In case you missed our webinar entitled "Top Three Things that Cause Equine Litigation and How to Avoid Them," you can still view the entire archived webinar which can be accessed by following this link

If you did not previously register for the webinar, you should be able to access the webinar with the above link after filling out the quick registration questionnaire.

 Have a great weekend!

On December 6, 2012, we will be putting on a free equine law webinar for clients and potential clients involved in the horse industry. Details are below.

Title: Top Three Things That Cause Equine Litigation & How to Avoid Them

Date: Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time: 12:00PM to 1:00PM CST

Those who wish to participate should click on this link to pre-register: Pre-Register for Webinar

 

Photo:  My husband Rick and I at Santa Anita for Breeders’ Cup 2012

Good morning, dear Equine Law Blog readers. The ABA Journal is compiling its annual list of the 100 best law blogs (i.e. “blawgs”), and is seeking nominations for 2012.  I was so pleased that the Equine Law Blog was included on the ABA’s 2011 list.  Thanks so much to everyone who nominated and/or voted for this blog last year!

If you find this blog interesting or informative, please nominate it for the 2012 ABA Blawg 100 list.  

You can access the on-line ABA Journal nomination form to nominate the Equine Law Blog here

When you fill out the nomination form, the ABA will ask for the URL for this blog, which is http://equinelaw.alisonrowe.com. The nomination form will also ask you to state in 500 words or less why you think the Equine Law Blog should be included among the ABA’s 100 Top Blawgs of 2012.  The entire nomination process should take 5 minutes or less.

The deadline for nominations is September 7, 2012.

Thanks for reading the Equine Law Blog! 

Happy Monday!  This picture was posted on Facebook this morning by cutting horse trainer Uwe Roeschmann.  I don’t know whose truck is pictured here, but if you are the owner…thanks for the laugh!

Last Friday, for the fourth or fifth time, I attended the annual Animal Law Institute.  The Institute is a CLE program put on by Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.  It moves around each year, but this year it was at Texas Wesleyan School of Law here in Fort Worth.

You may be wondering, “what is animal law, and is equine law a part of animal law?” I have been practicing equine law for years, and I still don’t really know the answer. According to Wikipedia,

animal law is a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature—legal, social or biological—of nonhuman animals is an important factor. Animal law encompasses companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment and animals raised for food and research. The emerging field of animal law is often analogized to the environmental law movement 30 years ago.

Most of the speakers at the Institutes I have attended in the past have seemed to generally focus on 1) animal rights/welfare issues; and 2) issues related to animal rescues and public shelters. 

My equine law practice, by way of contrast, is primarily focused on business issues. That said, I have advised several equine-related 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Rick and I at Will Rogers Equestrian Center with two of our animals. 

This year’s Institute covered a lot of animal welfare/rights issues, but it also added an overview of equine law by Dawn Reveley, and another presentation on vet malpractice defense into the mix.   Below is a recap:

  • Will Potter, a journalist from Washington, DC, discussed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. This is a 2006 federal law with which I was not previously familiar. According to Potter, the law was pushed by animal industry groups and corporations to target animal rights protestors by labeling their activities as "terrorism".  Read more about it on Will Potter’s blog, Green is the New Red. To loosely quote Potter’s [very sound] advice to would-be animal rights protestors: “Come up with a plan and get organized before you stage your protest, so people won’t think you’re crazy!” 
  • Don Feare, an attorney from Arlington, Texas, shared some excellent information for attorneys who represent animal rescue groups. Some main points include (equine nonprofits, listen up!) 1) animal welfare groups should incorporate as a nonprofit corporation to limit liability; 2) liability insurance is a necessity, especially if the organization is doing public adoption events; and 3) adoption contracts should make clear when title to the animal passes to the new owner and should be signed by all adult members of the household at which the animal is being placed.
  • Scott Heiser, a Portland-based attorney with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, talked about how his nonprofit organization helps local prosecutors win animal cruelty cases (both through financing and by helping try cases). Heiser discussed the “business records” exception to the hearsay rule, as it applies to veterinary reports in criminal animal abuse cases. In general, vet reports are not admissible in lieu of testimony under the business records exception if the vet report was “prepared specifically for use at trial.”
  • Nicole Paquette, Texas Senior State Director with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC, covered the new laws from 2011 Texas Legislature that the HSUS believes benefit animals. These bills include 1) HB 1451, the “Puppy Mill Bill”–requiring licensing and inspection of dog and cat breeders who maintain 11 or more female breeding animals; 2) HB 1103–“Responsible Pet Owner Classes” required for convicted animal abusers; and 3) HB 2471–the “Good Animal Samaritan Bill”, which limits civil liability of people who render aid to an injured or distressed animal.
  • Dr. Don Ferrill (remember him from this post?) talked about how to successfully defend veterinarians in malpractice and negligence cases. His advice to plaintiffs: “Always pay your vet bill before you sue your vet.”

