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AVMLA 2019

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Dear AVMLA Members, 
I want to personally encourage you to register today for the 2019 Annual AVMLA Continuing Education Seminar, to be held August 3 -4, 2019 in beautiful Washington, DC.  This year's educational focus will be, The Practice of Veterinary Medicine Law, Evolving with the Times.
This two-day conference brings together 10 of the most well respected, top professionals in the veterinary legal and medical field.  Our speakers will focus on how the practice of veterinary medicine has changed over the past 25 years and what a industry professional needs to know to stay relevant in today's changing landscape.

Sessions will include discussion on controlled substances, what attorneys and veterinarians to know about the use of of cannabis for companion pets, knowing how to negotiate key provisions in corporate consolidator deals,  just to highlight a few.

We will be highlighting the 2019 AVMLA session speakers leading up to this year's Conference in the AVMLA News Brief.  In this issue, we are featuring  Stacey Evans, Esq. and Keenan Jones, Esq. who will be presenting,  Cannabis and Companion Animals - What Attorneys and Veterinarians Need to Know.
Top 3 learning objectives for this session will cover: 
  • The latest laws and legislation regarding cannabis use in veterinary medicine.
  • The legal difference between marijuana, CBD, and other cannabis products.
  • Best practices for client inquiries about cannabis use in companion animals.
These and several other must know legal and legislative updates will be covered in this two-day conference. Do not miss it.  You will enjoy participating in these lecture and panel discussion programs.   I look forward to seeing you in DC, August 3 & 4th.

Special *THANKS* to our 2019 Conference Host Sponsor, HARRIS BEACH, PLLC and the AVMLA 2019 Luncheon Sponsor, ASPCA !  

Best regards, 

Andrea Ball
Executive Director

2019 Registration Links
Meet the 2019 AVMLA Session Speakers:
Cannabis & Companion Animals - 
What Attorneys and Veterinarians Need to Know (Stacey Evans, Esq. & Keenan Jones, Esq.)
Stacey Evans, Esq.
Stacey Evans, Esq.
Stacey Evans Consulting, LLC

Stacey Evans is the founder and CEO of Stacey Evans Consulting, LLC. In this role, Stacey examines legal and policy issues that impact veterinary medicine such as cannabis use, regulatory compliance, and malpractice. Stacey also develops strategies and policies that minimize the risk of veterinary professional liability and that increase access to veterinary care. In addition to helping animal health organizations, she works as an attorney with the federal government on ocean commerce issues.  Ms. Evans chaired the Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association (2016-2017) and the Maryland State Bar Association Animal Law Section (2012-2013). She served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health (2012-2015). 

Stacey appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Daily Record, on NPR, and on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy, where she discussed legal, legislative, and policy issues that impact animal health. She educated audiences about those issues at the conferences and events across the nation for various organizations including the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, Best Friends Animal Society, and United States Police Canine Association.

Stacey graduated from Tulane Law School. She is a member of AVMLA and the Federal Association of Regulatory Boards.

Keenan M. Jones, Esq.
Keenan M. Jones, Esq.
Senior Associate Attorney

Keenan Jones joined Hoban Law Group's Denver office in 2017 with years of litigation experience, focused primarily on property and contract disputes.  As the cannabis industry continues to grow, litigation between cannabis and ancillary businesses increases.

After passing the Colorado and Indiana bars, Keenan worked at a top law firm in Indianapolis on its commercial litigation team, working on complex property and contract cases, which allowed him the opportunity to argue before the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding the First Amendment rights of a local developer. After moving back to Denver, Keenan honed his litigation skills at an insurance defense firm, representing insurers, sureties, and business clients in construction defect, breach of contract, bad faith, collection, and transactional matters. 

A Midwestern native, Keenan spent most of his life in Ohio. He graduated summa cum laude from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. Keenan attended law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he graduated in 2012 as a member of the Order of St. Ives. During law school, Keenan participated in numerous trial advocacy competitions, and competed on the school's ABA Appellate Advocacy Team. He also worked in one of DU's legal clinics, nationally ranked among the country's top clinical programs.

