The lawyers representing Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech are behaving in the old-fashioned way. That is, they’re not street-hustlers, issuing press releases and trying their case in the newspapers and other media. Rather, they’re keeping what they say for the courtroom. As a result, all the news coverage is wildly slanted in one direction, so it’s very frustrating to try to get accurate information about what’s happening.
For example, this morning on Fox and Friends there was an interview of both Coppedge and his lawyer. You can watch it here. Although we only saw the last few seconds of it, it seemed that they were treated respectfully, which is understandable. We’re not sure because we weren’t watching all morning, but it’s safe to guess that there was no one on TV this morning to speak for the JPL-Caltech side.
Making sense of the news stories is like practicing Kremlinology during the days of the Cold War. We have to know the adversary’s jargon so we can ignore their customary bluster, and then read between the lines for things that aren’t mentioned that might have some significance. That’s how we reached the conclusion — from yesterday’s Discoveroid post — that virtually all of the pending motions in limine were decided in favor of JPL-Caltech.
The important thing is to recognize that there are two sides to this case, and one isn’t showing up in the media. Therefore we must apply extreme skepticism to whatever rumors may be flying around. To assist you in this difficult situation, here are some sources of accurate information:
First, there’s the courthouse. The clerk’s office maintains a docket for the Coppedge case, and they require payment of fees to obtain copies of the listed pleadings. You can visit that source here: Superior Court of California, Los Angeles. At the box for “Case Number” you need to enter BC435600. Some minimal information is available for free — the names of the parties and their lawyers, a list of what documents have been filed, what proceedings have been held, and what future hearings have been scheduled. The press has totally ignored this information.
Most of those pleadings were obtained from the court clerk’s office (at no small expense) by our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and then posted at their archive of pleadings in the case: NCSE’s Coppedge archive. They’re scans of pdf files, so it’s not possible to cut-and-paste from them, but that’s your best source of information. Indeed, it’s your only source of information from both sides of the case.
Finally, for those who may be fans of this humble blog, this link will take you to all of our prior postings on The David Coppedge Case. But there are way too many of them, so we don’t expect you to bother.
Anyway, there probably won’t be any reliable news today, so let’s just use this post for commenting on what stories may emerge, if any. And please avoid the temptation to slander these people. As much as they may deserve it, that’s not an effective way to discuss the issues.
It suddenly occurs to us that what this case needs is someone like Lauri Lebo. She was there for us during the Kitzmiller case, turning out informative and accurate stories. There’s no one with that kind of talent and dedication this time around, so we’ll just have to peer through the darkness and hope for the best.
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