Latham & Watkins was honored with the Animal Legal Defense Fund Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award at the 2023 Animal Law Conference. Led by partners Scott Shean, Eric Cho, and Jennifer Roy, the firm has dedicated hundreds of pro bono hours on projects for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Associate Tené Johnson, who prepared an amicus brief in a decision that supports animal protection efforts in New York, accepted the award on the firm’s behalf.
In January 2023, Latham helped ALDF file an amicus brief in People v. Jimenez. This case involved a defendant who had been indicted with various offenses, including aggravated cruelty to animals, after striking and severely injuring a small companion dog during an altercation. The amicus brief was referenced multiple times during oral arguments, with the New York Court of Appeals ultimately finding that the justification instruction was unwarranted. The court’s decision helps prevent the improper and unreasonable application of the “choice of evils” defense in animal cruelty cases (read more about this work here). In addition, a Latham team is assisting ALDF with its efforts to protect animals — including lions, gray wolves, and tigers — that are being kept in in substandard conditions in roadside zoos.