We'd Love to Have You Become Our Next Client, But …
We'd love to be considered as your next attorney. But we also care deeply about the continued strength and viability of the equine industry and hope that you don’t need us. Legal disputes are expensive to resolve, but careful planning can either prevent them completely or narrow them considerably. We offer some general ideas to help you plan for a dispute-free year:
Hire a Lawyer Proactively
You can wait until disputes happen, but you can also plan to prevent them. A lawyer can draft contracts for you. A lawyer can also advise you of ways to organize your business, such as:
- Whether the workers and assistants you consider to be "independent contractors" are really "employees," which might require you to purchase workers compensation insurance and consider changing how you work with them.
- Whether your existing liability insurance was designed for your business activities.
- Whether you are commingling your business and personal bank accounts and, if so, whether this creates problems for your business.
Avoid Handshake Deals
By far, the most frequent reason people contact us is because of a verbal contract dispute. People frequently use "handshake deals" for sales, leases, and boarding arrangements. When disputes involve these and other unwritten agreements, the parties rarely agree about what the transactions involved and what their terms were. As a result, resolving legal disputes involving unwritten agreements is never easy, quick, or cheap. Remember that no contract can prevent every dispute from occurring. When drafted in a thorough manner, however, contracts can potentially narrow the grounds considerably and save on legal fees down the line.
Seek Knowledgeable Advice
We continue to be surprised at how frequently people rely on "legal advice" from non-lawyers, often through online forums. Laws involving horses can vary tremendously around the country such as stablemen's lien laws, equine activity liability laws, contract laws, and loose equine/livestock laws. If you seek legal advice, turn to a qualified lawyer.
We are proud to serve the equine industry honorably and professionally. At the same time, we recognize that equine owners and businesses would rather devote their time and resources to anything but legal disputes. Don't wait for problems to happen – plan ahead to foresee and prevent them as much as possible.
We wish everyone a fun, safe, and successful year.
This blog post does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney. If you are from another state, please note that ethical restrictions prevent us from working alone with you on your legal matter. Often, we can refer you to a lawyer in your area. We also can be hired to work with lawyers nationwide.
Julie Fershtman is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.View All Posts by Author ›
Our Equine law blog (and its author) in the news!
Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.
Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:
National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants.
U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability.
IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”
National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics.
Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”
2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”
November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”
Honors & Recognitions
Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:
"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee
"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council
"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership
"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council
"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association
"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association
"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association
"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association
What our Equine Law Services can Provide
Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.
Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).
Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals, businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.
Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.
Representing and advising insurers on coverage and policy language as well as litigation;
Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.
Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.
Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners.
THE NATION'S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER EQUINE LAW SPEAKER
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.
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