(New Orleans, LA/May 17, 2011) Attorneys with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, provided pro bono assistance to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in its recently successful effort to secure the release of a Siberian-Bengal tiger that has been confined as a roadside exhibit at a Louisiana truck stop for more than ten years.
Baker Donelson attorneys Monica A. Frois, Erin Pelleteri and Brandy N Sheely worked with the ALDF’s legal counsel to request a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to prevent the Department from renewing the annual permit that allows the owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop to display Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, as he has come to be known. On Friday, May 6, 2011, a judge in East Baton Rouge District Court granted the ALDF’s request, paving the way for Tony to be released to a new home when the current permit expires in December 2011.
“We’re relieved that Tony will be in an environment that is more humane and far more suitable than a cage at a truck stop,” said Ms. Frois. “We knew the law was on our side and are proud that we were able to assist the ALDF in ensuring that Tony’s cause was heard.”
The ALDF retained Baker Donelson because they wanted a legal team with experience and proven success in the areas of administrative matters and statutory construction.
Through its commitment to pro bono representation, Baker Donelson provides legal services to groups and individuals likely to be marginalized in the legal system due to economic barriers. Over the years, the Firm’s attorneys have provided a variety of counsel to many populations, including immigrants, refugees, the elderly and the impoverished. Baker Donelson’s efforts include work on a wide range of matters, such as advocating for the homeless and organizations that serve the homeless, death penalty litigation, providing corporate legal services to non-profit organizations and much more.
Attorneys in Baker Donelson’s New Orleans office are actively involved in the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) program, which provides free basic legal representation to the city’s homeless. Baker Donelson’s New Orleans attorneys are also very active in working with Louisiana Appleseed, which seeks to uncover and correct injustices and barriers to opportunity through legal, legislative and market-based structural reform, and in representing individuals seeking legal help through the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans.
Baker Donelson and its attorneys are frequently recognized for their pro bono efforts. In both 2010 and 2011, the Firm has been honored with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award, which recognizes attorneys and law firms providing outstanding pro bono legal services to Louisiana citizens, including providing an exceptional number of hours dedicated to such services. And in December 2010, Baker Donelson was named the New Orleans Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year by the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, the second consecutive year the law firm received this honor. The Firm’s Louisiana offices have contributed more than 700 hours to the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, and many more hours to other pro bono causes.
Additional information on Baker Donelson’s Pro Bono efforts is available at http://www.bakerdonelson.com/pro-bono/.
A national, non-profit organization, ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit www.aldf.org.
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