to her.
We’ve withheld the names of these jurors, but we think it is interesting that in the world we live in now, we expect jurors to be “Googling” the cases they were on and, sometimes, participating in the public discussion of the case and the issues it represents.
It is also interesting that, Robinson-Patman aside, the jurors seem to have immediately seen this case as a big company bullying its small employees and contractors.
To us this is where the Ocean Spray case made no sense. We would have thought that Ocean Spray, whatever prices it wanted to charge, whatever conduct it wanted to engage in, would have done all in its power to make the Nolans feel good. If that meant talking them up to others in the industry to get them jobs, paying them generous severance and transition payments, even finding them work for Ocean Spray doing merchandising or other non-sales activities, we would have thought that prudent.
It has always seemed to us that Ocean Spray’s decision to wage this battle was an emotional decision more than a rational business assessment. We suspect there is a lesson in this matter for many companies.