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Linking Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: A Family Law Perspective

(770 Ratings)

Produced on: February 04, 2014

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 107 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Mounting evidence supports the conclusion that animal cruelty is an indicator of domestic violence and possible child abuse/neglect. This program will enable practitioners to bolster legal strategies by identifying relevant state laws, comply with applicable cross-reporting requirements, and gain an understanding of the available programs and research that can improve client counseling. Family law practitioners representing children, parents, and domestic abuse victims or criminal defendants will benefit from this timely and informative program. 


Learning Objectives:

I.    Comprehend the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence 

II.   Explore the state laws that recognize this link

III.  Recognize ethical implications in the client-lawyer relationship

IV.  Identify and report animal cruelty, abuse and neglect 

V.   Utilize animal cruelty assessments in child abuse and domestic violence evaluations

VI.  File orders of protection for family pets

VII. Grasp legal tools/resources to assist abuse/neglect victims and remediate defendants


Randall Carmel

Law Offices of Randall Carmel

Since graduating from the New England School of Law in 1986, Randy has dedicated the majority of his legal career to advocating for indigent children and families in New York City. Prior to law school, Randy received a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Alfred University receiving the University’s Faculty Award for Top Student in Economics. Randy moved to New York City after graduating law school in 1986 and began working for The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, as a trial attorney for children in abuse, neglect, and delinquency proceedings. After leaving the Legal Aid Society in 1989 Randy joined a small law firm which specialized in litigating adoption and termination of parental rights proceedings on behalf of non-profit foster care agencies in New York City. In 2000, Randy left the firm and shifted the focus of his legal practice to Family Court Appellate work. He divides his time between New York City and Keene New Hampshire and works closely with his father in the family’s real estate business.

Randy has been a member of the Assigned Counsel Trial Panel of the New York County Family Court since 1990 and the Assigned Counsel Panel for Family Court Appeals of the Appellate Division, First Department since 2000. In 2011, Randy was appointed chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Children and the Law.

Randy is a member of the Board of Trustees of Antioch University New England. He has also served as President of the Board of Directors of Sophia’s Hearth Family Center, a non-profit early childhood teaching center in Keene New Hampshire, from 2001-2003 and as President of Congregation Avahas Achim from 2006-2009.

Michael Devereaux

Devereaux Baumgarten


Michael J. Devereaux is a partner of the firm. Mr. Devereaux is one of the Preeminent Attorneys in America. He has been a Preeminent Attorney in America since 1998 and continues to be so recognized. Mr. Devereaux is also recognized by the number one attorney rating service in the world as having the very highest skill and ethical rating awarded to attorneys. Mr. Devereaux litigated and tried complex, national, multi-district litigation involving corporations, securities law and professionals, including lawyers, accountants, physicians, directors and officers, psychiatrists and others. Mr. Devereaux represented and continues to represent Fortune 500 companies.


Mr. Devereaux received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University and his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law where he was a Finalist in the prestigious Rev. Tinnelly Best Oralist Moot Court Competition. He was a finalist or semi-finalist in all the competitions that he entered. He argued before the late Jerome Prince. He won the honor of representing St. John’s University School of Law in the prestigious National Moot Court Law Competition. He was an Associate Justice of Moot Court, Vice-Chair of the Client Counseling Board, and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection.


Mr. Devereaux is a member of the American Bar Association; New York State Bar Association, (Member, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Committee on Professional Liability, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; New York County Lawyer’s Association, (member, Environmental Law Committee, 1989); The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; New York State Trial Lawyers Association; Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Christine Mott

New York Bar Association


Christine is a commercial law attorney in private practice in Manhattan. She is the Chairwoman of the Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, previously serving as the Committee’s Secretary and Member since 2007. She graduated with honors from Smith College in 2004 and New York University School of Law in 2007. Through her work on the Committee, she has focused on a number of areas in which human and animal welfare issues converge, including the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, humane education, and animal welfare and food safety reform in animal agriculture. Christine has also devoted significant pro-bono legal services to underprivileged clients in the areas of special education and non-profit incorporation and operations and was the recipient of the 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award by the Legal Aid Society.

Elizabeth Frayer

Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP

Elizabeth Frayer has been a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee since 2010. She received her BA in 2000 from Cornell University and her JD in 2005 from Fordham University School of Law. Elizabeth’s interest in law and animal welfare stems from her volunteer work with city shelters and several rescue groups. She is a Securities attorney at Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP.


patricia s.

faculty was very good and content informative

Karl O.

Good class for someone who practices family law/animal law.

Elizabeth S.

Very informative -- thank you for including a topic of extreme importance.

Kathleen P.

Still that problem with ending on time. However, this webinar was exceptionally content-rich and well presented. Best Lawline class I've seen so far.

Thomas C.

An excellent presentation made by lawyers that are definitely passionate about what they do for animals even though they have other legal jobs

Matthew W.

One of my favorites

Mary Ann M.

Lawline is consistently superior to Westlaw CLE--in topics and in specificity in presentations

Katrina P.


Dorrie W.

I have handled domestic violence cases for 40 years now, and yet this course allowed me to see all those cases, and evolving state and federal law, in a new context. Very helpful!

Julie A. B.

An important topic.

Kathleen R.

Great and compelling program

Elizabeth F.

The panel was thorough in covering the importance and link between animal abuse and domestic abuse- the duty to further investigate.

Ebone L.

This was really great. You should offer more animal law courses .

jane G.

as an animal lover and advocate, this was informative and well done!

Robert S.

Interesting topic with disturbing case examples.

Francine A.

Great course.

Helen B.


Rachel F.

Great and important program!

Karel H.

Good research

Teresa S.


Amanda C.


Samantha W.

I really enjoyed the fact that the 4 of them each brought a different aspect to the topic which provided for a well-rounded presentation, as opposed to a myopic view. I hope these 4 continue to create presentations. Wish I had the guts to create a progr

Robert V.

Anyone that owns an animal, lawyer or not, ... great class

Frederick S.

Highly recommended for both lawyers and for law enforcement personnel. Very professional. Legal, psychological and ethical considerations made this course very worthwhile. Thank you.

Michael C M.

this subject is so important and will gain in importance over time as human conscience heightens. where animals are harmed, children also may be harmed.

Navdeep J.


Belinda B.

This course really made me think of animal abuse in a whole new light and will help w/ family cases

Arati T.

This was a really unique, interesting and important topic that many of us know little about. I thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn about this topic.

Mary E G.

Very informative and interesting.

Warren L.

Great group effort.

Michael G.

My wife is a published domestic violence researcher with a particular emphasis on protection orders. The observations and recommendations in this presentation were right on point.

Robert S.

Interesting use of research.

John T.

Cool course. Very helpful.

Julie R.

great program

Leslie G.

Best and most thoroughly researched and well organized presentation

Linda K.

very well done

Diane E.

Excellent information and good practice tips on how to use animal cruelty in the Family Court setting.

Anthony J. C.

Good survey of many issues.

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