Tony Eliseuson

Thony-Eliseuson-headshotAttorney Tony Eliseuson has donated his tremendous legal expertise in several important cases for ALDF, ranging from factory farms to puppy mills to problematic shelters. A Chicago native, Tony most recently is assisting with ALDF’s lawsuit against Chicago Animal Care and Control for withholding public documents about the well-being of hundreds of dogs and cats held at the shelter. A rising star, Tony was recently named one of the top class action attorneys under 40.

Tony is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer for the global law firm Dentons. His focus is on complex commercial disputes and class action defense. He also has extensive nationwide appellate advocacy experience in both federal and state appellate courts across the U.S., and he currently serves as the co-chair of the Pro Bono Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1999 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and received his JD from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2002, cum laude. He also sits on the development board of Chicago’s largest no-kill humane shelter “PAWS Chicago.”

Pro bono work is a priority for Tony, particularly regarding animal welfare and environmental issues, and he has received several awards for his efforts. His interest in animal welfare issues was sparked when a colleague showed him how animals are treated in animal agriculture. “That really pushed me into animal advocacy in the hopes I could do something to prevent cruelty and inhumane practices,” he says.

Tony has also assisted ALDF with pet store cases and a friend of the court brief regarding the Chicago foie gras ban. In 2008, Tony worked with ALDF on our brief filed with the Seventh Circuit, in support of Chicago’s foie gras ban (which was later repealed). He also co-authored two articles for the American Bar Association’s animal law section newsletter. This work inspired many attorneys and staff at his firm to offer future assistance on work with ALDF. “We can consistently count on Tony for thorough legal analysis and thoughtful attention to the project at hand,” says Tom Linney, ALDF pro bono coordinator. “And he is always willing to go the extra mile to help animals through the law.”

For Tony, pro bono work is “an excellent way for junior attorneys to gain experience and also work in areas of law that are of interest to them,” as he explained in a recent interview with Law360. And although he understands the passion behind fighting for justice for animals, Tony advises those starting out in animal law to be as pragmatic and dispassionate about their analysis of issues as possible while planning their strategies, because “ultimately the judge will have to base his or her decision on a rational legal basis.” Tony also highly recommends new lawyers sign up to become an ALDF volunteer attorney member, which they can do here.

In addition to his legal practice, Tony is an avid sports fan who enjoys playing golf, enjoying Chicago’s many great and varied restaurants and spending time with his friends, his family and his dogs. Tony resides in Chicago with his girlfriend and their canine companions, Dylan who is 7 and Watson who is 5—two adorable pups who were also featured in a special ALDF profile.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund would never be able to use the law to advance the interests of animals without the support of legal professionals nationwide. In this continuing series of spotlights, ALDF salutes attorney Tony Eliseuson.

23 thoughts on “Tony Eliseuson

  1. mat kanno says:

    God Bless and Thank You Tony!!! You have saved so many lives!!!

  2. Thank you for all your work on behalf of the animals. I am an attorney in NY (upstate) who would love to get more involved with animals rights on a pro bono level. I would love the opportunity to speak with you to share your insight and how I might help. My best,


  3. Adriana lesemann says:

    What a great human being and what an assest to the practice of law . God bless you and protect you always.

  4. Ted Teodoro says:

    You make the world a better place.

  5. Caroline Griffin says:

    Thank you so much for all that you do for those who have no voice.

  6. ruzena babicova says:

    Thanks from Slovakia Tony, you are fantastic!

  7. Kim S says:

    Thank you Tony for your compassion and for taking action on behalf of suffering animals everywhere!!

  8. Nancy Smith says:

    Thank you for defending innocent animals, Tony Eliseuson! You’re a hero!

  9. Eleonora Kindel Thys says:


  10. Dawn Saum says:

    Thank you for standing up for those who need it the most. You are exactly what our attorneys should strive to be!

  11. Heather Kauffman says:

    Thank you so much for your time and wisdom. Bless you

  12. Wendy Rose says:

    Thank you for your dedication!

  13. JB SMITH says:

    Thank you for your great efforts. I pray for many blessings for you.

  14. Jessica Powers says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  15. Jocelyn Rangel says:

    Thank you for being their voice.

  16. Leslie says:

    Thank you, Tony, for being a steward for animals, as well as a great example of a human being.

  17. Sharon Berry says:

    Thank you.

  18. Tony,

    Congratulations on your many successes and thank you for all that you do for innocent animals! You are an angel here on earth!

    We are applaud you!

  19. brillaint but dont stop there is still lots of animals that need to be saved

  20. brillaint but dont stop there is still lots of animals that need to be saved

  21. Chuck LaMark says:

    Best to you Tony and thank you for all you have generously done for our animals. If I can assist in any way please contact me at 814-932-8302.

  22. Kelly Barker says:

    A tragedy is unfolding at Animal Control in Roswell, New Mexico. The Mayor has halted rescue groups from pulling animals from their certain death. Since this edict, 50 animals have been killed, when rescues were ready and able to pull them. This is a small shelter of 70 cages, with a $250,000 operating budget, and 7 employees. Totally insignificant funding to save lives. The police department has $11M budget. We are helping the rescue groups to obtain a moratorium on the killing and to do a mass rescue/adoption while legal steps can be taken. Can you help us to help them?

  23. Marisa Wiener says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful work you do.

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