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Animal Law Podcast #40: The Case of Justice For Justice

By Mariann Sullivan — September 27, 2018

On this episode of the Animal Law Podcast, I’m so pleased to welcome back Matthew Liebman of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, who will be speaking with us about the case of JUSTICE, an American Quarter Horse, by and through his Guardian, Kim Mosiman, Plaintiff, v. GWENDOLYN VERCHER, Defendant. It is certainly a unique case. Justice is bringing a negligence per se claim against his former owner, who previously pled guilty to misdemeanor animal neglect. We discuss the fascinating intricacies of this case, why negligence per se is a particularly apt cause of action for such groundbreaking litigation, what it means to be considered a “person” under the law, and the broader legal implications around Justice’s case. We also discuss the recent disappointing decision, and plans to appeal.

Matthew Liebman is Director of Litigation at ALDF. He has litigated cases including ALDF v. Otter, the first lawsuit to successfully invalidate an Ag-Gag law; Bennett v. McDaniel, which rescued a captive bear from a small concrete cage where she had languished for 16 years; and ALDF v. Conyers, which resulted in the rescue of more than 100 dogs from a North Carolina hoarder. Matthew’s writing has appeared in the Animal Law Review, the Journal of Animal Law, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and the Animal Legal & Historical Web Center. With Bruce Wagman, Matthew co-authored  A Worldview of Animal Law, which examines how the legal systems of different countries govern our interactions with animals. He lives with his human companion and their five feline companions Kitty Kitty, Ollie, Emma, Spider, and Niecey.

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