A downloadable PDF agenda of the 29th annual Animal Law Conference, which has now concluded, is available here.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. PT/12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET

What Animals Teach Us About Themselves

Pre-recorded roundtable discussion

Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold, Associate Director and Primate Communication Scientist, Fauna Foundation

Dr. Lori Marino, Founder and President, The Whale Sanctuary Project

Dr. K-lynn Smith, Postdoctoral Researcher, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University

Moderator: Joyce Tischler, Professor of Practice, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Recent studies have made significant advances in our understanding of the cognitive skills, social lives, emotional capacities, and sentience of nonhuman animals. These findings challenge long-standing assumptions and demonstrate that we have underestimated the capacities of other animals. This roundtable discussion will share some of these studies and evidence as this year’s conference theme calls us to re-examine and re-imagine our relationship with other animals.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT/2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Reforming the Common Law Foundations of Our Relationship with Animals

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Owais Awan, Attorney and Advocate of the High Court of Islamabad, Pakistan

Jake Davis, Staff Attorney, Nonhuman Rights Project

The Honorable Elena Liberatori, Head of Court No. 4 in Administrative and Tax Litigation, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Moderator: Nicole Pallotta, Senior Policy Program Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The status of animals as legal property is an outdated common law construct that governs our legal– and in many ways social and cultural– relationships with animals. In cases challenging this status, attorneys have argued that we must dismantle the current common law and recognize a legal status that considers animals as living, feeling beings capable of a wide range of positive and negative experiences. Judges are starting to agree and beginning to take apart the construct. The speakers on this panel will discuss the recent cases and decisions that are most crucial to transforming the old foundation of our legal relationship with animals.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT/2:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET

Factory Farming & The Fragility of Our Food System

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Jessica Blome, Shareholder, Greenfire Law, PC

Hannah Connor, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity

Iselin Gambert, Professor of Legal Research and Writing, The George Washington University Law School

Moderator: Daniel Waltz, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The current industrial animal agricultural complex, otherwise known as factory farming, is at an extremely critical juncture. This panel will examine the devastating effects and impacts upon animal protection, human health, worker safety, and ecosystem sustainability. It will also discuss the ways in which legal and regulatory efforts to protect the animal agriculture industry—including so-called “Real Meat” laws in the US and the EU’s Amendment 171—wage linguistic and semantic battles over the meaning of “meat” and “milk.”

12:45 – 1:45 p.m. PT/3:45 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Keynote Presentation: Animal Thought, Emotion, and Culture

Keynote presentation with live Q&A

Humans think, experience emotions, and develop cultures. Turns out, so do many other species. Drawing on his two most recent books, Becoming Wild and Beyond Words, Carl Safina will discuss cognition, emotion, and culture in non-human beings. He will show and talk about what makes us human and what makes many other species who they are. He will also talk about what is at stake in this living world, for us and for all our co-voyaging species.

Carl Safina, Ecologist and Author, Becoming Wild

Moderator: Pamela Hart, Executive Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Virtual Animal Law Conference Agenda

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. PT/12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Litigating for Change: Challenges, Opportunities, and Victories

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Christopher Berry, Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Caitlin Hawks, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, PETA Foundation

Will Lowrey, Legal Counsel, Animal Outlook

Moderator: Anthony Eliseuson, Litigation Program Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

While litigation has long been a tool for animal protection, it is increasingly presenting innovative opportunities for change. Panelists will discuss recent animal law litigation through the lens of first-hand experience, with an emphasis on practical insight.

