Friday, July 31, 2009

A whole lotta animal law goin' on!

I was able to make it to the animal law cmte's meeting during the ABA annual meeting this morning (after all, it is in Chicago this year). It was great to see some old friends and meet email colleagues face-to-face for the first time.

What was especially great was to hear how well the committee is doing - in particular, how well the ALC projects are being received. To wit: the new book Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers has apparently already sold 474 copies! And the committee's podcast(s) has been downloaded more than four THOUSAND times! (Actually not sure if it is one or more than one podcast, as I myself am podcast- (well, let's be honest) technologically-challenged.)

The committee has an even newer book out as well: A Lawyer's Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues. I don't think there is a link to this book yet, but I imagine you can still order it through the link above, which takes you to the committee's publications page. Here's a little from the press release:

As communities and governments struggle to address public safety issues in the wake of dog attacks, they often consider legislation to define which dogs are “dangerous” based solely on their breed. In this topical and timely book, the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee faces the issues head-on in this public and contentious debate, examining all sides of the issue and possible solutions. Is breed discrimination immoral, unjust, and ineffective? What other solutions are there, if any? How can society address the growing perception that some breeds of dogs are, by definition, dangerous?

Edited by Joan Schaffner, a nationally-respected expert on animal law and associate professor of law at George Washington University Law School, and director and a co-founder of the GW Animal Law Program, the book covers the major aspects of “dangerous dog” cases. Contributing authors, who have been active in the TIPS Animal Law Committee and are national experts on animal law, include Ledy Van Kavage of Best Friends Animal Society; Michelle Welch, assistant attorney general, State of Virginia; David Furlow, Houston; Marcy LaHart, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Prof. Bernard Rollin, Colorado State University; and Prof. Larry Cunningham, St. John’s University School of Law, New York.

While we're on the topic of dangerous dogs, noted animal law attorney and personal friend Adam Karp and the Washington State Bar Association is hosting the (first-ever, to the best of my knowledge) Dog Bite Institute on September 23, 2009 at the Seattle Convention Center. It's a full-day - 8.25 CLE credits - "on numerous topics to cover practically everything dog-bite related."

Speakers include John Muenster, Ted Buck, Franklin Shoichet, Robert Goldsmith, Kimberly Gordon, and the Hon. Judge Ann Harper.

If all goes well, Adam hopes to make this an annual or bi-annual event and possibly expand beyond Washington law and/or other substantive topic areas.

Whew! Back to work...

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