Cases

 
 

First Amendment & Anti-SLAPP

Adams v. PETA, et al., Case No. 37-2014-33843-CU-DF-NC (San Diego Superior Court) A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) by a chinchilla rancher against an animal rights organization related to claims the rancher was involved in animal cruelty; achieved an early dismissal under the California anti-SLAPP statute.

Allison v. Board of Education of Green Local School District, et al., Case No. 15-cv-416 LW (N.D. Ohio) First Amendment case on behalf of public school teacher fired over statements advocating animal welfare on Facebook; resulted in teacher’s reinstatement.

Angel, et al., v. Winograd, et al., Case No. SC123378 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) by the owner of a pony ride operation against two activists for protesting the pony ride operation and calling it cruel; achieved dismissal under California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al., v. Herbert, et al., Case No. 13-cv-00679 RJS (D. Utah)  Facial challenge under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to Utah’s “Ag Gag” law, which criminalizes undercover investigation of animal production facilities. 

Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al., v. Otter, et al., Case No. 14-cv-104 BLW (D. Idaho) Successful facial challenge under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to Idaho’s “Ag Gag” law, which criminalized undercover investigation of animal production facilities.

Animal Rescue Media & Education, et al., v. University of Illinois, et al., Case No. 2016-CH-08529 (Cook County Circuit Court) Illinois public records act lawsuit seeking records related to taxpayer-funded research on beagles by the University of Illinois; University countersued with a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) for advocacy organizations’ political campaign against animal testing.

Manning Beef, et al., v. Los Angeles Cow Save, Case No. BC651650 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) brought by slaughterhouse against animal rights activists alleging that their peaceful vigils on the sidewalk outside of the slaughterhouse were a trespass.

PETA, et al., v. Cooper, et al., Case No. CV 16-0025 TDS (JEPx) (M.D.N.C.) Facial challenge under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to North Carolina’s “Anti-Sunshine Law,” designed to deter employee whistleblowing on matters of public concern.

PETA v. San Diego Regional Airport Authority, et al., Case No. 04-cv-00532 CAB (RBBx) (S.D. Cal.) First Amendment challenge to content discrimination by public entity in accepting advertising; resulted in change of policy allowing client to run previously-prohibited advertisements at airport consistent with the First Amendment.

Soul Circus v. PETA, et al., Case No. 2013cv228230 (Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia) A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) by a circus against an animal rights organizations related to criticism of the circus’ treatment of animals; achieved an early dismissal under the Georgia anti-SLAPP statute.

United States v. Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, et al., Case No. 10-7187 (Third Circuit Court of Appeals) Represented Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild, and the First Amendment Lawyers Association as amici curiae in support of activists criminally convicted of interstate stalking and Animal Enterprise Terrorism for their role in an animal rights campaign where defendants reported on and sometimes celebrated the actions of the unknown individuals engaged in illegal vandalism and harassment.

Wedgewood and Greg Geiser v. Mercedes Caamal, et al., Case Nos. BS161018, BS 161019, BS161020, BC615987 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Represented the defendants in a series of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs)—three cases seeking civil harassment restraining orders and one seeking damages and injunctive relief—brought against housing-rights activists and a nearly-homeless couple for staging a protest outside of the home of a real estate investment firm CEO’s house after his company evicted the couple from their longtime home. Each case was dismissed after my office filed anti-SLAPP motions.

Civil Rights, Police Misconduct & Prisoners' Rights

Chua, et al., v. City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 16-cv-00237 JAK (GJSx) (C.D. Cal.) Class action on behalf of approximately 170 protesters who were unlawfully detained or arrested during protests in Los Angeles against the non-indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown.

Doe, et al, v. Hood, et al., Case No. 16-cv-00789 CWR (FKBx) (S.D. Miss.) Facial challenge under the Fourteenth Amendment to Mississippi law criminalizing oral and anal sex, and another state law that requires anyone convicted of having engaging in oral or anal sex (whether in Mississippi or another state) in the past to register as a sex offender in Mississippi.

Fletcher, et al., v. City of Miami- 07-cv-22954 CMA (Tx) (S.D. Fla.) Unlawful arrest case for activists protesting the meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami in November of 2013; settled with each plaintiff receiving a five-figure recovery.

Gulino, et al., v. Board of Education of the City of New York, et al., Case No.: 96-cv-8414 KMW (S.D.N.Y) Class action on behalf of public school teachers of color challenging the use of discriminatory tests and licensing rules; resulted in widespread changes to testing for public school teachers. 

Johnson, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 08-cv-3515 DDP (JTLx) (C.D. Cal.) Class action addressing pervasive discrimination against people with physical disabilities and disabling medical conditions in the Los Angeles County jail system; resulted in widespread policy and architectural changes in the jail system.

Han v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. 14-cv-8582 DDP (AJWx) (C.D. Cal.) Unlawful arrest case on behalf of animal rights activist who was arrested for handing out literature at an open-air shopping mall; settled for $80,000. .  

Kunstler, et al., v. City of New York, et al., Case No.: 04-cv-1145 RWS (S.D.N.Y.) Fifty-two plaintiff unlawful arrest case for anti-war activists protesting a private equity group with defense spending ties; settled for two million dollars. 

Lauderdale v. City of Long Beach, et al., Case No. 09-cv-0795 ABC (JWJx) (C.D. Cal.) Monitored the implementation of the settlement agreement in case addressing failure to provide effective communication for people who are deaf and hard of hearing in field and jail settings by the Long Beach Police Department. 

