Katherine Meyer is a founding partner of the firm. She specializes in administrative, environmental, wildlife, animal, public health, and Freedom of Information Act law, and has represented many national and grass roots environmental, animal welfare, consumer protection, and public health organizations, as well as authors, journalists, and historians. Ms. Meyer has extensive federal and state court litigation experience, and is known for finding innovative ways to advance her clients' interests.
For example, on behalf of a coalition of animal welfare organizations and chimpanzee experts, Ms. Meyer devised and helped implement a strategy for securing full protection under the Endangered Species Act for all chimpanzees held in captivity, see Fed. Reg. 34500 (June 16, 2015), and she helped another coalition of clients successfully petition the National Marine Fisheries Service to provide ESA protection for the captive orca named Lolita – who was taken from the wild more than forty years ago. See 80 Fed. Reg. 7380 (Feb. 10, 2015). In Animal Welfare Inst., et al. v. BP America, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 10-CV-1866 (E.D. La. 2010), she devised a legal strategy for bringing an emergency case to stop the burning of endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the oil containment strategies being used in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Glickman, 154 F.3d 426 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (en banc), she was successful in establishing Article III standing for individuals challenging the treatment of captive wildlife; in the U.S. Department of Justice's RICO case against the tobacco industry, United States v. Philip Morris Inc., 566 F.3d 1095 (D.C. Cir. 2009), she was successful in achieving intervener status post-trial for a coalition of public health organizations who wished to advocate for more remedial relief than the government had requested; in Friends of Animals v. Salazar, 626 F. Supp. 2d (D.D.C. 2009), she was successful in advancing a legal theory that held unlawful Fish and Wildlife Service regulations allowing the "canned hunting" of endangered antelope species; in Southwest Center for Biological Diversity v. Babbitt, 939 F. Supp. 49 (D.D.C. 1996), she successfully challenged the Department of Interior's refusal to list a species as "endangered" based on future Forest Service management plans; and The Nation Magazine v. Dep't of State, 71 F.3d 885 (D.C. Cir. 1995), established new standards that apply to the adequacy of an agency's search for responsive records under the Freedom of Information Act.
Samples of her state court litigation include a ruling that resulted in ending the infamous Hegins, Pa. pigeon shoot,Hulsizer v. Labor Day Comm., 734 A.2d 848 (Pa. 1999), and a unanimous ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court invalidating an exemption under the state animal cruelty code for generally accepted agricultural practices,New Jersey Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. N.J. Dep't of Agriculture, 955 A.2d 886 (N.J. 2008).
Ms. Meyer is a 1973 graduate of Manhattanville College, and obtained her J.D. in 1976 from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America. She began her legal career as an associate with the public interest law firm Swankin & Turner, specializing in consumer protection law, and spent many years litigating cases for Ralph Nader's network of public interest groups, including two years with the Center for Auto Safety, a year as Director of the Freedom of Information Act Clearinghouse, and nine years with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, where she specialized in food and drug law, with an emphasis on children's health and safety. Before starting the firm in 1993, she was Of Counsel and then a Partner with the public interest law firm Harmon, Curran & Gallagher, where she specialized in environmental, open-government, and ballot initiative law.
Ms. Meyer has taught Civil Litigation and Public Interest Advocacy at The Georgetown University Law Center, and was appointed by the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to serve on its Advisory Committee on Procedures from 1995 - 2001. She co-founded and serves on the Board of Directors of The Wildlife Advocacy Project; served for nine years on the Board of Directors of Defenders of Wildlife, chairing its Litigation Committee; was a member of the Board of Directors for The Center for Biological Diversity; and is currently on the Board of Directors of The Center for Auto Safety and the Chesapeake Bay Legal Alliance.
Ms. Meyer has testified before Congress on a variety of topics, is a frequent featured speaker at environmental and animal law conferences, and has appeared on television and radio, including Larry King Live, Crossfire, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio. She is a contributing author to the annual litigation manual,Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws, published by The Electronic Privacy Information Center and James Madison Project.
She is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and Maryland, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh, D.C. Circuits.