Rebecca E. Bazan practices in the area of complex commercial litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. She has worked in diverse areas, including animal law, environmental law, administrative law, consumer fraud, business and tort litigation, civil RICO and employment discrimination.
Ms. Bazan has developed extensive experience in animal law and animal rights litigation and regulatory counseling, including representation of businesses or entities in the entertainment, agricultural, fashion and food production spaces whose operations involve animals or animal products or services. She has experience with the Endangered Species Act, Animal Welfare Act, National Environmental Policy Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Ms. Bazan has experience in all phases of civil litigation, including motions practice, discovery, settlement negotiations, trial and appeal. Ms. Bazan has authored many successful dispositive motions, has extensive experience managing large-scale electronic discovery, and has authored and argued successful appeals at the federal circuit court level. In addition to litigation, she advises and counsels clients on permitting and compliance with state and federal animal laws.
Ms. Bazan also serves as a member of the Washington, D.C. office of Duane Morris’s pro bono committee and diversity and inclusion committee.
Ms. Bazan is a 2009 graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was co-chair of the article selection committee of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, and a graduate of Emory University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Areas of Practice
Animal Law and Animal Rights Litigation
Business and Tort Litigation
- Represented operator of marine park in a putative class action brought under consumer protection and false advertising laws alleging that plaintiffs made purchases of tickets and merchandise in reliance on false or misleading statements regarding the company’s animals. The Court entered judgment for the defendant after a bench trial, holding that no plaintiff had standing to bring the case.
- Represents a manufacturer, a distributor and retailers in a multidistrict litigation alleging personal injury, economic loss, and product liability claims arising out of an alleged “contaminant” related to the recall of valsartan.
Advised cold-weather clothing manufacturer with respect to defamatory statements about animal welfare contained in shareholder proposal advanced by animal activist organization.
- Handled successful appeal of Administrative Procedure Act case brought by animal rights group challenging sale of trademarks related to agricultural commodity. Drafted appellate briefs and argued before D.C. Circuit, resulting in unanimous ruling that plaintiffs lacked Article III standing, setting important precedent for all commodity check-off programs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Obtained affirmance of dismissal of putative nationwide class action under consumer protection statutes of three states brought against operator of marine mammal park. Drafted the successful motions to dismiss at the trial level and the successful appellate brief, resulting in final dismissal of the case prior to client having to undertake any discovery.
- Obtained successful outcome for coalition of zoos seeking to import wildlife from Africa to the United States. Successfully intervened in case involving animal activist challenge to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s grant of an import and defeated temporary restraining order.
- Part of trial team in federal court diversity case brought by animal activists involved in alleged violations of California consumer protection and human rights laws. Jury trial resulted in take-nothing verdict in favor of entertainment company client.
- Drafted motion for entitlement to attorneys’ fees that resulted in unprecedented ruling that successful defendant in Endangered Species Act citizen suit was entitled to recover its legal fees, ultimately resulting in payment of more than $25 million by the adverse parties.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of animal activist challenge to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant of permit allowing entertainment client to travel internationally with endangered species. Successfully intervened on behalf of entertainment client, drafted successful motions to dismiss at trial level, and drafted appellate brief, after which plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their appeal.
- Obtained summary judgment for client in negligent misrepresentation case regarding certification labeling of meat products.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice for university client in federal court lawsuit alleging age discrimination and retaliation.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice for a sports client in state court lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and retaliation.
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- Harvard Law School, J.D., 2009
◦ Article Selection Committee Co-Chair, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender
- Emory University, B.A., 2006
◦ Phi Beta Kappa
Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2020-present
- Special Counsel, 2018-2019
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
- Senior Associate, 2014-2018
- Associate, 2010-2013
Office of the Federal Public Defender, San Antonio, Texas
- Legal Intern, Fall 2009
Honors and Awards
Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2021
Legal Lion, Law360’s Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs, May 15, 2014
American Bar Association
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Contributor, Duane Morris Animal Law Developments Blog
Author, "DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act Claims Worth Less Than Previously Thought," Norton Rose Fulbright Consumer Products Law Blog, May 5, 2016
Co-Author, "Private RICO Litigation," The Federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934, LexisNexis, 2014
Co-Author, "Private RICO Litigation," The Federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934, LexisNexis, 2013
Co-Author, "Criminal Enforcement of the Federal Securities Act," The Federal Securities Act of 1933, LexisNexis, 2011
Co-Author, "Private RICO Litigation," The Federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934, LexisNexis, 2011
Co-Author, "Criminal Enforcement of the Federal Securities Act," The Federal Securities Act of 1933, LexisNexis, 2010
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Discovery Hot Topics," at Norton Rose Fulbright Inaugural Business Litigation Summit for In-House Counsel, New York, November 2017
Speaker, “Defending Against Animal Activist Litigation: A View from the Trenches,” at Association of Zoos and Aquariums Annual Conference, San Diego, September 2016