American Bar Association
TIPS Section


Who We Are

Our Mission To address all issues concerning the intersection of animals and the law to create a paradigm shift resulting in a just world for all. Our Work The status of animals in our legal system, and in our society at large, is in flux, and attorneys are discovering innovative ways to use the rule of law in many different arenas to create a just world for all. These arenas involve a vast array of human/animal interactions, including estate planning for companion animals, due process protections in dangerous dog/reckless owner laws, appropriate compensation when an animal is killed or injured, protections against breed discrimination, standards of care and accountability for animals used in industry and agriculture, expanding notions of what constitutes "cruelty to animals," and the competing interests of wild animals and humans in dwindling resources.

Letter from the Chair

Animal Law Committee Brochure

Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award

History of the Animal Law Committee

Annual Report

Join us on facebook


Animal Law Committee in the News!

"Taking Care of Your Four-Legged Companion After You're Gone"
May 2013 USA Today Article by ALC Chair-Elect Yolanda Eisenstein.

"Careers in Animal Law on Dog Talk Radio" Interview with Vice-Chair Yolanda Eisenstein discussing her new book on TX Public Radio.

"Protecting People & Their Pets" Recorded Debate featuring ALC Chair Ledy VanKavage and Vice-Chair David Favre.

In the highly publicized wake of exotic animals being set loose and then shot by authorities in Zanesville, visit the Animal Legal & Historical Center for a breakdown of Ohio's exotic animal ownership laws. Click here for links to similar statutes in all other states, and here for an interactive map linking directly to each state's exotics regulations. ALC Vice-Chair and honoree David Favre is Editor-in-Chief of this invaluable resource.

"The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters" Dept of Justice Handbook, Co-Authored by ALC Chair, Ledy VanKavage. PDF Download.

"Fiscal Bite & Breed Discrimination: Utilizing Scientific Advances & Economic Tools in Lobbying" from Mid-Atlantic Animal Law Conference

"Valparaiso Law Professor Rebecca J. Huss to Receive Award for Work in Animal Law"

"The Rise of Animal Law" in Science (subscription or fee)

"American Bar Association Supports Justice for Victims of Cruelty" in

"ABA Adopts Policy Based on Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Resolution on Humane Treatment of Seized Animals"

"Animal Protection Attorneys Are Pushing the Law to Treat Animals More Like Humans" in the ABA Journal

"Puerto Rico, US: How Many Lawyers to Rescue Tips?" in Best Friends News

"Beast Practices" in the ABA Journal

"Speaking Up For Animals" in BARK

"New Breed of Lawyer Gives Every Dog His Day in Court" in the New York Times

ABA Journal Animal Law Topics

Publications, Special Projects and Resolutions


Careers in Animal Law

Written by Yolanda Eisenstein

One of the fastest growing legal disciplines, animal law is concerned with protecting and improving the lives of animals through city ordinances, state and federal laws, international treaties, and cases that impact animals. The first book of its kind, Careers in Animal Law will help you: Gain an overview of the field from a practicing animal lawyer and professor of animal law; Forge a successful animal law career with firms of all types and sizes, government agencies, major corporations, or nonprofit organizations; Strike out on your own as a solo practitioner of animal law; Learn career tips from a series of animal-lawyer profiles; Understand evolving trends in legislation, litigation, and academia that will change the face of animal law in the decades to come.

Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers

Edited by Julie I. Fershtman and Joan E. Schaffner

Animal law is an emerging field that encompasses a variety of legal disciplines. Today more and more lawyers are entering into this field or finding they have cases that deal with animal law. This comprehensive guide is for lawyers who may be unfamiliar with the various laws in the field of animal law and require a basic guide to handling these cases.

The Lawyer's Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues

Edited by Joan E. Schaffner

This one-of-a-kind book discusses the handling of "dangerous dogs" by the law and private associations. Today, many dogs are deemed dangerous, not on the traits of the individual animal, but by breed alone. The authors explain why breed discrimination is immoral, unfair, and ineffective, and discuss progressive approaches to better handle reckless owners and their dogs, and share strategies for prosecuting and defending dangerous dog cases. Topics include an overview of ordinances targeting reckless owners, the concept of canine profiling, the constitutionality of breed-specific legislation, enforcing and defending dangerous dog laws, and information on dangerous dog registries and hearings. You'll discover how to use witnesses including victims, animal control officers, physicians and animal behaviorists, and find a primer on homeowners insurance and dog ownership. The book also delves into breed discrimination by homeowner associations and zoning boards. While there is nothing wrong with laws restricting vicious dogs, to have a dog seized or destroyed solely on the basis of its breed flies in the face of common decency. Be ready for the expanding field of animal law with this unique and informative book on dangerous dog issues.

