Continuing Legal Education

8th Annual Animal Law Conference

March 3, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7.00 MCLE hours, including 2.00 approved Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours

ISBA Regional Office
20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900
(map and directions)
Or Online Course


Click here to register for the CHICAGO program.

Click here to register for the LIVE WEBCAST.


Don’t miss ISBA’s 8th Annual Animal Law Conference that not only features the leading areas of interest in the day-to-day practice of law concerning animals, but also avails the attendee of some of the nation’s top experts in specific animal law areas. Family law attorneys, municipal law practitioners, local government counsel, and animal law lawyers – with all levels of practice experience – who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • How animal law and environmental law areas intersect;
  • What animal law can learn from environmental law;
  • What Chicago Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx learned during their research on agricultural animal abuse in Illinois;
  • The controversy between community cat advocates and environmentalists concerned with the predatory nature of cats;
  • How mediation can help address the family pet and family farm issues that can arise during a divorce;
  • The current state of affairs on animal crime prosecution in Illinois;
  • How prepared Illinois is to protect our pets during a natural disaster, as well as the legal considerations of disaster response for animals;
  • The ethical issues that can arise in animal law cases; and
  • Much more!

Program Coordinator:
Jane E. McBride
, Illinois Humane, Springfield


NOTE: Beginning in 2017, registration for the onsite program includes access to electronic course materials that will be sent to you via email prior to the seminar. Printed course materials may be purchased for a nominal fee via the registration page.



9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law?
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Professor Randall Abate who has compiled 17 chapters written by 22 experts that compare the very different trajectories of and legal intersections between animal law and environmental law.
Prof. Randall S. Abate, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law, Florida

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.  Whipped, Kicked, Beaten: The State of Cruelty Enforcement for Farm Animals as Revealed by The Chicago Tribune
As part of an overall series on animal agriculture in Illinois, Chicago Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx delved into the current state of affairs regarding Illinois’ cruelty provisions for the protection of farm animals. This segment discusses their research experiences as they wrote the sections that focused on animal abuse at these operations. Amber Porter from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office addresses the legal framework of animal protection provisions applicable to farm animals in Illinois.
Moderator: Amber Porter, McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Woodstock
David Jackson, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Legislation Update, Including the State-Wide Community Cat Task Force Initiative
Join us for a comprehensive overview of the animal-related legislation that has taken place over the past year, as well as a brief presentation on the controversy brewing in Illinois between community cat advocates and environmentalist concerned with cats preying on songbirds. A discussion on the Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s recent position statement that offers aggressively derisive methods for maintaining and controlling populations of community cats promoted by animal protection interests is also included.
Ledy Van Kavage, Best Friends Animal Society, Maryville

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.  Lunch (provided)

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Use of Mediation to Address Animal Issues in Family Law Matters*
The custody of family pets – including those not commonly thought of as pets, such as horses, lamas, bees, and any other animal that can be part of a household or family hobby farm – are increasingly the subject of controversy in matters of dissolution and property division. This session explores the use of mediation to address (and possibly settle) this area of family law disputes.
Moderator: Hon. William E. Holdridge, Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, Farmington
Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton, Hamilton Law & Mediation, PLLC, New York
David H. Hopkins, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, Wheaton
Angela E. Peters, Buffalo Grove Law Offices, Arlington Heights

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  From the Prosecutor’s Desk: Notes from the Field
Even though Illinois is recognized year after year as having some of the best animal protection laws on the books nationwide, there still remains numerous instances of animal cruelty and neglect in our communities. Get the information you need on animal crime prosecution in Illinois as our speakers – all of whom concentrate a percentage of their time prosecuting animal crime cases – present a case study from their years of work with these matters and provide perspective as to factors that facilitate effective enforcement of existing law.
Moderator: Amber Porter, McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Woodstock
Jennifer Bagby, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago
Ken Hudson, McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Woodstock
Alvin Portis, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago
Rory P. Quinn, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)
Sponsored by the Illinois Bar Foundation

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.  Natural Disasters: Is Illinois Prepared, Legal Ramifications of Not Being Prepared, Legal Considerations in Preparedness Planning
In 2006, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act became Public Law 109-308, which mandates that in order to be eligible for FEMA funding for natural disaster response for pets, communities must include an animal annex in their county emergency response plan. Many communities undertook such planning back in 2007 and 2008, but have not revised it since. Illinois, as a whole, has traditionally had a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Fund for Animal Welfare as its contract entity to provide response assistance should the Director of the Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare deem that such assistance is needed. This panel presentation explores the current state of preparedness in Illinois, as well as the legal considerations of disaster response for animals.
Moderator: Jane E. McBride, Illinois Humane, Springfield
Stephen F. Hedinger, Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen and Cochran, Ltd., Springfield
Allison Anderson, Will County Emergency Management Agency, Joliet

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Identifying and Resolving Ethical Issues Arising in Animal Law*
Don’t miss this lively segment that examines a number of hypothetical scenarios – each of which are presented by the facilitators to highlight the potential issues and discussing the applicable Rules of Professional Responsibility. Using ISBA’s polling software, audience members will interact by responding to a set of multiple choice questions, followed by a discussion weighing the various analysis and potential solutions with the aid and advice of our ARDC speaker.
Scott W. Kummer, Boyd & Kummer LLC, Chicago
Anna E. Morrison Ricordati, AMR Law Group LLC, Chicago
Richard M. Seligman, Richard M Seligman P.C., Highland Park
Lisa M. Velez, Cassiday Schade LLP, Chicago
Jonathan Wier, Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, Chicago