9:30 – 10:45 a.m. PT/12:30 – 1:45 p.m. ET

From the U.S. to Australia: Animal Protection Legislation Across the World

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Alice Di Concetto, Founder, Animal Law Europe

Marty McKendry, Senior Advisor – Parliamentary Strategy (Senator Marty Klyne & Senator Pierre Dalphond), Canada

Tess Vickery, Policy Advisor to the Hon. Emma Hurst MLC, Australian Animal Justice Party

Moderator: Alicia Prygoski, Senior Legislative Affairs Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Using legislation to protect animals is a worldwide effort. This panel will cover animal protection legislation with an international focus, to learn how work to protect animals in the United States Congress compares with similar efforts across the globe – from the United States to Canada, and from the European Union to Australia.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT/2:15 – 3:15 p.m. ET

Implementing a One Health Approach to Protect Humans, Animals, and the Environment

Pre-recorded roundtable discussion

Dr. Peter Li, Associate Professor, University of Houston

Erica Lyman, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment, Lewis & Clark Law School

Amanda Whitfort, Professor, University of Hong Kong

Moderator: Nick Fromherz, Senior Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor, Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment, Lewis & Clark Law School

One Health is a movement to link human, animal, and ecosystem health. Calls for a global, trans-disciplinary approach resound in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which laid bare the extent of our exposure to zoonotic disease spillover. From wild animal markets, to roadside zoos, to the wildlife trade, the link between human health and our exploitation of wild animals is clear. This panel will discuss the risks and regulatory responses to zoonotic disease in an effort to prevent future pandemics.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT/2:15 – 3:15 p.m. ET

Transforming the Lives of Animals by Building Stronger Communities

Pre-recorded roundtable discussion

Maad Abu-Ghazalah, Founder and Executive Director, Daily Hugz Sanctuary, Palestine

Akisha Townsend Eaton, Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Hugo Echeverria, Professor, Universidad Hemisferios, Ecuador; Co-chair, Research Group on Rights of Nature and Animal Rights, International Association of Constitutional Law

Shawna Gray, Clinical Social Worker; Ceg-A-Kin Nakoda Nation

Moderator: Kathy Hessler, Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Panelists from diverse backgrounds and cultures will share ways in which they are advocating for animals, while building community and sometimes challenging conventional norms. This session will provide a glimpse into the future of animal advocacy.

12:45 – 2:00 p.m. PT/3:45 – 5:00 p.m. ET

Representing Victim Voices: Courtroom Animal Advocate Programs

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, Founder & President, Lesniak Institute for American Leadership

David Rosengard, Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Jessica Rubin, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Practice Program, University of Connecticut School of Law

Moderator: Kathleen Schatzmann, Strategic Legislative Affairs Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

For animals harmed by criminal cruelty, the unusual legal issues, disproportionate complexity, and animal-specific needs implicated by their cases make giving voice to the animals’ interests particularly important. Five years ago, Connecticut opened a new front in this effort with the passage of Desmond’s Law, which enables pro-bono attorneys and law students to appear in court on behalf of animal victims of cruelty. In subsequent years interest in such Courtroom Animal Advocate Program laws has grown across the nation. Join our speakers for a discussion touching on the past, present, and future of CAAP laws — and their transformative potential for legal advocacy in cruelty cases.

12:45 – 2:00 p.m. PT/3:45 – 5:00 p.m. ET

Preserving the Human-animal Bond and Preventing Neglect by Facilitating Access to Care

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Linda Fielder, Investigations Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Ed Jamison, CEO, Operation Kindness

Emily Lewis, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Moderator: Megan Senatori, Associate Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Animal neglect takes many forms, and can be conflated with unwillingness to provide care to an animal. Panelists will use case studies to demonstrate how enforcement agencies, in their community caretaking role, can utilize various means of responding to reports of animal neglect in the effort to preserve a healthy human-animal bond before the circumstances have criminal implications. This panel will discuss community approaches to meet the challenge of preserving the bond through access to veterinary care, food distribution, education, and community outreach.

Virtual Animal Law Conference Agenda

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. ET

Legal Ethics and the Animal Lawyer

Interactive legal ethics session for attorneys

Russ Mead, The Shared Earth Foundation Visiting Professor, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Priscilla Rader Culp, Education Program Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Attorneys must navigate unique, often complicated, legal questions in animal law every single day. Russ Mead, animal law ethics expert, will lead attendees through a fun, engaging hypothetical story while examining the challenges and dilemmas that can occur as an animal protection lawyer. The Model Code of Professional Responsibility will be applied and one hour of ethics credit will be available.