Wildlife Law: A Global Perspective

Edited by Raj Panjwani

This book represents a comparative study of legislation enacted by different countries for the protection of wildlife and its habitat within their respective territories. The book evaluates various laws implementing the principle of "Sustainable Development," particularly the "Precautionary Principle," to achieve the objective of saving wildlife and its habitat.


The Humane Education Project is a joint public service project of the Animal Law and Law in Public Service Committees of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) and Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART), a non-profit public charity. The primary objective of the Humane Education Project is to cultivate compassion and empathy in our youth toward animals and foster respect for the environment.

TIPS solicits lawyer and law student volunteers from the ABA membership, and from the membership of state or local bar associations, to work on implementing humane education programs in their local schools. Designed to reach elementary school children in 4th and 5th grades, the program has been implemented in New York City, the District of Columbia, Chicago, Baltimore, and will soon be implemented in Los Angeles. Contact Meena Alagappan at HEART at for more information.


Legislative Recommendations to Ensure Due Process in Canine Ownership (100) (2012)

- Resolution & Report

Guidelines for Service Animal Policies to Comply with the ADA (303) (2012)

- Resolution & Report

Guidelines Regarding Animal Seizures (108B) (2011)

- Resolution & Report

Model Act Governing the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals (103A) (2010)

- Resolution

- Report

Related Products

Recent Developments in Animal Tort and Insurance Law
This review of animal tort and insurance coverage issues addresses liability for injuries caused by police and nonpolice dogs, animal valuation cases,... more

Join Us

- Join Our Committee
- Join Our TIPS Section
- Join The ABA

Programs, Meetings & Events

Committee Events
ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee Meeting
May 16, 2014
The TIPS Animal Law Committee will meet on Friday, May 16 at 8 - 9 AM at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, FL.
ABA TIPS Animal Law Service Project
May 17, 2014
Join the ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee as they assist the South Florida Wildlife Center during the ABA TIPS Spring 2014 Meeting in Boca Raton, FL. Volunteers will enjoy a tour of the facilities and then roll up their sleeves to work on a variety of projects. Projects will include:
• Refurbish raccoon, rabbit, and pelican habitats
• Paint and clean medical department
• Yard work — rake leaves and clean up the grounds
• Prepare diet for baby animals in the nursery — chop fruits and vegetables
Please email to sign up for this project.   Volunteers will meet in the lobby of the Boca Raton Resort and Club at 10 AM.


Chair-Elect:  Christopher D Green

Council Representative:  James A Young

Vice-Chairs:  Meena Alagappan, Yolanda Alvarez, Katie Bray Barnett, Daina Bray, Ashley R Dobbs, Stacey Evans, David Favre, Julie I Fershtman, Barbara Joan Gislason, Aimee Gong, Christopher D Green, Kristina A Hancock, Adam Phillip Karp, Heather MacKinnon, Marianne McDermott, Sarah Maegan Moulder, Laura M Nirenberg, Joan E Schaffner, Rebecca Jill Tinsley, Joyce Tischler, Akisha Townsend, Elise A Van Kavage, Rose Wilkinson

Committee Roster 

Recent Newsletters

Winter/Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Summer 2013

Winter/Spring 2013

Winter/Fall 2012

More Links...

TIPS ALC on Events

A Guide to animal law events around the country and the world.




Exotic Animal Prosecution Issues by Michelle Welch
Equine Liability by Julie Fershtman
Tracey v. Solesky, MD decision on Pit-Bull Type Dogs by Heidi Meinzer
Dangerous Dog Litigation Update by Adam Karp
Who Speaks for Wolf? with Eric Glitzenstein
more links...

Subcommittees and Minutes

ALC Subcommittees
ALC Minutes Jan 2014
ALC Minutes August 2013
ALC Minutes October 2013
ALC Minutes June 2013 Teleconf
more links...

Sites of Interest

Animal Legal and Historical Center
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Center for Animal Law Studies
Best Friends Animal Society
Our Hen House
Alley Cat Allies
National Canine Research Council
American Anti-Vivisection Society
American Humane Association
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Animal Law Coalition
Animal Law Program at George Washington University
Animal Protection Institute
Animal Welfare Act
Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition

Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award

The Animal Law Committee's annual "Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" recognizes exceptional work by an Animal Law Committee member who, through commitment and leadership, has advanced the humane treatment of animals through the law. Although the Awards Subcommittee members will consider all facts presented about the nominee, they are especially interested in the nominee's activities during the prior three years. Nominees and nominators must be members of the Animal Law Committee. Travel expenses for the winning nominee to the award reception are not included. The annual nomination deadline is March 1.

Modified by Jennifer LaChance on April 10, 2014

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