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Date Posted: Oct 20, 2017

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One Market, Spear Street Tower, 32nd Floor
San Francisco, California - 94105



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Schiff Hardin LLP partner Barbara K. Heffernan has been voted a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer, as reported in a special advertising supplement the New York Times on Sunday, March 25, 2007 and the March 2007 edition of Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine, as well as on line at www.superlawyers.com.

Ms. Heffernan was selected through an extensive process of balloting, blue ribbon panel review and independent research. Only 5% of Washington, D.C. area attorneys have been selected for 2007 Washington D.C. Super Lawyers.

Schiff Hardin/Atlanta's team of Walter Bush and Chris Freeman, along with Schiff Hardin/San Francisco's Bruce Wagman, obtained a complete victory today in a case receiving nationwide attention — to halt the illegal means used to euthanize dogs and cats in the State of Georgia.

Schiff Hardin brought the case on behalf of two plaintiffs — a former state representative who introduced Georgia's Humane Euthanasia Act (the law at issue) in 1990, and a woman whose dog had been illegally gassed in one of the chambers, against the Georgia Department of Agriculture. (Chesley Morton v. GA Dept. of Agriculture — 34512-0001)

Chesley Morton, the former state representative, testified that he introduced the law with the intention of providing the most humane death possible for dogs and cats who must be killed in Georgia shelters. Because of the tragedy of companion overpopulation and society's inability to address the problem, the Humane Euthanasia Act mandates injection with barbiturates as the exclusive means of euthanasia, with very limited exceptions.

Despite this clear mandate, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals provided Schiff Hardin's team with extensive evidence that the Georgia Department of Agriculture had not only failed to ever enforce the law, but that the Department had approved and encouraged the use of gas chambers, which produce a horrible and prolonged death.

The legal team (working with PETA counsel) developed a case which included affidavits of former animal control officers who described in horrible detail the experience that thousands of dogs and cats go through every year in Georgia shelters. Walter Bush handled the entire hearing in front of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright today, presenting extensive evidence and cross-examining the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, the head of the Animal Protection Section, and a shelter director who regularly violated the law — but who had been told she could do so by the Department of Agriculture.

After an extensive hearing and argument, Judge Wright issued an injunction for plaintiffs.

In the words of Bruce Wagman, "This is a day all Schiff Hardin attorneys and staff can be proud to be members of the big firm that does big things for the innocent animals with whom we share this planet.

Primary Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Product Liability, Antitrust, Securities, Real Estate, Real Estate Finance, Construction, Employment Law, Toxic Tort, Environmental, Legal Malpractice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Telecom Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Asbestos Litigation, Intellectual Property, Products Liability/Toxic, White Collar Practice.

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