Martinez, et al., v. City of Maywood, et al., Case No. 09-cv-06734 SJO (RCx) (C.D. Cal) Case addressing failure of the Maywood Police Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation’s failure to accommodate young woman with autism and severe mental retardation in execution of search warrant and interrogations at her family residence. 

Paez v. United States of America, et al., Case No. 16-cv- 3070-JFW (Ex) (C.D. Cal.)  a lawsuit against the federal government and a federal Marshal for attacking a woman who was trying to videotape law enforcement activity on a sidewalk, in public, and at a safe distance.

Turkmen, et al., v. Ashcroft, et al., Case No.: 02-cv-2307 JG (SMG) (E.D.N.Y.) Class action challenging the prolonged detention and restrictive confinement of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian men arrested on immigration violations in the New York and New Jersey area in wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Valenzuela v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. 02-cv-9092 ABC (JWJx) (C.D. Cal.) Monitored the implementation of the settlement agreement in class action addressing failure to provide effective communication for people who are deaf and hard of hearing in field and jail settings by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Animal Law

Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al., v. The Great Bull Run, et al., Case No. 14-cv-01171 MEJ (N.D. Cal.) Consumer protection action seeking to enjoin company from staging bull runs in violation of the California Penal Code; settlement resulted in defendant permanently removing its bull runs from the state.

Naturo v. Slater, et al., Case No. 3:15-cv-04324-WHO (N.D. Cal.) Litigation seeking to establish non-human primate’s copyright to photograph that the primate took himself.

People v. Gardine, Ching, Brown, and Whelan, Case No. 6CJ11940 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Criminal defense of four women who conducted a protest against animal cruelty by running onto the field during a Los Angeles Dodgers game; obtained judicial diversion and successfully defended the constitutionality of the diversion statute.

People v. Slyter, et al., Case No. 4PS390 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Criminal defense of sixteen activists arrested during the 2014 Rose Parade for blocking the SeaWorld float in protest of SeaWorld’s treatment of captive orcas.  

PETA v. Hot’s Kitchen Group, Case No. YC068202 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Unlawful business practices action against restaurant that sold foie gras in violation of California law prohibiting sale of the product.

PETA, et al., v. Miami Seaquarium, et al., Case No. 15-cv-22692 U (S.D. Fla.)  Endangered Species Act case against aquatic theme park for keeping a solitary orca named Lolita in cruel conditions.

PETA, et al., v. the Mobile Zoo, et al., Case No. 16-cv-0003 WS (S.D. Ala.) Endangered Species Act case against a roadside zoo for keeping a chimpanzee named Joe in solitary and cruel conditions; resulted in Joe being moved to a chimpanzee sanctuary.

PETA v. San Diego Regional Airport Authority, et al., Case No. 04-cv-00532 CAB (RBBx) (S.D. Cal.) First Amendment challenge to content discrimination by public entity in accepting advertising; resulted in change of policy allowing client to run previously-prohibited advertisements at airport consistent with the First Amendment.

PETA v. USDA, Case No. 14-5157(D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals) Represented animal rights organization on appeal in case challenging government agency’s failure to promulgate regulations protecting birds used in exhibition more than a decade after Congress ordered such regulations to be developed.

United States v. Buddenberg, et al., Case No. 09-cr-00263 RMW (N.D. Cal.) Criminal defense of four animal rights activists accused of Animal Enterprise Terrorism for allegedly having demonstrations outside of animal researchers’ homes and printing leaflets containing researchers’ addresses; achieved dismissal of indictments and no charges were refiled.

Public Records

Animal Rescue Media & Education, et al., v. University of Illinois, et al., Case No. 2016-CH-08529 (Cook County Circuit Court) Illinois public records act lawsuit seeking records related to taxpayer-funded research on beagles by the University of Illinois; University countersued with a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) for advocacy organizations’ political campaign against animal testing.

PETA v. City of Pasadena, Case No. BS156930 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Represented animal rights organizations in public records act lawsuit seeking information related to the arrest of a SeaWorld employee posing as an animal rights activists in order to spy on activists

Riskin v. Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, et al, Case No. 166500 (Los Angeles Superior Court) California Public Record Act case against organization that runs Hollywood “Business Improvement Districts” and their private security for failing to produce documents related to harassment of Hollywood’s homeless population.

Criminal Defense

People v. Gardine, Ching, Brown and Whelan, Case No. 6CJ11940 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Criminal defense of four women who conducted a protest against animal cruelty by running onto the field during a Los Angeles Dodgers game; obtained judicial diversion and successfully defended the constitutionality of the diversion statute.  

People v. Krampner, Case No. 2CA18722 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Criminal defense of peace activist arrested with thirteen others for act of civil disobedience in blocking streets outside of federal building in downtown Los Angeles on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan; obtained acquittal at trial.  

People v. Slyter, et al., Case No. 4PS390 (Los Angeles Superior Court) Criminal defense of sixteen activists arrested during the 2014 Rose Parade for blocking the SeaWorld float in protest of SeaWorld’s treatment of captive orcas.

United States v. Buddenberg, et al., Case No. 09-cr-00263 RMW (N.D. Cal.) Criminal defense of four animal rights activists accused of Animal Enterprise Terrorism for allegedly having demonstrations outside of animal researchers’ homes and printing leaflets containing researchers’ addresses; achieved dismissal of indictments and no charges were refiled.  

United States v. Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, et al., Case No 10-7187 (Third Circuit Court of Appeals) Represented Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild, and the First Amendment Lawyers Association as amici curiae in support of activists criminally convicted of interstate stalking and Animal Enterprise Terrorism for their role in an animal rights campaign where defendants reported on and sometimes celebrated the actions of the unknown individuals engaged in illegal vandalism and harassment. .