Carter Dillard oversees ALDF’s litigation team in taking on—often in the courtroom—industries and individuals that exploit animals. Carter also works with ALDF’s extensive pro bono attorney network in getting local representation for animal issues across the nation. A seasoned ALDF spokesperson, he frequently presents at animal law conferences including Harvard, Lewis & Clark, George Washington, and UCLA. He manages and develops ALDF’s civil litigation docket and designs legislative initiatives, oversees staff attorneys, litigation fellows, law clerks, and ALDF student chapters (SALDF). In fact, Carter’s insightful leadership and creative litigation have helped to quadruple ALDF’s animal protection suits, recently drawing upon a unique state law, for example, to help free Ben the Bear from a heartbreaking roadside zoo in North Carolina.
Carter’s previous animal protection experience includes serving as general counsel to Compassion Over Killing and as Director of Farm Animal Litigation for the Humane Society of the United States. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and served as a legal advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the National Security Law Division. With his sister, Carter co-founded the organization Four Feet Forward, which helps small animal advocacy organizations with legal and media campaigns by offering professional services at no cost. Prior to joining ALDF, Carter was appointed to the faculty of Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law, as a Westerfield Fellow, and he was recently a visiting scholar at Emory's Law School. He holds a B.A. from Boston College, a J.D., Order of the Coif and with honors, from Emory University, and an LL.M. from New York University.
Carter has been invited to speak at the UN World Civic Forum, has appeared on Fox Business News, and has been quoted as an animal law expert in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. He is the author of peer-reviewed publications including The Primary Right and numerous other works published by Yale, Duke, and Northwestern universities. Carter is also a research fellow for the Optimum Population Trust and a peer reviewer for the journal Bioethics.
Matthew Liebman is a senior attorney in the Litigation Program and works on all aspects of ALDF’s civil cases, including investigating reports of animal cruelty, conducting legal research, developing new legal theories, and appearing in court. He has litigated cases including ALDF v. Conyers, which resulted in the rescue of more than 100 dogs from a North Carolina hoarder; ALDF v. Keating, in which seven horses were saved from starvation; and Animal Place v. Cheung, which seeks justice for 50,000 hens abandoned without food by egg farmers. 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.
Before coming to ALDF, Matthew clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Matthew graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School in 2006 and with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a degree in philosophy. While a law student at Stanford, Matthew co-founded a chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and was an active member of Animal Rights on the Farm, where he worked on campaigns against factory farming and vivisection. He lives with his human companion, their new baby girl, and their five feline companions Kitty Kitty, Ollie, Emma, Spider, and Niecey.
Wendy Cromwell conducts legal research, follows up on animal cruelty complaints, interviews witnesses, and, if necessary, hires investigators to support ALDF’s groundbreaking litigation. Wendy also maintains databases and physical files, as well as the team litigation calendar, and prepares FOIA requests and appeals.
With a strong background in criminal investigation—she spent 20
years in law enforcement working as a deputy sheriff, 911- dispatcher,
and victim’s advocate—Wendy also holds degrees in criminal justice and
paralegal studies. She has volunteered at the Sonoma County Humane
Society and is active in Compassionate Living Outreach, North Bay Vegan
Events, and the Redwood Association of Paralegals. Wendy was one of the
first women to work patrol duties, which helped pave the way for other
women in law enforcement. In addition to being a paralegal
extraordinaire and a role model for women in criminal justice, Wendy is
also a talented vegan baker and a weightlifting champion. She even broke
the American and world records for weightlifting in the same age/weight
Chris Berry works on a broad range of animal issues including puppy mills, factory farms, and consumer rights. He helps formulate creative legal theories to help animals and challenges government agencies that are not following the law as in Legal Rights and Duties in Lost Pet Disputes. Chris also works hard to fight abuse on factory farms and protect consumers who want to make humane choices. For example, Chris served on the Cal-Cruz Hatcheries case, applying the animal cruelty code to a chicken hatchery through a consumer protection law. Chris also worked on Glover v. Mahrt, a class-action lawsuit alleging that egg packaging depicting outdoor hens mislead consumers who wanted to buy more humanely produced eggs.
Chris graduated with honors in 2008 from the University of South
Dakota, where he majored in political science and minored in psychology.
While there, he focused his attention on animal issues and wrote an
honors thesis arguing that invasive medical testing on animals violates
fundamental bioethics principles. Chris attended law school at the
University of Michigan while maintaining his interest in animal rights
with a focus on litigation. Chris was involved in student advocacy in
Ann Arbor and acquired experiences interning at the public defender’s
office in the child abuse and neglect docket, participating in the
environmental law clinic, and serving as a law clerk for the Humane
Society of the United States, where he worked on the farmed animal
litigation team. Chris cares for two sweet lab mixes and watches out for
his roommate’s goofy Rottweiler.
Stefan Heller graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2011, with an emphasis in Animal Law, Natural Resources, and Environmental Law. While a student, Stefan participated in activities with the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS), and clerked for its director, Pamela Frasch. He also served on several board positions in Lewis & Clark’s SALDF chapter and was a member of both the Animal Law Review and the Cornelius Honor Society.
Stefan grew up near the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington
where he became fascinated with animals and their well-being after
witnessing the troubling behavior of resident wildlife as a clear
symptom of being caged. He has remained passionate about preserving
wildlife habitat and the welfare of animals ever since. Currently,
Stefan and his wife care for a full house of rescued animals including a
shepherd mix named Banjo, a Chihuahua named Daisy, and three quirky
cats: Jack, Sara, and Lilly.
Jenni James specializes in laws that affect marine mammals, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Animal Welfare Act, and the Endangered Species Act. For her ALDF Fellowship, Jenni received a grant from the University of Chicago Law School to help ALDF bring cases to alleviate the suffering of captive marine mammals, particularly orcas and belugas. As a fellow in ALDF’s Litigation Program, her personal caseload includes ALDF’s campaign to help Lolita, the orca confined in the smallest tank in North America. Jenni's discovery that Lolita had been wrongfully excluded from protection of the Endangered Species Act formed the cornerstone of ALDF's campaign to free the captive orca. Her work helped ALDF to file Proie v. NMFS, which convinced the National Marine Fisheries Service to reconsider Lolita's status. Most recently, Jenni drafted ALDF's comment opposing the import of 18 wild-caught belugas.
An honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Jenni received her degree in Social Welfare and is passionately pursuing social justice as a litigation fellow. As a law student, Jenni was on the board of her SALDF chapter, and received numerous awards including ALDF's Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship, the University of Chicago's Public Interest Fellowship, the Maurice Walk Centennial Scholarship, and a grant from the Chicago Law Foundation.
Prior to working for ALDF, Jenni clerked at the Environmental
Defense Fund in Santa Barbara, California's oldest nonprofit
environmental firm. It was there she learned how to apply environmental
laws to animal issues and to comment thoughtfully on pending agency
actions and legislation. She has spent nearly a decade as a wildlife
rescue volunteer with the Marine Mammal Center.
Originally from Colorado, Daniel Lutz graduated from Tufts University in 2007. After stints working on biodiversity conservation projects in Madagascar, Colorado and Kenya, he felt the urge to return to the ivory tower and pick up social mobilization skills. As a student advocate at the New York University School of Law, Danny interned with a New York Assembly member, promoted student notes on NYU's Environmental Law Journal, and was in the Global Justice Clinic, where his team submitted an amicus brief for a U.S. Supreme Court human rights case.
Danny's interests in advocating for animal welfare and rights stem
as far back as his childhood, when his grandmother took him to the
circus. He vividly remembers forcing her to leave early, upset by the
cracks of the whip. Danny's interests came full circle when he worked as
a summer law clerk for Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal and came in
contact with animal-abusing institutions. He fell in love with the
litigation work, and as a result, spent his final year of law school
wading deep into animal issues: organizing a conference on wild horses
and burros, writing a student note on Endangered Species Act preliminary
injunctions, and visiting the dog playground in Washington Square Park.
Justin Marceau is of counsel for the Litigation Program and works on a variety of civil cases, specializing in constitutional matters. In addition to litigating cases with ALDF, Justin is a tenured law professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Before joining ALDF, Justin clerked for Sidney R. Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, worked as an associate at a large law firm in San Francisco, and served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender.
Justin graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 2004 and from Boston College in 2000.
His research interests include habeas corpus, the death penalty, criminal procedure, criminal law, constitutional law, and, animal law.
John Melia works on a variety of cases for ALDF’s Litigation Program, including farmed animal issues such as force-fed foie gras, coyote and fox penning, and other uses of animals for sporting and entertainment. For example, in Altman v. Carter John is litigating against the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to end the practice of “penning” in Indiana, in which wild animals, usually foxes or coyotes, are used as live bait to train hunting dogs in an enclosed pen. In ALDF v. Aubertine, John sued the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets to remove force-fed foie gras from the human food supply as a diseased and adulterated product. As a litigation fellow, John drafts legal documents, makes court appearances, speaks at academic conferences, and manages the work of several of ALDF’s clerks and pro bono attorneys. He also researches and develops new ways to use legal action for the benefit of animals.
Prior to working at ALDF, John worked for the nonprofit Public Justice on their Food, Health and Safety Project. John graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oregon, where he studied history and economics. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he focused on animal law, landlord-tenant law, and public benefits issues. In addition to being an active member of the Berkeley Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, John also worked for the Animal Litigation Research Project, where he provided research support to ALDF and a number of other animal protection organizations. When not suing animal abusers, he enjoys exploring the coasts and forests of Northern California. Also, he doesn't eat meat, ever.