Committee on Animals and the Law

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  • About the Committee

    Legal issues with animals occur in several arenas: housing, real estate, health, agriculture and business, to name only a few.  Attorneys have only recently begun practices that include animal law, which makes it one of the more exciting fields of law. This website provides information for Committee members, attorneys and members of the public who have an interest in the growing field of animal law.

    This Committee was originally conceived by the late Lorraine Power Tharp, past president of the Association, who wanted to highlight the growing field of Animals and the Law and to educate the profession, specifically the membership, about the issues that arise in the law in relation to animals.

    Mission Statement
    The Committee on Animals and the Law is a resource for Members and the Public about non-human, animal related legal matters and associated humane considerations. Among the activities of the group, Committee Members: (a) monitor and provide comment on relevant legislation and policy-making decisions at various levels of government; (b) offer continuing legal education as well as programs for the lay public on animal law; (c) compile and provide information and resources on animal law and other associated humane considerations to the public via access to the NYSBA website and printed materials; (d) respond to requests for information from the public and attorneys related to animal law issues; and (e) encourage law student interest in animal law by various means including sponsoring a legal writing competition for law students.

    The Committee ascertains the needs and interests of NYSBA members and their constituents with respect to animal humane-related issues and develops programs to disseminate resource information to address those needs and interests. Where appropriate, the Committee solicits expertise and assistance of NYSBA committees and sections whose Members and Constituents are affected by these humane-related issues.

    To maximize effectiveness, the Committee invites participation by professionals in animal health care, animal welfare, wildlife conservation, animal behavior, and other related fields in animal-law and humane-related work, such as veterinarians, biologists, educators, humane law enforcement officers and non-attorney government officials. 

    Third Revision as of January 27, 2011
    Second Revision as of January 6, 2009
    First Revision as of June 21, 2007

  • Topics in Animal Law
  • Student Writing Competition

    ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 2017 NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

    COMMITTEE ON ANIMALS AND THE LAW STUDENT WRITING COMPETITION

    The Committee on Animals and the Law of the New York State Bar Association is very pleased to announce the Eighth Annual Student Writing Competition.  The deadline for submission is July 14, 2017.  

    The Committee on Animals and the Law was established to provide information resources for the New York State Bar Association’s members and the public about non-human, animal‑related humane issues, which arise from and have an effect upon our legal system.  This competition seeks to foster legal scholarship among law students in the area of animals and the law.  This competition provides law students with an incentive and opportunity to learn more about this area of law.  

    Law students (which include J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D., and S.J.D. candidates) are invited to submit to the Committee on Animals and the Law an article concerning any area of Animal Law.  All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of attorneys and other professionals practicing or otherwise involved in animal law.  The winner will be chosen in accordance with the competition rules.  The first place winner will receive $1,000 and a certificate of achievement.  The second place winner will receive $500 and a certificate of achievement.

    Submission Rules

    PREVIOUS WINNERS:

    2016
    Ninth Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Laura Beth Jackson is a student at Emory University School of Law. Her winning paper is entitled "Giant Injustice: The Illegality of Elephants in Captivity". Jackson received $1,000 for her winning submission

    Second Place - Erin Brady is student at University of Texas School of Law. Her winning paper is entitled "Fearsome and Fragile: The Paradox Challenging Shark Conservation Law"  Brady received $500 for her winning essay. 


    2015
    Eighth Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Ann Linder is a student at Stanford Law School. Her winning paper is entitled "Mens Rea and McKittrick: The Unraveling of the Endangered Species Act."  Linder received $1,000. for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Sarah Lukas is a student at the Southern Illinois University School of Law.  Her article is entitled "Punish the Deed, Not the Breed."  Lukas received $500. for her winning essay. 


    2014
    Seventh Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Alison Jane Trejo is a student at Nova Southeastern University Broad Law Center. Her winning paper is entitled "Killer Soup: The Brutality of Shark Finning and the Wildly Profitable Shark Fin Industry.  Trejo received $1,000. for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Heidi Mehaffey is also a student at the the Nova Southeastern University Broad Law Center.  Her article is entitled " A Comparative Analysis of United States and European Farming Standards: How the U.S. Grossly Disregards the Quality of Life of Farm Pigs and the Need for Amended USDA Federal Guidelines."  Mehaffey received $500. for her winning essay. 


    2013
    Sixth Annual Student Writing Competition


    First Place - Kristina Fretwell is a student at California Western School of Law,whose expected graduation date is December 2013.  Her winning paper is entitled, “Death by Dog Food: A Critical Examination of Pet Food Regulation in the United States."  Fretwell received $1,000 for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Larissa Liebmann is a May 2013 graduate of the American University Washington College of Law.  Her article is entitled " Fraud And First Amendment Protections Of False Speech: How U.S. V. Alvarez Impacts Constitutional Challenges To Ag-Gag Laws."  Liebmann received $500 for her essay. 


    2012
    Fifth Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Nicole Pakiz is a student at Vermont Law School, whose graduation is expected in 2012. Her winning paper is entitled, “Why The ALI Should Redraft The Animal-Cruelty Provision Of The Model Penal Code."  Pakiz received $1,000 for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Caitlin Giaimo is a student at Columbia Law School, 3L, whose expected graduation date is May 2013.  Her article is entitled " Caged Speech: The Agricultural Industry’s Gag Legislation And Its Implications For Investigative Journalism."  Giaimo received $500 for her essay.  


    2011
    Fourth Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Véronique Jarrell-King, a student at Vermont Law School, whose graduation is expected in 2012. Her winning paper is entitled, “Wildlife, Water Quality And The Public Trust Doctrine: A Means Of Enforcing Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plans."  Jarrell-King received $1,000 for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Tabitha Nicole Mitchell, a student at University Of Maryland School Of Law whose graduation is expected in 2011.  Her article is entitled "Cage-Free, Free-Range, Organic? Why Animal Welfare Depends On A New Government Labeling Scheme."  She received $500 for her essay. 


    2010
    Third Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Lesley Peterson, a student at Brooklyn Law School whose graduation is expected in 2011. Her winning paper entitled, “Talkin' Bout A Humane Revolution:  New Standards For Farming Practices And How They Could Change International Trade As We Know It” explores whether new animal welfare standards, such as California's recent Proposition 2, have the potential to conflict with the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which reduces trade barriers for goods. Peterson received $1,000 for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Dana Marie Pannella,  a student at Case Western University School of Law whose graduation is expected in 2011.  Panella's article entitled "Animals Are Property: The Violation of Soldiers’ Rights to Strays in Iraq" examines the negative impact of Department of Defense's General Order 1B (GO-1B), which prevents soldiers from “[a]dopting as pets or mascots, caring for, or feeding any type of domestic or wild animal,” and how the order conflicts with property law and public policy. She proposes that GO-1B be revised to allow the adoption of stray domestic animals. She received $500 for her essay.


    2009
    Second Annual Student Writing Competition

    First Place - Allison L. Westfahl Kong, a student at New York University Law School whose graduation is expected in 2010.  Her submission entitled “Improving the Protection of Species Endangered in the United States by Means of a Revision of the Distinct Population Segment (DPS) Policy,” explores whether the DPS, a portion of a species' or subspecies' population or range, should be revised to permit the listings of species that are solely endangered within the United States and whether such a change is consistent with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Kong received $1,000 for her winning submission.

    Second Place - Andra Waniek, a recent graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Her paper “Protecting Woman's Best Friend from Family Violence: Proposal for a Model Statute Including Animals in Protective Orders,” discusses and reviews proposed and enacted legislation concerning inclusion of animals in protective orders. Waniek proposes a federal statute authorizing the inclusion of animals in protective orders that combines and modifies components of several proposed and enacted state statutes and adds a new provision to account for the housing of animals during their owners' stay at domestic violence shelters. Waniek received $500 for her essay.


    2008
    First Annual Student Writing Competition

    First place - Laurel McNeill, a student at Hofstra University School of Law, whose graduation is expected in 2010.  Her submission, entitled “Giant Steps: The African Elephant and the United States’ Effect on The Survival of The Species”, examined the United States’ laws and agencies responsible for perpetuating the existence of the elephant, and suggested ways of doing more.  Of all the submissions, this particular submission exhibited the highest quality of research, the most accurate and clear analysis and best technical writing.

    Second place - Rachel Wechsler, a student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2009.

    Third place - Deborah Dubow Press, a student at Cornell Law School, 2009.