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'Humane' U.S. Law Firm To Represent Japan Against Sea Shepherd

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In an odd twist, an American law firm that prides itself on supporting a local no-kill animal shelter has decided to represent the Japanese whaling fleet in their lawsuit against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Miller Nash, with offices based in Portland and Seattle, will act on behalf of The Institute of Cetacean Research to seek a court order against the Sea Shepherd to prevent them from “engaging in activities at sea that could cause injuries to the crews and damage to the vessels.”

SSCS founder Paul Watson dismissed the suit, calling the allegations just another form of harassment. “I don’t believe they have a case and I doubt a U.S. court would take this seriously,” he said in an earlier statement. “Unlike Japan, the courts in the United States don’t automatically do what the government demands that they do.”

Miller Nash lists the Humane Society of the Ochocos, a rare no-kill shelter, as one of their main recipients of charity. According to the Sea Shepherd site, the decision to represent the whalers reeks of hypocrisy.

“It appears that these lawyers in fact do like animals,” reads an article on the SSCS site. “They seem to be opposed to the killing of defenseless animals, so it is a mystery as to why they would be willing to represent one of the cruelest and most barbaric animal slaughtering industries on the planet.”

“An American law firm defending Japanese outlaw whalers from American whale defenders seems to be very un-American,” they add. “It is most certainly inhumane and disgracefully insensitive to the agonizing, cruel death inflicted upon these highly sensitive, intelligent, and socially complex, sentient victims of their ruthless clients.”

In an effort to rally support against the firm, the Sea Shepherd have posted contact information on their website.

It’s also worth mentioning that Operation Divine Wind, the SSCS’s latest campaign against the Japanese whalers finally kicks off today.

“All three Sea Shepherd ships depart from Australia today for the Southern Ocean,” writes Watson on Facebook. “The Bob Barker from Hobart, Tasmania, the Steve Irwin from Albany, Western Australia and the Brigitte Bardot from Fremantle in Western Australia. Operation Divine Wind has begun.”

For more, hit the official SSCS site here.

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  • CK

    Sounds like something about this case is making Paul nervous. On Monday he said “In fact, it’s actually a very positive thing because by filing in a US court, that gives us the opportunity to counter sue them for the destruction of the Ady Gil and for illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean, so our lawyers are certainly going to take advantage of this.”

    Why would he send his supporters to harass this law firm unless something about this case is scaring him?

    • more like sounds the japanese are getting desperate about stopping the SSCS. Maybe Pal Watson is too succesfull, hmmm?
      Anyway, this is clearly a cheap trick to drag the SSCS into a legal hassle to drain the finances of the SSCS.
      Most probably the legal outcome will be negative for the Japanese governement and that will be a huge legal victory for the SSCS.

      • TheHerbalGerbil

        When you try to sink my boat, I’m afraid of getting killed, not of stopping fishing.

        Read the whalers’ legal brief and try to tell me that their claims aren’t solid. It’s really only a question of whether the court in Washington decides they have jurisdiction to hear the case.

      • Skylerbrooke

        Oh poor pitiful sscs, breaks the law and has to face justice like everyone else? you don’t say. If he was more worried about his donations he would respect the laws so he doesn’t waste good people’s money in court cases, three cases against the sscs in just one year, what does that say? If it doesn’t work in the USA they can always file in the Netherlands, which by the way had promised to remove their ‘pleasure craft’ registrations, now would be just fine.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      Exactly, CK.

      “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” — Thomas Paine

  • Bruvyman

    Godspeed to Paul Watson and the SSCS. I support you 100%. I will be at your Toronto chapter’s fundraising effort tonight!

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      It’s funny that they even have a Toronto chapter. You guys are 500 km from the closest port and Sea Shepherd is banned from our country anyhow. Pretend much?

      • romike3

        They love to wear their Sea Shepherd apparel to cocktail parties and tell their friends that they are saving the world by sending hate e-mails and telephone calls to the people of eastern Canada. Most of them have never touched or smelled the sea and are “hollow” souls looking for something easy to fill them up inside…..

  • SeahagSedna

    The Miller Nash office is located very near the Japanese consulate…hmmmmm.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      And the building their office is in is phallus-shaped… hmm….

  • Paul Watson

    Actually CK it does not make me nervous at all. I am elated. I think this case will help us to finally take legal action against these whale poachers. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of a law firm that prides itself on being “humane” representing such a cruel and inhumane industry. The Japanese whaling industry is desperate and survives only on welfare payments taken from the mouths of the victims of the March 11th Tsunami and Earthquake. Se Shepherd has succeeded in bankrupting this criminal enterprise. Now we need to defeat them politically. One thing for sure, this will be a challenging voyage but one we are very much looking forward to.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      Wow Paul, still repeating the tsunami funds canard, seriously? Who’s the desperate one again?

      Been waiting more than a year for your proof of the whalers’ supposed criminality, too.…

    • patric douglas

      Paul…seriously? That’s the same line you used for Canadian commercial sealing and 22 years later they are still going strong with a new trade agreement with China – no thanks to Sea Shepherd. You have abandoned that effort after squandering millions of donor dollars and a 2 million dollar ship.

