June 30, 2014

Year Eight (2011 - 2012)

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CHAIR: Elise "Ledy" VanKavage
CHAIR-ELECT: Rebecca J. Huss

Awards

The ALC year culminated in an exciting Animal Law Committee reception in August of 2012 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The reception honored innovative practitioner Adam Karp of Washington, DC whose motto is "Aggressive Representation for All Species". The event was sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, (www.bestfriends.org and the National Canine Research Council www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com ).

For the eighth year in a row - every year since its inception -- the ALC won another prestigious award from TIPS as the "Most Innovative Committee" for 2011-2012.

CLE Programs

The ALC presented two 90-minute webinar/teleconference CLEs in January of 2012:

A Forever Home for Fido: Animal Custody Issues in Adoptions, Divorces, and Disasters. The presenters included: Barbara Gislason, Barbara Gislason Law Firm; Adam P. Karp, The Animal Law Offices of Adam P. Karp; and Randy Turner, Partner, Turner & McKenzie PC. The moderator was Yolanda Eisenstein, Eisenstein Law Offices.

Crop and Livestock Insurance Law From the Ground Up. Presenters included: Beth Angus Baumstark , Partner, Baumstark Braaten Law Partners; William K. Crispin, Owner/Principal, Law Offices of William K. Crispin, Chtd.; Brion B. Doyle, Partner, Varnum LLP; Julie I. Fershtmann, Shareholder, Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC; Charles D. Lee, Partner, Martindell Swearer Shaffer Ridenour LLP; Michael D. Martin, Owner/Principal, Martin Law Office; P. John Owen, General Counsel, National Crop Insurance Services. The moderator was Carl B. Rincker, Owner/Principal, Rincker Law PLLC.

At the Annual ABA Meeting in Chicago, Illinois in August of 2012, the ALC presented an exciting CLE program - a "how-to" guide on strong, solid and legal policies for animal shelters entitled Shelter Liability - Legal Issues. Presenters included Barbara Costello, Partner, Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan, LLP; Jane McBride, Sr. Assistant Attorney General, Illinois; and Joan Andrews, Of Counsel, Fabian & Clendenin, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Policy Recommendations

ALC's resolution urging the US Department of Justice to vigorously enforce its new ADA regulations and guidance that prohibit cities from discriminating against service dogs simply because of their size, weight or breed was presented to the ABA House of Delegates and passed unanimously at the Midyear meeting in New Orleans on February 6, 2012.

ALC's proposal for all legislative bodies and government agencies to enact comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous dog / reckless owner laws that ensure due process protections for owners and to repeal breed discriminatory or breed "specific" provisions was unanimously approved by the TIPS Council at the Midyear meeting in New Orleans. It was approved by the ABA House of Delegates at the Chicago meeting. www.abanow.org/2012/06/2012am100

Public Service Programs

At the Midyear meeting in New Orleans in February, ALC and TIPS members volunteered at a "Peace for Pit Bulls" vaccination clinic organized by the SULA Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society. T-shirts featuring Justice, a renowned pit bull disc dog, were provided by Animal Farm Foundation. Eighty-three dogs were vaccinated and 78 received free microchips provided by Best Friends Society. Twenty-three free spay-neuter vouchers were given out and the TIPS Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response distributed disaster kits.

During the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago in August of 2012, a public service volunteer opportunity was held at a Community Pet Shot Clinic sponsored by Safe Humane Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Animal Care and Control, and Best Friends Animal Society. Dogs were vaccinated, microchipped, and Disaster Preparedness and Response disaster kits were distributed.

Special Programs

The ABA/TIPS Disaster Preparedness and Response Initiative kicked off with a 10-part teleconference series in September, 2011 that also included a series of free podcasts through 2011 on disaster preparedness and response. There were also a number of live programs at all four ABA/TIPS meetings in Seattle, New Orleans, Charleston, and Chicago.

In connection with this program, the ALC presented a webinar in September, 2011 entitled Ten Years Later: Mass Disaster Spawns Canine Heroes that discussed the growing number and types of disasters and how humans have found that our canines companions have capabilities we lack.

Chair Ledy VanKavage spoke at Tulane Law School on Breed Discrimination and Due Process Issues in February during the Midyear Meeting in New Orleans.

Publications

Under the able and continuing direction of Editor Joan Schaffner, the ALC newsletter published editions that were distributed to all members and put on the website for Fall, 2011, Winter/Spring, 2012, and Summer, 2012.

Member Communications

Frequent teleconferences were held during the year for members offering updates on ALC activities and interesting speakers.

ALC business meetings were held at every major ABA/TIPS meeting between August of 2011 and August of 2012. These meetings were open to all ALC members either in person or by teleconference.