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State bar considering animal law section

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The Indiana State Bar Association is seeking input from members on the possible addition of an animal law section.

The idea of adding an animal law section had been discussed in the past, but nothing ever came of it. Rebecca Huss, professor at Valparaiso University School of Law, contacted the bar association about trying to see if there was any interest in starting the new section.

Huss, who was named guardian/special master of the dogs in the civil forfeiture case of NFL quarterback Michael Vick, said 16 state bar associations already have similar sections and the American Bar Association has an animal law committee.

Animal law is growing across the country and it's better for Indiana to join with the other bar associations in the beginning as opposed to waiting, Huss said.

"We don't want to be the last ones setting up a section," she said.

The animal law section would provide members a forum to discuss legal issues, how to educate clients, and talk about laws in Indiana and how to interpret them. Huss emphasized that the section would be diverse and inclusive, and that many people may not realize they practice animal law, such as someone who works with trusts or prosecutors working on animal cruelty cases.

The first step in adding the section is to determine whether there is enough interest. If there is, the next step is to form a committee and create bylaws and a newsletter. The last section added to the state bar was construction in 2004.

Maryann Williams, director of section services at the ISBA, said she's already received several emails from interested attorneys. If you'd like to see the bar association create an animal law section, contact Williams at mwilliams@inbar.org. She said the bar association will be gauging the level of interest for about three months.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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