Many equine industry activities, ranging from offering trail rides to entering into co-ownership agreements, are notoriously done on a “handshake” deal. Verbal agreements in the equine industry, however, may create unnecessary liability exposure, detrimentally affect the relationship between parties, render contract terms virtually unenforceable between parties, and ultimately result in many other foreseeable and unforeseeable negative consequences.
Written agreements in equine activities and transactions are legally enforceable if properly drafted and executed. There are liability protections afforded under various states’ Equine Activity Liability Acts to encourage the availability of equine activities. Many of these Equine Acts explicitly enforce written liability releases signed by participants, and most state contract laws enforce these waivers if properly drafted. Certain activities have additional liability exposures not covered by most Equine Acts, but may also be released in an enforceable liability release agreement. Syndicates and other forms of horse partnership agreements reduced to writing are also enforceable if properly drafted under applicable contract law.
Yvonne C. Ocrant, a Chicago based equine transaction and litigation attorney, discusses these liability protections, demonstrates how properly drafted contracts improve equine industry business relationships, explains how a written contract in specific equine activity transactions improves the enforceability of the intended agreement terms, and emphasizes how properly executed contracts are legally enforceable and worth more than the paper they are written on!
Yvonne Ocrant practices in the areas of equine law, title insurance, employment law and commercial litigation. She is a trial lawyer and mediator.
Ms. Ocrant's equine law experience includes handling litigation involving the Equine Activity Liability Act and various other state and federal laws. She assists individual horse owners; trainers; breeders; riding, boarding and training facilities; veterinarians and other entities in the equine industry litigate and resolve claims for personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and other legal issues. She drafts contracts for horse purchases, sales, leases and commission arrangements, and creates equine liability releases for boarding and training facilities, trainers, transporters and other individuals and entities sponsoring or participating in equine activities.
Ms. Ocrant routinely represents employers under the full range of employment laws, including both federal and state discrimination laws on issues of race, national origin, sex, sexual harassment and religion. She also handles actions under state contract and tort law, including retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with contract, fraud, and invasion of privacy.
She defends numerous claims in state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Ocrant handles cases and provides counseling in matters involving ADA, ADEA, employee breach of fiduciary duty/confidentiality agreements, Equal Pay Act, FMLA, defamation, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Ms. Ocrant also handles unemployment cases before the Illinois Department of Employment Security and state court, and provides counseling on numerous unemployment matters such as willful and deliberate misconduct, voluntary termination, refusal of work, chargeability, contribution rates, independent contractor arrangements, and claimant work search requirements.
She also regularly represents title insurance underwriters, agents, mortgage brokers and lenders in resolving claims and litigation cases over title insurance issues.
Delightfully comprehensive presentation within the time allowed! They who laugh while learning learn best. Thank you!
Excellent program! Really enjoyed the topic! Speaker very interesting and informative!
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