Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HSUS and Lawyers, Lawyers, Lawyers …

The animal rights playbook is the same, no matter which organization it is or how it is peddled to the public. Valerie Stanley, an attorney for Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in 1996 “Everything we are doing lays the foundation for the one day when animals will have rights" ....“We need to get in their faces and sue the animal users so often they don’t know which courtroom they’re supposed to appear in next.” That is exactly what ALDF does with its $6 million in annual contributions. Certainly HSUS with its $101.6 million revenue is capable of using the court system to inflict much more damage on animal owners and producers.

Blog by HumaneWatch
(19 Hours Ago) in Society / Animal Rights

You may have noticed that the Humane Society of the United States sued a chicken company on Monday, apparently over “humanely raised” chicken package labels that don’t presently exist. But that’s not all the nation’s best-paid animal rights lawyers are up to.

On Christmas Day 2009, the Associated Press reported that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) employed "[a] staff of 30 attorneys—up from three when Wayne Pacelle took the helm five years ago."

And that doesn’t include the outside counsel that Wayne Pacelle hires to handle the really tough cases, like defending HSUS against civil lawsuits. Sadly, this leaves the salaried HSUS legal team—whose sheer size rivals that of many mid-size law firms—free to hassle farmers, pet store owners, and food companies.

Let’s take a look at where a few of HSUS’s legal nightmares stand. Funny how they don’t turn up on HSUS’s online docket. But if you’ve contributed to HSUS recently, you’re paying the legal bills.

Feld Entertainment Inc. v. ASPCA et al
In February 2010 the Ringling Brothers Circus company (Feld) sued a handful of animal-rights defendants—including HSUS, the HSUS-controlled Fund For Animals, and two HSUS attorneys—under the federal RICO act. This came after a federal judge’s December 2009 decision to dismiss the animal rights groups’ elephant-welfare lawsuit against Feld.

Why was that lawsuit dismissed, you ask? Good question. It turned out that the plaintiffs had paid their star witness (a former Feld employee) $190,000 for his testimony. The Court ruled that he was “not a credible witness,” adding that he “often gave conflicting answers and was repeatedly impeached on the witness stand.”

Here’s the latest on that lawsuit: It’s moving forward, but the defendants (including HSUS) are asking the judge to put a “hold” on everything while they make a motion to dismiss the case. Meanwhile, the plaintiff has proposed a 27-month-long schedule for dealing with things like “discovery,” the certification of expert witnesses, and pre-trial motions.

So the bottom line is that it will be at least 2013 before this RICO case really gets underway, presuming the case survives a near-term challenge.

Full story at link ...

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