Continuing Legal Education

9th Annual Animal Law Conference

March 2, 2018
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
7.00 MCLE hours, including 1.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)
Presented by Animal Law

ISBA Regional Office
20 South 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.


The ISBA would like to offer a special thanks to this program’s financial supporter
Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust for Animal Rights Law and Policy
AND Best Friends Animal Society
for helping to make this opportunity possible.


Don’t miss ISBA’s 9th Annual Animal Law Conference, which highlights important animal law updates and examines the advances made in this rapidly-evolving area of practice, including how the law views animals in our society. Family law attorneys, animal law practitioners and advocates, shelter law attorneys, civil practice attorneys, environmental law lawyers, agricultural law attorneys, and counsel for municipalities with all levels of practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • The St. Louis fight to protect carriage horses;
  • Illinois Senate Bill 1261 and a pet’s “well-being” in marriage dissolution cases;
  • The growing number of replevin cases involving animals;
  • The first court advocates authorized to act on behalf of animals;
  • Perspectives on breed discrimination cases;
  • Lessons learned from natural disasters Harvey and Irma;
  • Animal shelters and transparency legislation;
  • Updates to issues surrounding animal agricultural production;
  • Ethical issues when handling animal law cases; and
  • Much more.


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


NOTE: Your registration 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 nomial fee via the registration page.



9:00 – 9:45 a.m.  The St. Louis Battle to Protect Carriage Horses
Discover the problems and issues concerning carriage horses, including the preventable deaths in both St. Louis and St. Charles, the existing regulations (or lack thereof), enforcement issues, and the lawsuits that have arisen in an effort to better protect the horses.
Daniel J. Kolde, Attorney at Law, St. Louis

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.  A New Day: The Well-Being of the Pet in Marriage Dissolution
Once again, Illinois leads the nation in animal-related legislation with Senate Bill 1261, which requires that the well-being of family pets “shall” be taken into consideration during dissolution of marriage cases. This panel presentation examines all the factors that need to be taken into consideration, what expert and factual evidence may come into play, and how these dissolution settlements and orders might best be drafted.
Moderator: Hon. William E. Holdridge, Appellate Court, Third District, Farmington
David H. Hopkins, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, Wheaton
Angela E. Peters, Buffalo Grove Law Offices, Arlington Heights

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Ownership Issues: Replevin Cases Involving Companion Animals
Who gets the dog when unmarried couples split up? What if the neighbor steals your dog? What happens when a household relinquishes an animal and later wants it back? Join us for this informative segment that delves into a variety of challenging fact scenarios routinely faced in disputes over companion animals, from feuding parties to animal control units involved in the surrender, intake, and recovery of companion animals in the growing number of replevin cases before the court.   
Prof. Fran Ortiz, South Texas College of Law, Houston
Anna Morrison Ricordati, AMR Law Group, LLC, Chicago

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Desmond’s Law in Connecticut
In 2016, Connecticut became the first state to allow legal advocates to testify on behalf of animals in cruelty and neglect cases. This presentation discusses the new provision and its implementation during the past year.
Angela E. Peters, Buffalo Grove Law Offices, Arlington Heights

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.  Lunch (provided)

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.  Paralleling Perspectives on Breed Discrimination
A range of issues arise when a class of dogs are singled out for restrictions or limitations in legislation or in local ordinances such as “dangerous dog” control enactments. Our speakers outline those issues and present their perspectives on such control enactments.
David H. Hopkins, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, Wheaton
Ledy Van Kavage, Best Friends Animal Society, Maryville

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  Lessons Learned from Natural Disasters Harvey and Irma
Planning and recovery in Texas and Florida in 2017 were the true test of the PETS Act being implemented after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Although the response to last year’s storms was better orchestrated, animals were accepted by a multitude of organizations and shelters with a variety of adoption, placement, and euthanasia policies. This segment examines applicable laws and current issues regarding natural disaster response, as well as planning information for pets in every size of community.
Moderator: Stephen F. Hedinger, Sorling Northrup, Springfield
Andrea Joy Albrecht, Best Friends Animal Society, Utah
Tawny Hammond, Best Friends Animal Society, Chicago
Fran Ortiz, Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.  Animal Shelters and Transparency Legislation: A Quick Explanation
This segment examines the efforts made to require this country’s 14,000 animal shelters and rescues to provide full accessibility to their intake and disposition information. The Shelter Animals Count software – which is supported by Maddies Fund – that allows shelters to voluntarily submit intake and disposition numbers to a national database is also discussed
Ledy Van Kavage, Best Friends Animal Society, Maryville

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Focus on the Farm: Heightened Efforts to Protect Animals, Neighbors, and the Environment in the Wake of the 2016 Chicago Tribune Series
This session provides an update on topics relevant to animal agriculture , including the elimination of the use of gestation crates, efforts to revise the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act, and more.
Marc Ayers, Illinois Director, Humane Society of the United States, Springfield
Rebecca Cary, Humane Society of the United States, Washington, D.C.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Identifying and Resolving Ethical Issues Arising in Animal Law*
This lively one hour segment presents hypothetical scenarios designed to highlight the range of ethical issues that may arise in handling an animal law case.
Lisa Velez, Cassiday Schade, LLP, Chicago
Anna Morrison Ricordati, AMR Law Group, LLC, Chicago
Scott Kummer, Boyd & Kummer, LLC, Chicago
Richard Seligman, Richard M. Seligman P.C., Highland Park
Jonathan M. Wier, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval