Arizona Equine Attorney: Contract & Litigation Services
At Schmaltz Law Offices, we like to say that we protect what you value the most, and that definitely includes horses. In Arizona, there are about 177,000 horses residing in our state, the majority of which are domesticated. For many of these owners, an equine attorney can be a valuable resource.
What Do Equine Attorneys Do?
Equine attorneys can handle just about any aspect of equine law and are well-versed in the specifics for Arizona’s Equine Activity Liability Act, as well as the creation of many different types of equine-related contracts, including:
- Pre-sale agreements
- Purchase/Sale Agreements
- Breeding Contracts
- Training Contracts
- Lease Agreements
- Horse Partnership Ownership Agreements
- Transportation Agreements
- Boarding Contracts
As a qualified Arizona equine attorney, Schmaltz Law Offices, PLLC can help with most type of contract disputes. We are often called up to handle waivers and releases, ensuring that horse owners are well-protected.
There are many other common equine law-related issues that an equine attorney can tackle, including:
- Stablemen’s/ Agister Lien (horse boarding) Laws
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Sale & Purchase Litigation
- Property Damage Litigation
- Fraud Litigation
- Misrepresentation Litigation
- Veterinary Malpractice Litigation
- Horse Trainers – Care, Custody and Control Issues
Equine Activity Liability Acts
Almost every state has its own type of Equine Activity Liability Act (EALA), but what the law states in Arizona differs from Nevada or California, so it’s crucial that you find an equine attorney familiar with Arizona laws. At any rate, these acts were created to protect equine owners and equine professionals as well as the sponsors of equine-related events.
In basic terms, these acts state that a “participant,” which might be a person taking riding lessons, a person participating in a horse-related event or a person who leases a horse must understand that there is an “inherent risk” with horse-related activities and therefore if injury or death occurs, the person who owns the horse or sponsors an event is generally not liable.
What Is An Inherent Risk?
Inherent risks can include any number of things. We all know that horses can be a bit skittish at time, and certain sounds or the sudden movement of another person or animal can frighten them. It’s certainly not uncommon for riders to fall off or to be thrown off a horse if the animal becomes startled.
For instance, a rider was thrown during a trail ride when her rental horse began bucking after it was injured by a cholla cactus. The rider was injured, but the court determined that the horse’s reaction and the subsequent injury were part of the “inherent risk” as stated under Arizona’s equine law and the rider had signed a well drafted release and indemnity form.
There are other “inherent risks” related to equine law, as well. If a participant is injured during a jump, perhaps falling off the horse, this could be considered an inherent risk of the activity. If a horse trips on uneven ground during a ride and the horse or the rider is injured, this could be considered an inherent risk associated with a trail ride.
Of course, it behooves (pun intended) every equine owner, stable owner or event sponsor to ensure that they are well protected. Therefore, each horse owner or event sponsor will need to present a release or waiver for participants to sign, to ensure that all participants are informed of issues relating to liability. We can help on either end of these issues.
An equine attorney can craft releases and waivers or help an owner being sued because of an injury or property damage. Naturally, if you were injured and believe that your injuries occurred outside the realm of the waiver you signed, we can help with those types of issues, as well.
The Legal Definition Of Equine and Release
It surprises some people to learn that, legally, equine law doesn’t just refer to horses but rather any member of the horse family. Technically, this is known as the family Equidae, and this family includes horses as well as donkeys and even zebras.
In regards to equine law in Arizona, “equine” refers to a horse, pony, mule, donkey or ass. Arizona’s definition of “Release” means a document that a person signs before taking control of an equine from the owner or owner’s agent and that acknowledges that the person is aware of the inherent risks associated with equine activities, is willing and able to accept full responsibility for his own safety and welfare and releases the equine owner or agent from liability unless the equine owner or agent is grossly negligent or commits willful, wanton or intentional acts or omissions.
General Animal Law
At Schmaltz Law Offices, we don’t just focus on equine law issues; we also can help with any legal issues regarding large and small domesticated animals, including cats and dogs. This includes dealing with issues related to pet custody, pet breeding, boarding-related injuries or deaths, veterinarian malpractice and much more.
We understand how much love you feel for your animals, and we are happy to help you resolve issues or to seek compensation for wrongful injury or death or any other issue related to your dog, cat or another animal. Whether you need an animal law specialist or an equine attorney, the team at Schmaltz Law Offices can help. Give us a call at any time or click on the Contact Us tab on our homepage and fill out our quick form.