Congratulations, Julie! We're proud to share that Julie Fershtman has received two prestigious awards.
On April 13, 2013, she received the American Youth Horse Council's 2013 "Distinguished Service" Award. As the award itself states, she received it "[i]n recognition of years of dedicated service to the American Youth Horse Council and tireless efforts to touch the lives of youth involved with horses." For more information about the American Youth Horse Council, please visit www.ayhc.com/.
On May 7, 2013, Julie received the 2013 "Industry Award" from the Michigan Equine Partnership for her work over the years supporting legislation to promote and protect the Michigan equine industry. For more information about the Michigan Equine Partnership, please visit www.miequine.com/.
We're pleased to share that Julie just won a case in Michigan where she defended a boarding and training stable that was sued by a visitor who was injured in the barn aisle. Julie cautions that this case might have been avoided altogether if the stable required every visitor to sign its waiver/release of liability. (Julie, interestingly, drafted that stable's release document years ago but the stable only presented it to customers.) Make sure that your release is well-worded and complies with the laws of your state.
"The Seller's Contract Includes an "As Is" Disclaimer – Now What?" - Desert Mirage Magazine, August 2013
"What Mare Owners Should Look for in a Typical Horse-Breeding Contracts." - America's Horse Daily, September 14, 2012
Should Exculpatory Agreements Relieve Liabilities Founded on an Equine Activity Liability Act? American Bar Association - TIPS Animal Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2012
We're always on the lookout for good article and update ideas for the Equine Law Blog. Please share yours! We'll give the sender of best tip of the month a free copy of Julie Fershtman's books, EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE and MORE EQUINE LAW & HORSE SENSE. Click here to send your ideas. [For more info on these and other publications written by Julie Fershtman, please visit www.equinelaw.net and www.equinelaw.info or call her directly at (248) 785-4731.]
We applaud the American Horse Council (www.horsecouncil.org) for its national marketing initiative for the horse industry. The AHC joined together ten national associations and large corporate industry stakeholders to make this happen. We await its marketing plan, which will propose ways to help people become more interested in horses and equine activities, either as participants or spectators.
Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.
Boarding, lesson, and training stables have one thing in common – they all have clients and visitors on the property. For the general safety of the facility, stable managers sometimes develop and post stable rules that everyone should follow
The greatest benefit of stable rules is that they promote safety and cleanliness. Stables have every reason to expect each person who enters the facility to follow them as a condition for being allowed on the property. Read More ›
The scenarios are all too common in the horse industry:
From a risk management standpoint, these stables could protect themselves better. As our experience tells us, spectators and visitors sometimes get injured on the premises, and when they do, lawsuits can follow. Read More ›
"Try out my horse for few weeks. See if you get along with him."
These were the words of a sincere, well-intentioned seller who only wanted a satisfied buyer. Could anything possibly go wrong with this trial period arrangement? Let’s explore three possible problems and ways to avoid them. Read More ›
In an effort to spend time with horses, while also raising cash, some people in the horse industry develop small businesses. We have received calls from people interested in establishing an exercise riding business where they visit people’s stables, saddle up designated horses, and work the horses on tracks, trails, arenas, or fields. In many instances, exercise riders work alone and must groom and saddle each horse. Very often, the exercise rider receives little information about the horses they’re asked to work. If you are considering an exercise riding business, here are a few suggestions: Read More ›
Your liability release might not be as strong as you think. Though courts in most states have shown a willingness to enforce releases of liability (when properly worded and signed), there is never a guarantee that all courts will accept and enforce your release. Why have releases failed? Here are examples of a few documents that failed in a legal challenge because the courts believed they were improperly drafted: Read More ›
You leased out your horse to a family whose horse-crazy teenaged daughter promised to give him the best of care. After a few months passed, you paid your horse a visit but were shocked at what you saw. The horse appeared ribby, and his hooves had not been trimmed in months. It turned out that the teenager lost interest in your horse, but her parents knew little about horses to ensure that your horse received proper care. When you demanded return of your horse, the family refused and insisted that they were entitled to keep him until the lease term ended.
What can you do? Read More ›
Liability releases are probably the most misunderstood documents in the horse industry. Myths and misunderstandings surround them. Let’s explore common misperceptions regarding releases and the facts. Read More ›
Within just four months, Julie Fershtman, a shareholder at Foster Swift, has secured two summary judgment courtroom victories in favor of her equine industry clients. The first occurred in April 2014, when she won a case for a private lesson stable that was sued for personal injuries by a visitor who was injured in a barn aisle. The latest victory occurred on July 30, 2014, when Fershtman defended a private, family-owned horse breeding farm. Read More ›
The scenario is unfortunate: A boarded horse becomes seriously injured while at the stable and must be euthanized on recommendation of the veterinarian. The loss might have resulted from a freak accident, such as a broken leg from the horse’s long-time pasture buddy who inflicted a strong kick at the wrong spot. The demised horse was not insured with equine mortality insurance. Read More ›
A small number of states have “open range” districts where land-owners are legally permitted to allow their animals to roam at large, subject to restrictions set by state or local law.
Generally, motorists in open range districts have little or no recourse if they are injured in a collision with loose livestock, but exceptions can exist. In one case from Idaho, the landowner was immune from liability in a wrongful death action when a motorcyclist collided with a loose calf along the roadway in an “open range” district and was killed. The motorcyclist’s estate sued the landowners and the animal’s owners. They argued, in their defense, that they were immune from liability because the incident occurred in an area that was designated as “open range” under Idaho law [Idaho Code § 25-2118]. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case.
The case proceeded to an appeal where the motorcyclist’s estate challenged the “open range” classification. The Idaho Supreme Court upheld dismissal of the case and found that the “the ‘fence out’ rule prevails in Idaho, and that where a herd district has not been established, cattle are customarily permitted to roam." Nationwide, most states do not have “open range” districts. Each state differs. In any vehicle/livestock collision matter, make sure to review the applicable law carefully.