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April 23, 2019

Year Eleven (2014 - 2015)

Chair: Christopher Green
Chair-Elect: Bonnie Lutz

The overall theme of the Animal Law Committee (ALC) animals in agriculture.

At the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL on July 31, 2015, ALC awarded Bruce Wagman its 2015 ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee’s Excellence in Animal Law Award.  In every sense of the word, Bruce continues to be a true pioneer in the field of Animal Law. Over the last quarter century, if you can name it, Bruce has done it: he has litigated some of the most groundbreaking and high profile animal law cases; authored the first Animal Law casebook (now in its 5th Edition); taught multiple generations of students at some of the country’s top law schools; and substantially advanced the field with his own academic scholarship.

Policy Recommendations
Summer 2014: Practice tips for animal law cases Measuring Success in Animal Law Cases. Animal protection lawyers certainly end up on both sides of the courtroom, representing plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of actions. Each one of these cases may be an important one for animals.

Winter/Spring 2014 Wild Animal Law Docket:   Twenty years ago, most animal lawyers were generalists, taking any case that pertained to animals and learning the particular issues and specific statutory bases for legal claims—and creating a body of law along the way—as they went.  It wasn’t quite animal law by fire, but those beginning to recognize the field as a distinct one were not yet separating it further into sub-specialties. Today the lines have clearly been drawn, and though some of us have been able to incorporate companion animal issues, farmed animal cases, and claims focused on wildlife protection into our practices, the more common approach is to focus on one of these areas.  For sure, each of these subniches, on its own, can keep someone busy with compelling work and a wide variety of legal doctrines.

Summer 2015: Veterinarians—The Animal Lawyers’ Friends. It may be stating the obvious, but there is no other profession so aligned with the practice of animal law as that of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians, as a rule, enter their profession because of a sincere desire to help animals, promising in the Veterinarian’s Oath to “use [their] scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”

Fall 2015:  Constitutional Animal Law. While issues of a constitutional dimension can surface in many areas, a new line of cases has developed in which animal law-based issues are combined with traditional constitutional considerations. In these cases, the courts must incorporate the theories that underlie the development of animal law into the centuries of constitutional law doctrine, whether they are express or implied in the decisions. These judges are pioneers in creating a body of law that can be utilized by litigants facing similar situations.

ALC continued publishing an excellent newsletter three times a year with increasingly interesting and timely articles as well as updates on work being done in the subcommittees.  The Winter/Spring 2015 focused on issues pertaining to animals in agriculture.