Greetings, everyone!  My name is Michelle Ballard and I am the Chair of the Animal Law Section for 2022-2023.  I am excited to be working with the ALS and its members to promote the well-being and humane treatment of animals through legal education.

Over the past year, the ALS has hosted a number of CLE webinars on topics such as protecting and restoring Florida’s coral reefs and thoroughbred horse racing.  We hosted virtual visits to the Wild Horse Rescue Center, the Center for the Great Apes, and Kindred Spirits Sanctuary.  We collaborated with the Administrative Law Section on a “Yappy Hour,” which featured adoptable pups from the Leon County animal shelter.  Finally, we welcomed back the nationally recognized Puppy Pit at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in Orlando.  I hope that this upcoming year will bring further opportunities for education and get-togethers. 

I owe a special thanks to our immediate past-Chair, Brent Spain, for leading the Section last year; and to our officers for the upcoming year: Chair-Elect, Ashley Baillargeon; Secretary, Laura Roe; and Treasurer, Scott Guarcello.

I conclude this message by noting that you need not practice law related to animals to be a member of the Animal Law Section (though animal law is more far-reaching than you may think).  In fact, you are not even required to be a member of The Florida Bar.  The only qualification is that you care about the welfare of animals.  So please feel free to invite anyone you know who might be interested in joining our section.  We would love to have them!

Michelle Ballard

Chair, Animal Law Section