Dominic Scurfield

Georgetown Preparatory School

Class Of 2020

Prepared Clients Through Witness Preparation Sessions Involving Direct & Cross Examinations

Worked Directly With Crime-Scene Recreation & Jury Selection Experts To Assist In My Clients Case

Advocated For My Client On Capitol Hill To Congressmen, Senators & Congressional Officials

Home Invasion

Breaking & Entering Case

Of A Retired Maryland Police Officer

Advocacy in Annapolis


The client is a retired Maryland police officer who had to defend his rescue dog. An intruder tried to steal the pet from the officer's home, using force. Charges were brought against the officer for use of force. Eventually, those charges were dismissed. But injuries were suffered by the officer, and a civil lawsuit will be filed against the assailant.

This case will be used as an example to propose legislation to change the characterization of animals as mere property. The goal is to pass legislation to reflect societal views allowing victims to sue for punitive damages where injury to the animal is willful, wanton or reckless.

We met with Maryland State Senators, Representatives, and congressional staff members to advocate for our client. We explained to congressional members how our client has been treated unfairly and has been subject to unfair treatment under the law for using force to protect his pet.

Our client is still fighting against the case. This case is currently seeking further legal action and is likely to proceed to litigation sometime within the next year.

In total, we had four chiefs of staff meet directly with us to discuss ways Maryland could change it's property laws to better protect pets throughout the state. Legal advocacy teams in groups of four used our clients case as a defining example of why these laws need to be amended.

Case Preparation

And Advocacy

For a client facing a lawsuit for using force to protect his property

Review Case Work

Case Review

We worked with lead attorney David P. Weber to examine complex case documents, explore legal precedent, conduct thorough legal research, and advocate for our client in Maryland's capital of Annapolis at their state senate.

We worked tirelessly to prepare documents and advocacy strategies for our client, who was being wrongfully persecuted for protecting his animal companion.

As a team, we gained valuable real-life experience as we worked on what could be a historic case for animal rights.

As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we focused our efforts on an animal rights case that was brought forth by a retired Maryland police officer who had someone try and steal his dog from his home.


Case Research & Preparation

After meeting with our client, David P. Weber and his team taught us how to conduct basic legal research using WestLaw.

Throughout the week, we reviewed relevant cases in order to find legal precedent which could benefit his case in court.

Through discussing the case with the client, learning how to use law databases, and developing a list of relevant cases, we learned how to effectively research and prepare for breaking and entering cases.

We met with our client in order to hear the facts of the case. When meeting with him, we learned about our client’s personal background and history with the woman who broke into his house. We also learned about the strict animal laws which put his dog in the same legal category as chattel.

The client then went on to describe how the breaking and entering occurred with specific details to his personal injury. He went into detail on the purchase of his dog and how the woman had stalked him and illegally broke into his home to retrieve an animal that was no longer hers.


Advocacy In The Maryland Senate

Throughout the internship, we were trained in effective ways to advocate to the Maryland State Senate and prepared for our congressional audience by developing solid briefing materials. The focus of the materials and the overall messaging of the meeting was on improving the animal rights laws in Maryland and advocating on behalf of the client.

Legal research and evidence from the breaking and entering were presented to Congressional Representatives and Senators. We highlighted the facts of our client’s case and advocated for possible solutions and changes to Maryland's current laws which were hurting our client and many others like him.

Meeting with multiple members of Congress allowed us to demonstrate the importance of our client’s case. For many, it highlighted the fact that owners had very little to no rights to protect their pets. By advocating for our client, we fulfilled a civic duty and showed our representatives that this is an issue which needs to be addressed within the state and the country.

Being able to advocate and experience the Maryland State Senate on the inside with such access offered a new perspective for everyone on the team. Most people do not get to meet with representatives in this way.

The most valuable lesson we learned through advocating for our client and meeting representatives was how much we can accomplish together.


Oral Argument Preparation at the American University Law Center

At the end of the week, we presented our research findings to the client at the American University Law Center's Moot Courtroom. The team had prepared oral arguments for three different cases which were helpful in setting a good precedent in our client’s case. The team had been conducting research throughout the week, as well as meeting with experts in order to learn how to present our findings.

The presentations were set up to resemble an appellate court system. Our team sat at the counsel table and each of us presented our arguments at the podium. Our team was given thirty minutes to present arguments and ten minutes to receive feedback from David P. Weber.

We played a crucial part in the legal strategy of our client's case. In future legal action, the arguments made during this presentation will be considered as they strongly pertain to the client's case.

After the presentation of arguments, the client stated that he felt relieved to have such thorough research and advocacy completed on his behalf.


The Case To End

Animal Cruelty

In The Nation.

In Our Lives.

This case has the potential to establish legal precedent in favor of all animals, specifically household pets.

