Board of Directors


Sarah Luick joined ALDF’s board in the early 1980′s after starting (with Steven Wise) a regional ALDF chapter in Boston, served as Secretary for many years, and has been chair of the Board since 2011. Sarah worked on the amicus brief filed by ALDF to uphold the Maryland cruelty conviction of Dr. Edward Taub, who experimented on the Silver Springs primates. She also assisted with legal arguments on the Provimi Co. case, challenging the crate-raising of calves for veal. She has participated in ALDF conferences over the years and was a judge in the annual animal law moot court competitions until 2011. Sarah has also long been involved in various animal advocacy organizations in Massachusetts while maintaining her job as a Massachusetts state Administrative Law Judge. She lives on Boston Harbor with her rescued pal Lolly—a big bundle of happy energy black lab-husky mix.


Marilyn Forbes joined the ALDF board in 2009. She is a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law and also practices law with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Marilyn loves that her firm chose a bulldog named Winston as the firm’s mascot. Marilyn’s focus has been on litigation and litigation skills in her dual role as a professor and a practicing attorney. In addition to litigation and ethics courses, Marilyn teaches animal law at Duke Law. Marilyn has had a lifelong love of animals. Her interest in animal legal issues evolved after initially handling a pro bono animal cruelty case for an animal protection group against a hunting club. She has litigated several hoarding cases in North Carolina. She is honored to share her life with Rocker, a wonderful golden retriever. Rocker specializes in both retrieving and reclining.


Sunny MacLachlan joined the ALDF board in January 2011. She is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She became interested in animal law as a prosecuting attorney for the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel’s Office after handling many of the department’s misdemeanor animal cruelty cases. Her interest increased when she joined the faculty at John Marshall and began teaching in the area of animal law. She coaches the Animal Law Advocacy Closing Argument Competition team and her students have won five first-place awards over the last several years. She is active in pro bono work for animal shelters and rescues, and she volunteers as a transporter for area rescues. She is trained in animal rescue disaster response and animal first aid and CPR. Sunny is an avid gardener and collects antique stained glass windows and Victorian era wicker chairs. She lives with her husband, retired Chicago Police Captain Rick Batrich, and their rescued companions–eight dogs and one cat.


Jim Rockenbach was elected to ALDF’s board in 2008. Prior to that, he was a board member and treasurer of the Animal Protection Institute out of Sacramento, California. Jim’s involvement with both animal rights causes and the Animal Legal Defense Fund date back to the early 1980’s. After nearly thirty years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jim returned to the place where he was born and raised, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is currently employed as in-house counsel to a national mortgage banking company, where he specializes in consumer protection law. Jim’s wife, Diane, a California native, joined him in the journey to Philadelphia, not really having a clue what she was getting herself into.


David N. Cassuto joined ALDF’s board in 2011 and is a professor of law at Pace Law School, where he specializes in environmental and animal law. He also directs the Brazil-American Institute for Law & Environment. David has long been interested in animal law and animal ethics, a journey which began with environmentalism and still springs from there. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, son and Labra-doodle. When not teaching law, David can usually be found outdoors. In the winter time, he is a professional ski instructor. During other seasons, he is an amateur everything else.


Nicole joined the ALDF board in June 2012. Nicole has worked at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco on white collar defense and securities litigation cases since 2006. In 2012, Nicole and her family moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for her husband’s job. She now contracts with Orrick and a number of animal law nonprofits. Her current focus is suing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for environmental violations and nuisance. Before her children were born, she and her husband were actively involved in dog and cat rescue, fostering over 300 animals. Nicole was on the board of Wonder Dog Rescue and co-founded Family Dog Rescue, both in San Francisco. Nicole has been actively involved in animal protection litigation since law school, handling over a dozen cases. While in law school, she was the co-president of the Northwestern SALDF chapter and wrote a manual on how to establish an animal law clinic. She has been a judge at the animal law moot court competition and is writing the problem for the competition in 2013. Nicole has always been passionate about animal protection, becoming vegetarian at 7 years old and vegan at 21. She has two biological children, Alex (4) and Nathan (2), and an adopted dog, Dexter (8). She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, yoga, playing bridge, and showing people that vegan food is delicious.


New to ALDF’s board in January 2012, Michelle has operated Paws Pet Boutique in Annapolis, Maryland since 1999. In 2001, she worked with county officials and led the public effort to create the first fenced dog park in her county. Through the boutique, Michelle regularly hosts dog-friendly, fun events that educate people while raising funds for a variety of animal protection charities. After fostering and adopting a Jack Russell terrier named Ben, who came from ALDF’s famous Woodley dog hoarding case, Michelle made a commitment to support ALDF. She has created different ALDF fundraisers, including five “Ben’s Cruise for Compassion” events, which raised $40,000 in donations from the last two cruises alone. In her free time, she enjoys living by the water and spending time with her husband Larry (who also works at the Boutique), her three rescued Jack Russell terriers (Davis, Ben, and Sprocket) and her adopted tuxedo cat named Ali.

Be a Partner in Protection!

Donate monthly to help animals.

or make a one-time gift »

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.

Join Us

Follow ALDF on these networks:

Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.