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Northern District of California grants permanent injunction to National Abortion Federation – Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration

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United States: Northern District of California grants permanent injunction to National Abortion Federation

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Judge William H. Orrick III granted the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) motion for summary judgment on his breach of contract claim and issued a permanent injunction preventing the broadcast of videos illegally obtained by anti-abortion extremists.

“It has been a privilege to represent NAF in this long-standing lawsuit and we are delighted to have obtained a permanent injunction as a result,” said Derek Foran, Morrison & Foerster partner at San Francisco Commercial Litigation + Trial, who heads the team since the start of the case in July 2015.

Morrison & Foerster filed a complaint on behalf of the NAF in July 2015 after defendants assumed false identities, barged into NAF meetings, videotaped participants, and posted deceptively edited videos purporting to show participants discussing the sale of fetal tissue. On February 5, 2016, the company obtained a preliminary injunction against the publication of the videos as the defendants signed confidentiality agreements before entering the meeting. The Ninth Circuit upheld the preliminary injunction in March 2017. After two of the defendants’ lawyers violated the preliminary injunction in May 2017, the team obtained civil penalties for contempt of $ 195,000 plus interest.

NAF filed its motion for summary judgment on its breach of contract claim and the registration of a permanent injunction in October 2020. Justice Orrick found that NAF was entitled to summary judgment on its breach of contract claim because the defendants were excluded by a judgment in a related case. Case brought by Planned Parenthood, in which the defendants were found to have violated confidentiality agreements with NAF. Judge Orrick concluded that the NAF was entitled to a permanent injunction preventing the videos from being broadcast, as earlier versions of these videos resulted in harassment, threats and violence against the NAF, its members and abortion providers in general. Defendants are required to leave the attached documents in the custody of their attorneys while they separately face criminal prosecution by the state of California for violating California’s bipartite registration consent laws.

In addition to Derek, Morrison & Foerster’s pro bono team representing NAF included San Francisco partner James Sigel and associates Spencer McManus, Randy Zack, Karen Leung, Christina Dierolf and Mason Willis.

Due to the generality of this update, the information provided here may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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