Watch this website for information on next year’s Animal Law Institute.

Those of you who have a blog are probably aware that many bloggers have a “stats page” where the blogger can view the specific Internet search terms that land visitors on their blog.

Possibly due to the recent news reports about the arrest and conviction of another Texas lawyer named Allyson Rowe, several visitors have landed on the Equine Law Blog after entering search terms such as “allison rowe conviction 2012”.

Out of an abundance of caution, I would like to make clear that I am not the lawyer referenced in these recent news stories. My full name is Alison McCormack Rowe, and my practice is based in Fort Worth, Texas.  I have never been arrested, and I have never been charged with any crime of any nature. 

For more information, see my full biography.

Four years ago this week, the Equine Law Blog was born.  This blog has “grown up” and evolved a lot since February 2008.  But if I did one thing consistently, I hope it was to provide Texas horse owners with useful insights on noteworthy legal issues and developments.

The Equine Law Blog won its first award last year (ABA Top 100 Blawgs). I was very pleased and surprised by this distinction, especially given the high quality of the other blogs on the ABA list.  And (also surprisingly), this little ol’ blog has been viewed somewhere over 171,000 times since its inception.

But to be honest, what I like most about doing this blog is receiving comments from readers who find the blog interesting or helpful. 

If you have not posted a comment in the past, I’d be very pleased it if you would send me an email to let me know one thing you like or dislike about this blog. Or let me know a topic you’d like for me to cover in the future. (But please don’t post a comment or send a message seeking legal advice or asking specific questions. I cannot answer due to ethics rules). 

You can also join my Facebook group and provide some feedback there.

In case you were curious, the following were the top 5 posts of the past year, based on number of page visits (in no particular order):

1) Obama Lifts Horse Slaughter Ban–PETA Says It’s A Good Idea

2) Can Jaci Rae Jackson Be Hanged for Horse Theft?

3) New Requirement for Texas Sales Tax Exemption Number May Affect Horse Businesses

4) DOT Says it Will Not Adopt Regulation Requiring CDL for Farmers & Ranchers

5) Time to Get New Warning Signs: Equine Activity Act Amended in 2011

Thank you for your loyal readership of this blog! I’m looking forward to an exciting fifth year.

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP’s Agricultural Law and Equine Law practices were featured in Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate’s 2012 Sale of Champions Guide.

Several Kelly Hart attorneys attended the Sale of Champions on February 4, 2012, where the Grand Champion Steer sold to Dick Wallwrath for a record $230,000.

Ross Perot, Jr. bought the Reserve Grand Champion steer for $155,000.

For the photo shoot, Stephanie Kaiser and I were standing in the Coliseum arena at Will Rogers Memorial Center near the bucking chutes.  This photo was taken before the rodeo started, and you can see that new footing was about to be put into the arena.

Happy Friday to all!

I am so excited, y’all! Yesterday, the ABA Journal released its 2011 list of the 100 best law blogs (“blawgs”), and the Equine Law Blog was included on the list.  I am so happy and honored that this blog was selected from over 1,300 worthy nominees. Thanks to the readers who make this blog possible and worthwhile. Thanks especially to Holden Hoggatt, equine attorney from Jennings, Louisiana, and others who nominated this blog for inclusion on the Top 100 list.

The Equine Law Blog is now up for another vote in the “Niche” category of law blogs. There are a whopping 14 blogs included in the “Niche” category, including heavy hitters like China Law Blog and TaxGirl.  You should check out the amazing blogs on the Top 100 list, if you have not already.

Here are some of my favorite blogs on the Top 100 List:

  1. Popehat
  2. The Appellate Record
  3. Connecticut Employment Law Blog
  4. Food and Agriculture Law Blog
  5. Real Lawyers Have Blogs

In case you’re wondering how to spend all your “free time” between now and December 30, 2011, you can vote for the Equine Law Blog in the “Niche” category by clicking on the ABA Journal Blawg 100 badge in the left hand column of this blog. You don’t have to be a subscriber of the ABA Journal or a lawyer to vote. Pardon the "bleg," but I would appreciate your vote!

Thanks again, everyone, for your support and for your readership of the Equine Law Blog.  Have a great weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 to you and yours, Equine Law Blog readers!

As those fortunate enough to own horses, we all have a lot to be thankful for.

On this Thanksgiving Day, please enjoy this article from America’s Horse Daily, where others share how they are thankful for their horses and the special people in their lives.  

Safe travels and blessings to you!