8:30 – 9:40 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. ET

Empowering Global Ambassadors for Animals One LLM Degree at a Time

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Bianka Atlas, Independent Scholar, New Zealand

Hira Jaleel, Senior Associate, Axis Law Chambers Pakistan

Jim Karani, Director, Lawyers for Animal Protection in Africa

Diego Plaza, President, Fundacion Justicia Interespecie Chile

Moderator: Tara Cooley, Teaching Fellow, University of Connecticut School of Law

In 2012, the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School launched the world’s only advanced legal degree in animal law, the Animal Law LLM. An LLM degree allows domestic and international lawyers to gain a deeper understanding of and specialize in a particular area of law. Panelists will share how they are using their Animal Law LLM to advance legal protections for animals and substantively address issues and opportunities such as: wildlife trafficking, depopulation, campaigning & litigating for animals, advocacy, education, and more.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PT/1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Investing in Change for Animals & The Climate

Pre-recorded roundtable discussion

Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni, Founder and Chair, Vegan Capital SA

Stanley Chase, Founder, Louisville Vegan Jerky Co.

Lisa Feria, General Partner & CEO, Stray Dog Capital

Moderator: Carter Dillard, Senior Policy Advisor, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The private sector is a major player in influencing behavior change towards animals. Leaders in this sector will share how they’re transforming the world through investing in and leading plant-based companies. In this session, panelists will discuss trends, opportunities, challenges, and the unique legal hurdles experienced by the plant-based market sector of businesses and investors.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PT/1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Challenging the Necessity of Animal Experimentation: Approaching a Turning Point

Pre-recorded roundtable discussion

Dr. Aysha Akhtar, President and CEO, Center for Contemporary Sciences

Elizabeth Baker, Regulatory Policy Director, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Sue Leary, President, Alternatives Research and Development Foundation

Moderator: Stacey Gordon Sterling, Animal Law Program Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Scientific and medical experiments conducted on animals are often invasive, painful, and fatal. Experiments are often justified with claims that they are necessary for human health and scientific advancement. But innovations in research technology and methodology are challenging this claim of necessity and proving that we do not need to subject animals to experiments to achieve advances in science and medicine. This roundtable will discuss how replacing animal experimentation with non-animal alternatives will result in more effective and relevant human-specific results, and how law and policy can shift the invalid assertion that we have no choice but to experiment on animals.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. PT/2:30 – 3:45 p.m. ET

Bar None: The American Bar Association’s Role in Expanding Justice for Animals

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Daina Bray, Climate Change and Animal Agriculture Senior Litigation Fellow and Project Manager, Law, Ethics & Animals Program, Yale Law School

David Favre, Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law

Joan Schaffner, Associate Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

Moderator: Rajesh Reddy, Global Animal Law and Animal Law Advanced Degree Program Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

The American Bar Association (ABA) is at the forefront of shaping policy and public opinion regarding our relationship with animals. Through innovative resolutions addressing a wide array of contemporary issues, the ABA is challenging assumptions that its motto of “pursuing justice” is limited to humans. This panel will discuss this evolution and how ABA resolutions are making a positive difference for the common good, including for animals and the environment. The panel also highlights how one such resolution is paving the way for what would be the world’s first treaty to consider the welfare of animals and discusses how attendees can advance this cause.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. PT/2:30 – 3:45 p.m. ET

Using Humane Education to Redefine Our Relationship with Animals

Panel presentation with live Q&A

Meena Alagappan, Executive Director, Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers

Nandita Bajaj, Executive Director, Population Balance; Co-Director, Fair Start Movement

Shawn Sweeney, Associate Vice President of Communications, The Jane Goodall Institute

Moderator: Liberty Mulkani, Project Management Program Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Humane education seeks to build empathy and to find holistic solutions to injustices impacting people, animals, and the environment. The panel will explore how important topics such as overpopulation and climate change can provide an avenue for discussing our complicated relationship with animals; highlight direct work with children around the world, and showcase existing resources for incorporating humane education into curricula and community discussions. Presenters will point to existing humane education laws in the United States and how to strengthen their impact.