Gibson Dunn Receives Animal Legal Defense Fund 2023 Advancement Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award

November 9, 2023

Gibson Dunn has received the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) 2023 Advancement Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award, which “honors dedicated legal professionals and law firms who help the Animal Legal Defense Fund achieve its mission to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.” This is the second consecutive year that the firm has been honored with this award.

We have partnered with the ALDF since 2019 in representing the United Pegasus Foundation and the CARU Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in a Riverside Superior Court action to remedy the starvation and abuse of approximately 75 horses and donkeys on a purported animal “sanctuary” in San Jacinto, California.  Following a favorable discovery ruling, our lawyers obtained a settlement in December 2020 that requires, among other things, regular independent monitoring of the horses’ welfare and conditions, and that the defendants surrender any unhealthy horses to our clients or another horse sanctuary; those inspections are ongoing.

We have also been working with the ALDF on litigation strategy related to challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to issue animal exhibitor licenses to roadside zoos that engage in practices that violate the Animal Welfare Act, such as maternal deprivation of bear cubs and bottle feeding.  Our work has included analyzing arguments to support admitting extra-record evidence and evaluating the best avenues for the ALDF to prove standing to bring these administrative law challenges.

Many Gibson Dunn lawyers contribute to the ALDF’s work, including Perlette Jura, Matthew Rozen, Shannon Mader, Joseph Gorman, Negin Nazemi, Becca Smith, Matthew Reagan, Jessica Pearigen, Nathan Powell, and Viola Li.