The following is a brief analysis of how issues may be successfully litigated for the legal rights of animals other than humans. As we who have spent a long time in the environmental industry in general and the environmental practice specifically see a few of our hopes and dreams come to fruition with greater societal awareness of the importance of environmental issues, those of us interested in litigating animal law struggle to fit the protection of non-humans into the greater perspective of protecting the planet.
Those with adjustable rate mortgages (“ARMs”) who made it through what seems to have been the worst part of the recent Recession are taking a deep breath in thanks of maintaining their homes from foreclosure either within or without Bankruptcy. It is good news, to be sure. But before uncorking that champaign, bear this in mind. Many economic experts who study these things forecast that a second wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies on the near horizon.
“Civil Litigation” seems to be an oxymoron. How can suing someone in any federal or state court be civil in any way, shape, or form be civil? In fact, in legal jargon most of litigation falls under the broad umbrella of “civil”. Most anything that is not criminal or domestic or probate is probably considered civil. Medical malpractice, common law torts such as breach of contract, defamation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotion distress, and unfair business practice are civil suits. The term “civil” is not always appropriate, as civil litigation can be contentious and painful to endure if you are on the defendant’s side and complex and time-intensive if you are on the plaintiff’s side. The following is how civil suits typically work.
The evaluation of the validity of a civil lawsuit has a dual purpose. Many times at The Mark Bamberger Company I represent a “David” against a “Goliath”. This not always the case, but where it is, I often provide the option of doing the on contingency. That means that the client pays for the filing fee (typically between $200-350), along with depositional and expert witness fees down the road, but I pay for the rest.