Schiff Hardin has a national Animal Law practice covering animal protection, welfare and public interest issues. We have also litigated and helped develop the law in cases involving companion animals. This burgeoning area of the law requires particular experience and skills, and these cases involve a unique combination of animal law issues and Schiff Hardin's well known strengths in civil litigation.
Our experience in the field of animal law includes, but is not limited to:
- Federal litigation challenging the treatment of animals under the Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act and other federal statutes
- Protection of great apes through creative litigation attacking cruelty and abuse
- Animal hoarding litigation seeking to rescue suffering animals, assist communities in need and stop the underlying problem
- Protection of farm animals subjected to pain and suffering in violation of state and federal laws
- Private client cases involving injuries caused to animals and by animals
- Custody disputes over companion animals
|Most recently, Schiff Hardin represented a family whose dog's execution had been ordered by county officials in the wake of a biting incident. Our attorneys had the dog evaluated by a behaviorist, briefed the issues and argued for the application of a "mitigating circumstances" exception to the order of execution. The hearing officer returned a quick ruling reversing the execution and sending the dog home to her family.|
Bruce A. Wagman, a partner in our San Francisco office, leads the Animal Law practice. His expertise ranges from groundbreaking civil actions advocating for the interests and protection of animals to animal injury cases, as well as pet custody and major federal litigation over the application of federal laws to animal health and welfare. He is the author of the premier casebook on the subject, Animal Law, and has been teaching the course in law schools including Stanford, and the University of California's Boalt Hall and Hastings law schools since 1996.
Mr. Wagman is also the chief outside litigation counsel of a national law-based animal advocacy organization, and in that role oversees and devises the group's nationwide animal protection civil litigation program.
Schiff Hardin's Animal Law practice is augmented by attorneys in our New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington offices, giving it a truly national scope.