10/3 – Day 1 – PPFA v. CMP Trial Summary

On October 3, federal civil jury trial began in Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against The Center for Medical Progress, with opening statements on behalf of each of the co-defendants. Highlights included:

  • Judge Orrick instructed the 12-member jury that the case “is not about the truth of whether plaintiffs profited rom the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs,” and that, “Those issues are a matter of dispute between the parties in the world outside this courtroom.”
  • Planned Parenthood’s lead trial lawyer told the jury in opening statement that this case is about an attempt to “destroy” Planned Parenthood using “any means.”
  • Harmeet Dhillon, counsel for CMP and its undercover subsidiary BioMax Procurement Services, LLC, stated, “What this case is really about is the story of what happens when a powerful, large corporation gets a little negative publicity that it doesn’t like and responds by hitting back at a small start-up company and a handful of individuals, who are the defendants in this case.”
  • Charles LiMandri of Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, representing David Daleiden, explained that before David went public with the information in CMP’s undercover videos, “he took it to law enforcement, over ten separate contacts with law enforcement and public officials within a one-year period.”
  • Paul Jonna, also with FCDF, representing CMP undercover investigator Adrian Lopez, told the jury, “This case is about undercover reporting, the First Amendment, the rights of ordinary citizens to expose unethical and potentially illegal conduct on the part of large and powerful corporations.”
  • Horatio Mihet of Liberty Counsel, on behalf of CMP undercover investigator Sandra Merritt, told the jury that “as difficult as it was for Ms. Merritt to hear that evidence [of violent crimes in fetal organ harvesting], she will tell you that she just couldn’t ignore it. She believed that the public had a right to know what Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry were doing.”

Proceedings continue at 8 A.M. on Friday, October 4, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.