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Showing 25 posts from 2015.

What You Were Afraid to Ask About Equine Activity Liability Acts

The nation's first Equine Activity Liability Act was enacted in 1989. Now, 47 states (all except California, Maryland, and New York) have them. All of these laws differ. With the passage of time, questions have emerged about how these laws work and what they do. Julie Fershtman, who is widely considered to be the nation's most experienced and knowledgeable lawyer regarding these laws, explained them in a webinar earlier this week for www.equestrianprofessional.com. Here are some of her remarks. Read More ›

Categories: Liability

Planning Ahead with a Pet Trust

Janet is fighting a serious illness, but no medicine gives her more comfort and happiness than her horse, "Whistler." She visits the boarding stable several times a week just to brush his coat and feed him carrots. What if Janet's health takes a turn for the worst - who will take care of "Whistler"? What if the horse needs costly colic surgery while she's too ill to give directions or if she is longer here? Is there anything Janet can do now to ensure that "Whistler" remains with her family and receives proper care and attention in the years ahead?

Yes, under Michigan law it is possible for Janet to create a trust, known as a Pet Trust, for the care of her horse. If you have a horse like Janet, would you like to provide instructions for its care if you are no longer able to do so due to your death or disability? If so, by creating a Pet Trust you can, for example:  Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, News & Events

Equine Activity Liability Acts – Not Just About Horses

Equine Activity Liability Acts, now in 47 states, were originally enacted with the aim of providing limited liability for activities involving equines. For example, the statute in Washington State, which was the first enacted in the country, defines an “equine” as “a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.” [Rev. Code Wash. Sec. 4.24.530(1)]. Over the years, these statutes have broadened to include a variety of different animals – and some might even surprise you. A sampling of states shows the range of animals they sometimes cover. For example: Read More ›

Categories: Liability

Breeding Contract Check-Up

Breeding season begins soon. Stallion managers and owners can plan ahead by reassessing and, where warranted, updating their contracts. How? Here are a few suggestions. Read More ›

Categories: Breeding, Contracts

What to Consider Before an Equine Professional Does Business on Your Property

An elderly widow lives alone on the family farm. The horse barn has been empty since the children moved out. Recently, an equine professional asked to rent the horse facility to run a boarding, training, and lesson business. Should this arrangement proceed?  Read More ›

Categories: Contracts, Insurance, Liability, Zoning & Land Use

Surprise! You're an Equine Professional

You have a full-time job, or you're a student. But you also have a horse in the barn. Wouldn't it be nice to make money from the horse? What if you offered riding lessons on the weekends or did some "moonlighting" as an instructor to generate extra cash? You may think your part-time business activities are a mere hobby, but the law might say quite the opposite. Read More ›

Categories: Contracts, Insurance, Liability

Lessons Learned from a Boarding Stable Payment Dispute

It's only a matter of time before a boarding stable encounters a legal dispute over payment of fees. In a recent Illinois lawsuit, both the boarder and the stable sued each other, but the stable won at the trial court level and later when the case was appealed.  Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Contracts

What You Didn't Know About Liability Insurance

Every year you write the check to your insurance agent, fully expecting that you're covered for liabilities arising from your horse-related activities. But what if a claim or lawsuit is brought against you, and, to your surprise, you discover that you’re not covered for it?

Here are some equine liability insurance coverage surprises that people have experienced over the years. With careful planning, you can make sure that they never happen to you. Read More ›

Categories: Boarding, Employment, Insurance, Liability

Didn’t Read the Stable’s Release? You Might Still Be Bound By It

The stable or instructor gives the customer a liability release to sign. Later, he sues the stable, and when the stable uses the signed release in its defense, the customer admits that he signed it. But he claims that it should not be enforced because he failed to read it before he signed it.

Is this argument valid? Nationwide, courts have considered these claims in equine-related cases, and some of the results might surprise you.  Read More ›

Categories: Liability

Lawn Mower Spooks Horse – Georgia Court Dismisses Injured Rider’s Lawsuit

Spooking Horse Was an “Inherent Risk” and No “Willful or Wanton” Conduct Found

As of Aug. 1, 2015, 47 states – all but California, Maryland, and New York – have passed some form of an Equine Activity Liability Act ("EALA"). These laws sometimes share common characteristics, but all of them differ. Most follow a pattern that prevents an “equine activity sponsor,” “equine professional,” or possibly others from being sued if a “participant” who “engages in an equine activity” suffers injury, death or damage from an “inherent risk.” The laws typically include a list of exceptions.

Does a horse bucking in reaction to a lawn mower qualify as an “inherent risk” for which the EALA might protect a horse owner from liability? Read More ›

Categories: Lawsuit, Liability, News & Events

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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.

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has recieved 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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