If our case is successful, it will set a legal precedent to ensure all animals and pets are protected against undue harm and cruelty in the state of Maryland.

Animal Rights Laws in Maryland

Case Updates

Current legislation is being reviewed for the MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-601 - 623 (animal rights cases of abuse.) Currently, our legal advocation team is pursuing a way to make it legally acceptable to repel an attempted kidnapping of a pet.

The largest obstacle to this legal challenge is defining when use of force would become legal, how the law would be enforced and what unforeseen legal issues this potential new statute would create.

My Client

The Program

Animal Rights

Client Update

With this case proceeding to further legal action, the client is focusing on his physical recovery after the attempted kidnapping of his dog and the resulting injuries he sustained.

The client continues to advocate for other animal rights in Maryland, going to physical therapy and awaiting his upcoming trial against the kidnapper.

The Program

Due to the success of the internship summit, program sponsors will be expanding the program to fund whistleblower cases that affect the national discourse.

Leading high school students from across the United States will be able to work directly on cases that impact the nation for years to come.

Case Updates

Goodwin Weber PLLC Internship

Our team interned for Goodwin Weber PLLC. We worked with top attorney David P. Weber and focused our efforts on a breaking and entering case on behalf of a former Maryland Police officer.

As a team, we read through many complex case documents and used WestLaw to research legal precedent for our client.

Our team meet with several key congressional officials to gain support for our client and fight against animal cruelty and abuse. We created briefings for congress members and staff so they could clearly grasp the unfair treatment our client is facing.

Since this case is ongoing, we have to opportunity to return next summer to continue our internship with Goodwin Weber PLLC and help our client find justice with his fight against animal abuse.

In the final presentation, we presented Goodwin Weber PLLC with three cases that would strategically prove legal precedent in our client’s favor.

Internship Program Highlights

Click On The Links Below

To See Each Highlight

Crime Scene Investigation Lab

Jury Selection Expert

Congressional Advocacy

Law Firm Internship

Legal Experts


After we met with members of the Maryland Lesgislature on our client's behalf, many congressional representatives acknowledged the issue of animal abuse and cruelty and committed to supporting legislation to protect pets and other animals.

Direct advocacy to our representatives is one of the most powerful and advantageous ways to advance and impact legislative policy priorities.

As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we became immersed in the facts of our client’s breaking and entering case regarding animal abuse.

By the end of our internship, we were uniquely qualified to communicate with lawmakers about effective policies to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.

We pushed representatives to publicly support our client and left them with all the tools and information necessary for them to create an informed opinion.

Legal Expert Panel

William R. (Billy) Martin is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Barnes & Thornburg. As one of the top trial attorneys in the U.S., Billy represents corporations and leading individuals in politics, sports and entertainment, and he has tried more than 150 jury trials across the country. He is a member of the firm's Litigation Department and the White Collar Practice Group.

William R. (Billy) Martin

William R. (Billy) Martin

William R. (Billy) Martin

Partner at Barnes & Thornburg

Daniel Seikaly

Former General Inspector For the CIA

Dan Pond

Public Defender Service

Staff Attorney

Assistant U.S. Attorney for Washington DC

Daniel Seikaly was the associate deputy attorney general in the executive office for national security and an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Before the DOJ he was an assistant inspector general for investigations for the CIA. Daniel was also a law professor at the University of Michigan School of Law and Antioch Law School.

Daniel Seikaly

Daniel Seikaly

Dan Pond is a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Dan works in the Prisoners & Re-Entry Legal Services Program, where he specializes in parole release hearings, termination hearings for DC parole, Bureau of Prisons classification, designation and sentence computation, and sentencing advocacy in DC

Dan Pond

Dan Pond

Jury Selection

From An Expert In The Field

Dr. Jeffery Frederick, leading expert in jury selection, visited and discussed with us how juries are selected and what role they play in determining the outcome of a case. We learned how to pick jury members during jury selection that will help us have a favorable outcome for the case.

We learned about topics such as the psychology of jury selection, the importance of body language, and research techniques for jury selection. We learned how to apply this to our case and cases we may have in the future. We now have a better understanding of the jury selection process and how to pick jurors.

Crime Scene Investigation Lab

We met with Thomas P. Mauriello from the University of Maryland at University Park at his lab to learn about crime scene investigation and recreation.

We learned about the different facets of crime scene investigation such as documentation, evidence collection, and lab tests. We were introduced to different types of technology that assist crime scene analysts in gathering pertinent information.

We learned the importance of having credible expert witnesses that can testify to the evidence from the crime scenes.

Learning about the crime scene investigation and analysis processes gave our team a deeper understanding of law enforcement and the legal system.

David P. Weber also talked to use about how crime scene analysis is very important in the legal field, especially for criminal cases. We learned how the evidence can be used in court.