      You have now focused your attention and a reality TV show on whales. Are you being successful that’s all we care about, because any idiot with a camera and the ability to post to You Tube can bring awareness to an issue.


      End something, anything, end it now. That’s your challenge, your mandate, your goal, so get it done already and stop “playing at conservation” with faked assassination attempts and bullshit boat rammings. They make for great ratings but the whales don’t care about ratings, speeches, press releases, and $30 vegan appetizers at fancy SSCS parties in L.A Paul.

      I find it ironic that you have essentially sold out Sea Shepherd to Animal Planet for a reality TV show whose sole purpose is to get audience members to consume more of the planet. Ads for detergent, cars, processed meat, forest products and habitat destruction are what sandwich your reality TV debacle for whales.

      Think about that sometime will you in between hobnobbing with celebrities?.

      Go end something. Bluefin tuna, sealing, whaling, The Grind, Taiji, you do not have an open ended commitment here for the oceans. Eventually, like some kind of Conservation Icarus, your entire effort will collapse under the sheer weight of ego, lack of strategy, and peoples push-back against reality programming.

      SSCS was outed by South Park last year, your conservation wings made of wax are melting Paul, if you want to change course there’s still time. Whales saved one year are still in the cross-hairs the next, and as you and I know they are not really “saved” are they?

    • skyler

      Paul Watson: “I think this case will help us to finally take legal action against these whale poachers.”

      Putting whaling on trial again, Mr Watson? Like you didn’t with the Bethune trial?
      You are being sued in US court because they have jurisdiction over US citizens and US organizations that violate SUA , one of several of the charges against you. You may wish to countersue, but the US court does not have jurisdiction over whaling matters that do not take place with US assets or in US territorial waters. You have no basis for legal action, despite your badge or claimed mandate from the UN.

    • Bob

      I don’t think it is hypocrisy at all Paul Watson. Somebody has been posting on the internet saying that they are protesting Sea Shepherd by torturing and killing various animals. That law firm is simply trying to help those animals. God knows you don’t give a crap about them.

    • TheHerbalGerbil

      When Mr. Watson says something, you can pretty much count on the opposite being true.

      • romika3

        In Paul Watson’s book “Earth Force” he writes that distorting the truth and to lie is acceptable… SSCS is kind of like the story “Never Cry Wolf”

    • romika3

      ” survives only on welfare payments ” gee Mr. Watson, this statement is the same old story that you used when you refer to the Canadian Seal Harvest. But you fail to mention that the seal fishery is part of the annual fishing cycle that includes lobster, turbot, crab and a small cod quota in the late summer and early fall. Then boats are taken up, gear stored and through out the winter nets mended, traps repaired etc. An while this is taking place the Canadian Coast Guard patrols our coast keeping shipping channels open and the coast safe. For those who are not familiar with this harvest, the harp seal has a biomass of over 10 million, the animal is far from endangered, the harvest is legal, manged and sustainable.

  • Skylerbrooke

    Paul can sue for the Titanic too, he owned just as much of that ship. Remember ”it’s Pete’s boat, it’s Pete’s decision” before he abandoned it, before maritime NZ found both skippers to be at fault in the collision.
    Imagine a law firm that will (hopefully) make the sscs abide by the law and probably save someones life, how could they? No one is saying the sscs can’t protest but the must abide by maritime laws while doing it, seems simple enough. I wonder if they will use the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in court, I’m not sure if it applies in intl waters but I sure hope it does.
    Before someone loses a life, sscs volunteer or ICR employee, stop breaking the law. If Paul wants to put whaling on trial, he can take them to court, it doesn’t matter in this case, this case is about violating maritime laws (several) and putting lives at risk on both sides.

  • CK

    The Truth about Hypocrisy

    Charges of hypocrisy can be surprisingly irrelevant and often distract us from more important concerns


  • romika3

    Watson has admitted in an interview that one of the reasons why the Japanese are persisting in the harvesting of whales (mostly minke by the way and he fails to mention this) is because they want to save face. Attacking and demonizing a culture is not the way to bring about change but Paul Watson and his want-to-be pirates persist and are known for this along with attacking fishermen involved in legal and sustainable fisheries. They practice terror and terrorism plain and simple and they know they can get away with it in the southern ocean. It will continue until life is loss, and perhaps for his organization the ultimate in media opportunity. The following interview reflects Watson’s thinking. Its all about ego, making money and opportunity for reality TV. What a sham….

  • TheHerbalGerbil

    The court frowns on it when a litigant tries to harass his opponent’s lawyer into quitting. This is nothing short of a hate mail campaign and is going to backfire on Sea Shepherd big-time.

  • Eiji Nakano

    Those lawyer just make self-advertisement.

  • Eiji Nakano

    This law firm support terrorist.

    • Skylerbrooke

      This lawfirm supports ICR

  • WilliamSmith

    Unbelievably, Miller Nash just added an Animal Law speciality to its firms. I take this to mean it has big plans to continue representing those who seek to kill animals. http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2011/12/30/law-schools-add-animal-law-specialties.html

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