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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. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

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  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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