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Two Attorneys Fined for Releasing Banned Abortion Videos
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Planned Parenthood

Summary: Two California attorneys and an abortion activist were fined nearly $200,000 for going against an injunction from a federal judge.

According to, two California lawyers were sanctioned for aiding in the release of secretly recorded videos of abortion providers. The videos had been barred from public release due to an injunction but ended up on the attorneys’ website.


U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of the Northern District of California ordered former Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley and attorney Brentford Ferreira to part of the $195,350 civil-sanction fee. Orrick found them jointly liable with the anti-abortion activist David Daleiden and his advocacy organization, the Center for Medical Progress. Daleiden secretly filmed two National Abortion Federation conferences.

In July, Orrick found Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and the attorneys guilty of civil contempt for ignoring an injunction that barred them from releasing any footage from the conference or the names of any members to the public. The attorneys went directing against the injunction by releasing the video to the public, even if it was only on their website.

Cooley and Ferreira are representing Daleiden in a state criminal case. They claim to have temporarily posted the videos so they could find women who had been “harmed” by the specific medical professionals. Daleiden claims the videos show illicit marketing of fetal tissue. The National Abortion Federation claims the videos were edited deceptively.

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Orrick is forcing the attorneys to pay the security costs for the National Abortion Federation and their legal services bill from Morrison & Foerster. He wrote, “In setting this amount, I have considered the magnitude of ‘the harm threatened by continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any suggested sanction in bringing about the result desired.’”

Orrick cut back the legal fee of $280,482 by the Morrison & Foerster team, led by partners Derek Foran and Marc Hearron. The National Abortion Federation had Foran at an hourly rate of $910 and $885 for Hearron. Orrick gave a reimbursement of $503 per hour for each attorney. There were six other associates from Morrison & Foerster seeking fees from $540 an hour to $785. Orrick wrote, “NAF’s counsel have not justified their requested rates in reference to fee awards in other cases or with affidavits demonstrating that the requested rates are reasonable for similar practice areas.”

Cooley and Ferreira are appealing the civil contempt order. Their attorney, Matthew Geragos, said, “Obviously any lowering of the amount is appreciated except for the fact that the injunction is still in place and has a chilling effect on criminal defense counsel.”

Orrick hopes the fine will encourage compliance to his injunctions in the future by Daleiden and his attorneys.

Do you think Planned Parenthood was making an illegal profit off of abortions performed in their clinics? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the abortion laws that have come to light as a result of the Planned Parenthood, read these articles:




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