The police let him down. The animal control department let him down. The victims' restitution department let him down. He was bit by a dog that still runs wild in his neighborhood, and he has gotten no help from law enforcement or any other government agency. They seem to be more on the dog's side than his. So he wants to sue the cops, the dog catchers and his town. But can he? Will it get him what he wants?

No, it won't. He's barking up the wrong tree. He's looking in the wrong direction. The dog is a stray so there's nobody to go after -- no dog owner, no homeowners insurance, no renters insurance. This dog bite victim's remedies won't come from lawsuits because there's nobody to sue.

I tell you this from vast experience with dog bite cases. Indeed, I am the only lawyer in the United States who, since the 1990's, has done nothing but represent dog bite victims all over the nation. For much of that time, I also was an on-call judge in the courts of Los Angeles. I am perfectly familiar with the limits of the civil justice system.

It doesn't have a remedy for anyone who has been treated like this. Did you ever hear the expression, "the king can do no wrong"? From the times when English-speaking people were ruled by kings, our governments have been immune from civil suits except where they have consented to being sued. The troubles this dog bite victim experienced are not the type we are allowed to sue for.

His remedy is political -- by addressing local officials and lawmakers, he can put pressure on "the system" to treat him better. He has to learn how to do so. One of the best resources for learning how to apply political pressure is Civics for Democracy which was published by Ralph Nader's organization (here's the link:

If the police or animal control department cross certain lines, a very experienced attorney will recognize it and do something about it. I've won cases against police, animal control, cities, counties and even school districts all over the country. It can be done but it is difficult because governments make it difficult.

In 30 years of handling dog bite cases, I've developed a number of unusual ways to get compensation for victims. The owner of a vicious dog is just the first stop on my journey for justice. There often are other possible defendants and other insurance policies to rely on. It can be complicated and require me to file lawsuits and fight off "summary judgment" motions (motions to throw out my cases). But guess what: I've never lost a summary judgment motion in a dog bite case. My methods actually work. That's why the press has referred to me as the "dog bite king" (

I can't get your nose back if a dog bit it off. I can't make a bankrupt dog owner pay a judgment. No lawyer can help you there. The civil justice system solves just a couple of the many consequences of a dog attack. The rest need political pressure, political skills. That's why I also have written my Model Dog Bite Laws and other dog laws which have been adopted from the state level on down (see And why I created the campaign, "Do Not Adopt a Pit Bull," including my parody of a Super Bowl commercial that went viral, getting over 8 million views to date (see it at

A dog bite victim who is serious about getting justice has to take a serious look at what can be done, and what can't. Perfect justice during this life is sometimes limited to whatever is available. In the USA, we have three branches of government -- the courts are the judicial branch, lawmakers are in the legislative branch, and carrying out our laws is done by the executive branch with its mayors, governors, police and endless regulations among other things. Making all this government work for you requires knowing which branch to turn to. Sometimes it means a lawsuit, other times it means politics.