CHAIR: Kristina Hancock
CHAIR-ELECT: Gilda Mariani
In August of 2007, at the TIPS Spring Meeting, the ALC was awarded the TIPS “Women Involvement Award” for excellence in increasing the involvement and retention of women in the Section — the third major TIPS award for ALC in its first three years.
The Committee obtained approval to confer an annual “Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award Award” to recognize a person who, through leadership in an animal law committee, has been exceptionally successful in advancing the humane treatment of animals. The Animal Farm Foundation sponsored the first awards reception held at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August, 2007. The first recipient was Jane Hoffman, President and Chair of the Board of the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals and Director of Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project in New York City. Hoffman was also one of the founders of Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals Committee of the NYC Bar Association, which was the first organized animal law bar committee in the U.S.
The ABA House of Delegates, urged by the ALC, had supported a resolution that resulted in the passage of the Federal Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act), a bill that was signed into law by President Bush on October 6, 2006. This legislation requires state and local emergency preparedness authorities to include provisions for household pets and service animals in their evacuation plans in order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
ALC founder Barbara Gislason was appointed TIPS Liaison to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in connection with the drafting of a Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act, expanded to include the role of veterinarians as first responders. Professor David Favre, Chair of the ALC Legislative Subcommittee, worked successfully with government groups to draft proposed model legislation to address “hold periods” for animals rescued in disasters whose owners had not been identified.
On April 5, 2007, the ALC sponsored a well-attended CLE teleconference program entitled “Don’t Forget the Family Pet! (Pet Trusts and other Estate Planning Devices for the Care of Companion Animals)”. The ALC joined forces with the ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and the NYC Bar Association Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals Committee to provide much needed guidance to trusts and estate lawyers on how to provide for companion animals in the event of the human caregiver’s death or incapacitation. Five attorneys participated, including Gerry W. Beyer, Frances Carlisle, David English, Peggy R. Hoyt, and Shirley J. Spira. The panelists discussed the practical aspects of forming a pet trust and providing for the outright bequest of companion animals in a will as well as the ethical considerations that arise.
The ALC aligned itself for a major CLE event at the Annual ABA Meeting in August, 2007 in San Francisco with the TIPS Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee and the ABA Forum Committee on Entertainment and Sports Industry. The presentation was entitled “How to Represent Petey: Animals in Entertainment” featuring a 10-minute film interview with Tippi Hedren at her wildcat habitat, the Shambala Preserve. Hancock and Mariani spent the day with Hedren. The remainder of the program featured Los Angeles entertainment lawyer Theresa Macellaro, moderating a five-star panel discussing diverse issues in the humane treatment of animals in entertainment: Gini Barrett, former President of American Humane Association’s Film and TV Division; Kim Ockene of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal; and Bruce Wagman, partner at Schiff Hardin.
Additional Leadership Activity
At the Annual ABA Meeting in San Francisco, Barbara Gislason was a featured speaker in the President’s Showcase Program hosted by the TIPS Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee, addressing “The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act: A Target for First Amendment Challenges”. Founding Chair Barbara Gislason and Chair-Elect Gilda Mariani were accepted as new fellows of the American Bar Foundation.
Many ALC Vice Chairs served as speakers at various national animal law conferences throughout the year including the sold-out Animal Legal Defense Fund conference at Harvard Law School in the Spring of 2007 entitled “The Future of Animal Law” and at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s National Annual Conference in July of 2007on the topic of liability. Vice Chair from India, Raj Panjwani, addressed the Fellows of the American Bar Association on their “Professional delegation to India.”
Two ALC newsletters were published, edited by Joan Schaffner, and ALC contributed to the annual survey of the TIPS Law Journal. An article was submitted to the Joint ABA/TIPS Newsletter for publication and the ALC Committee was given approval for the publication of two new books on Animal Law.
Committee Structure and Meetings
In February, 2007, the ALC held its first Strategic Planning Meeting at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami that was remarked to be the best attended of any TIPS Committee with the facilitator commenting that the energy and creativity in the room was inspiring. The Committee had also held business meetings at the 2006 Annual Meeting in Hawaii and by teleconference at the Fall Meeting in North Carolina.
This year saw the creation of 24 subcommittees (both substantive and administrative). The 16 substantive subcommittees: Criminal Law; Dangerous Dogs; Disaster Relief; Endangered Species; Equine Law; Great Apes; Humane Education; Insurance; International Law; Legislation; Linking Animal Abuse and Human Violence; Litigation; Pet Custody; Veterinary Malpractice; Wills and Trusts; and Worker’s Compensation. These subcommittees were involved in various activities, such as organizing regional conferences and teleconferences/webcasts, performing research and preparing newsletter articles, tracking legislation, compiling FAQ summaries, and participating in broader national policy making consortiums.
Membership stood at 216 as of January, 2007. Membership Coordinator Diane Dunne had put together a database of potential bar association and law school contacts. In January, 2007, Marianne McDermott was asked to serve as Membership Vice-Chair. A flyer “To All Those Interested in Advancing and Participating in Animal Law” was created by McDermott and sent in April, 2007 with separate letters to all law schools with animal law courses and to all bar associations with animal law committees.