Thursday, January 17, 2013
Unnoticed while the smoke cleared from the "fiscal cliff" is an important provision.
The "IRA Charitable Rollover" has been reinstated for 2012 taxes.
This means that if you are 70½ years or older, you may donate up to $100,000 from your traditional or Roth IRA (any 501(c)(3) should be so lucky!) directly to ISAR until January 31, 2013. Your contribution will count against your mandatory 2012 IRA withdrawal, and the amount of your contribution can be a 2012 charitable deduction.
Please consult your personal financial advisor for confirmation and to obtain more specifics.
Oh yes! - there's another benefit: you'll be helping ISAR carry on its work in furthering animal rights.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Recently, ISAR has brought to the attention of our supporters and others, the widespread cruel practice in the United States of surgically cutting the vocal cords of canines (and, less often, felines) known formally as ventriculocordectomy. Synonyms often include "debarking," "devocalization," "silencing," "bark softening," and "cutting the vocal chords."
In 2012, ISAR launched it's newly-created, one-stop, educational website aimed at exposing and prohibiting the barbaric practice of dog and cat devocalization, www.stopdevocalizationnow.org. In addition to the creation of our new website, ISAR produced an Xtranormal video entitled, Silence is Not Golden, and drafted an exceptional and informative Model Statute entitled, ISAR's Model Statute Restricting Devocalization.
Now, to continue our educational efforts against devocalization in 2013, ISAR is kicking off our Stop Devocalization Now project with our latest Youtube video. With this recent video, ISAR further solicits the help from our friends and supporters while encouraging them to help us spread the word against devocalization.
To view ISAR's Stop Devocalization Now video, click on the image below or click on this link.
If you like it as much as we do, please forward it to as many people as you can, asking them to do the same.
Once you are on the video page, the share button will enable you to email or repost ISAR's video on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.
If you have a website or blog and would like to embed our latest video on your homepage, ISAR encourages you to do so by copying and pasting the embed link found on our Youtube video page.
Together we can accomplish great feats to help companion animals and one very simple way to do that is by keeping ISAR visible to the public eye.
Friday, January 4, 2013
ISAR has long used the legal system in behalf of animal rights.
The first federal case ever to use the phrase "animal rights" was Jones v. Butz, 374 F.Supp. 1284 (SDNY, three-judge court, 1974). ISAR's chairman, Professor Henry Mark Holzer, on behalf of a wide-range of plaintiffs challenged sections of the federal Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act on the ground that its religious exemption -- which effectively nullified the act's protection for countless livestock animals -violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The first state case ever to use the phrase "animal rights" was Jones v. Beame, 45 N.Y.2d 402 (1978). Professor Holzer on behalf of ISAR's then-president, Helen Jones, and ISAR itself sued to close the Central Park zoo in New York City on the ground that the treatment of the animals confined there violated the anti-cruelty statutes of the State of New York.
As long ago as the early 1970's ISAR sued the United States government to stop the slaughter of millions of blackbirds.
In the decades since, Professor Holzer has provided tactical and strategic legal advice to a wide range of animal rights/welfare organizations and their lawyers in cases involving the protection and advancement of animal rights. As of the beginning of January 2013 ISAR has begun offering strategic and tactical advice to a California law firm in connection with its case seeking to reform an animal shelter.
We've filed amicus curiae briefs in state and federal courts, for example:
- O'Sullivan v. City of San Diego, 2007 WL 2570783 (2007) -- a case that sought to protect the federal recognized seal rookery at Casa Beach in La Jolla, California, from depredation by swimmers and fishermen. Professor Holzer on behalf of ISAR and several other animal protection organizations consulted with the lawyers for the plaintiffs and submitted amicus curiae briefs in the California Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the State of California.
- Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, Florida, 508 U.S. 520 (1993), in which Professor Holzer on behalf of ISAR and eleven other animal protection organizations filed amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court of the United States in support of Hialeah's ordinance that prohibited the Santeria cult from sacrificing animals as part of an alleged religious ceremony.
- United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. ___, 130 S.Ct. 1577 (2010) in which ISAR and Professor Holzer (together with Lance Gotko, Esq. of the New York City law firm Friedman Kaplan Siler & Adelman) filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the government's argument that the federal statute criminalizing the making, selling or possessing depictions of "crush videos" and other torture and killing of animals was constitutional.
Increasingly, there are animal-related cases in appellate courts all over the country, involving experimentation, hunting, farming, sport, education, spay/neuter, and more -- cases needing amicus curiae briefs from a pro-animal perspective.
There's a lot of appellate work for lawyers who would use the legal system in behalf of animal rights. Unfortunately, virtually all of it is pro bono publico.
Lawyers interested in volunteering to work with Professor Holzer and ISAR to perform amicus curiae appellate services in aid of animal rights are encouraged to contact ISAR via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (570-586-2200), fax (570-586-9580) or through the USPS at ISAR, P.O. Box F, Clarks Summit, PA 18411, and provide us with the following information:
2. Firm name.
3. Office address.
4. Telephone and fax number(s).
5. Email address.
6. Year(s) admitted to practice, and jurisdiction(s).
7. Specialization(s), if any.
8. Post-law school judicial clerkship(s).
9. Judicial experience.
10. Experience with animal-related cases.
11. Amount of time available annually.
12. Whether you and/or your firm has a formal pro bono program.
Although at the initial stages of the amicus curiae brief process -- issue analysis, research, tactics and strategy -- Professor Holzer will be involved and will be named on the brief with volunteer counsel, the work product will be entirely theirs. (It will be the responsibility of volunteers to obtain permission to file the brief, and for filing it. ISAR will pay printing and filing costs.)
[Please forward this request to any lawyer(s) who might be interested in participating].
 In The Birth of Animal Rights Law: The Role of Lawyers in the Animal Rights/Protection Movement from 1972-1987, Joyce Tischler, Esq., founder and president of Animal Legal Defense Fund, set out to "explore the roots of a large scale, organized movement, which started in the early 1970s in the United States, spearheaded by attorneys and law students with the express purpose of filing lawsuits to protect animals and establish the concept of their legal rights, regardless of the species of the animals or the ownership interest of humans."
In that article, Ms. Tischler graciously names as "the first animal rights lawyer" ISAR's chairman, Henry Mark Holzer, professor emeritus at Brooklyn Law School.
She credits Professor Holzer, then a practicing attorney professionally associated with ISAR, with three accomplishments crucial to establishing the field of what today is known as "animal rights law": with ISAR, having brought the first federal and first state lawsuit to invoke the moral concept of "animal rights"; with ISAR, having founded the Animal Rights Law Reporter, which became "the legal clearinghouse for animal rights law information"; and, again with ISAR, having organized the "First National Conference on Animal Rights Law"-an undertaking, in Ms. Tischler's words, "[t]he significance of which cannot be overstated."