Biographical Information for Dennis Henigan
DENNIS A. HENIGAN is the Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. The Legal Action Project is a national public interest law program which provides pro bono legal representation to victims of gun violence in lawsuits against the gun industry and assists in the defense of gun laws when they are attacked in the courts. Mr. Henigan also serves as Legal Director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the largest citizens' organization working for stronger laws to reduce gun violence.
Under Mr. Henigan's direction, the Legal Action Project has recovered over $4 million in damages for gun violence victims, as well as winning precedent-setting decisions on the liability of gun sellers in New Mexico, Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana. Mr. Henigan also argued Merrill v. Navegar before the California Court of Appeals, producing the first appeals court ruling that a gun maker can be liable for negligent conduct increasing the risk of criminal violence. In addition to representing individual victims of violence, the Legal Action Project also has represented over two dozen urban municipalities in lawsuits seeking to recover the public costs of gun violence. Mr. Henigan's recent litigation successes were recognized by Lawyers Weekly magazine, which named him one of the ten "Lawyers of the Year" for 2004. Mr. Henigan's work as a public interest lawyer also was profiled in the May 17, 1999 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
Henigan formerly was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Foley & Lardner, one of the largest law firms in the nation, where he practiced law for eleven years before taking his current position.
He has written and spoken extensively on liability and constitutional issues relating to firearms, including testifying before several Congressional committees. He is the author of two influential law review articles on the Second Amendment, one of which has been relied on by two federal appeals courts in upholding gun control laws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in U.S. v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016 (8th Cir. 1992) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in U.S. v. Wright, 117 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 1997). An interview with Mr. Henigan on "Guns and the Judiciary" appears in the book Guns and the Constitution: The Myth of Second Amendment Protection for Firearms in America, Aletheia Press, Northampton, Mass., 1995.
Henigan received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1973 and his law degree in 1977 from the University of Virginia School of Law.