Keenan enjoys reading, hiking, and going to the movies. In 2018, he and his wife, Regan, welcomed their daughter Maisie, and relocated to Ohio to be closer to family. Keenan now splits his time between Denver and Cleveland, where he hopes to establish HLG's presence in one of the country's newest cannabis markets
The Legal Perspective
The Opioid Epidemic as it Relates to Veterinarians
By: Frank C. Muggia, Partner, 

Opioid abuse is a nationwide epidemic. But, where do veterinarians fit in? Unfortunately, the epidemic has even spread to the animal world - recently, opioid abusers have attempted to manipulate veterinarians to obtain drugs.
For example, Tramadol is the most common opioid that veterinarians prescribe. Many veterinarians report pet owners asking for Tramadol by name, even for treatment which does not require any medication. Generally, opioid abusers go to veterinarians because it allows them to feed their addiction under the radar.
Legislatures have responded to this issue by enacting laws which impose strict requirements on veterinarians. For example, Maine enacted legislation in 2017 expanding their Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to include veterinarians. This legislation requires veterinarians to complete three hours of continuing education reviewing prescribing practices and also requires veterinarians to check the state's PDMP when prescribing opioids. This is no small task. To check the PDMP, veterinarians must first register with the state, and must require all pet owners to provide a birth date, full name, and valid photo id when prescribing pet opioids. Veterinarians must then verify the aggregate morphine milligram equivalent prescribed for the pet owner, confirm how many prescriptions that individual currently has for controlled substances and certify how many pharmacies are filling controlled substances for that person. That isn't all. Veterinarians must also include a Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") number on the prescription and comply with additional restrictions depending on the recommended dosage. Violations could result in a $250 fine for each occurrence capped at $5,000 per year.
Maine is not the only state enacting this type of legislation. States like New York and New Jersey also impose limits on the amount of opioids veterinarians may prescribe. In fact, New Jersey has some of the most stringent legislation in the Unites States - the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program only allows veterinarians to prescribe a five-day supply of opioids. Most other states impose supply limits of seven days or less.
The federal government is considering similar legislation. For example, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") is currently considering an amendment to its regulations which would require all animal drug sponsors to electronically submit certain adverse event and product manufacturing defect reports to the FDA.
The response from veterinarians has been mixed. While veterinarians are concerned about the nationwide opioid epidemic, many feel that the profession is not properly equipped to address a human epidemic. Some veterinarians believe such restrictions make more sense for physicians.
How then, should veterinarians address the avalanche of opioid legislation? They should learn what laws concerning opioid prescriptions are in effect in the states in which they practice and what laws are in consideration. This will help these medial professionals ensure that they are in compliance with the law and are not penalized for any violations.

Case Law Summary
By: John Scott, DVM, JD, Scott Veterinary Services


Salas v. Wellington Equine Assoc., 215 WL 12556296 (D. Fla. 2015)

Plaintiff, Camilo Salas, a licensed attorney proceeding pro se, is the owner of a horse that underwent a surgical procedure at Wellington Equine Associates and alleges that Katherine Schachter and Dr. Ben Schachter committed professional negligence or malpractice in connection with the surgery on the horse's leg. During the surgery Mrs. Schachter acted as nurse anesthetist and Dr. Schachter acted as assistant surgeon. Dr. Alan Nixon acted as primary surgeon. Mr. Salas
alleges Mrs. Schachter committed professional negligence in that the horse was kept under anesthesia for far too long resulting in injuries to the horse. Salas alleges that Dr. Schachter committed veterinary malpractice and/or negligence for performing an excessively long surgery and failing to take proper steps to prevent post-anesthetic myopathy and jugular thrombosis. Mr. Salas signed an Authorization for Treatment giving permission to Wellington Equine Associates to perform: general anesthesia; tenoscopy; post-surgical care; and, hospitalization. The Authorization also provided that Mr. Salas agreed to hold Wellington Equine Associates, its doctors and employees  harmless from circumstances arising out of the performance of their duties, and that the risks associated with the named procedures had been explained to him and he understood them fully.

Call for AVMLA Board of Directors Nominations

The American Veterinary Medical Law Association (AVMLA) is pleased to  announce the call for nominations for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors.  The Call for Nominations is now open and we are seeking candidates for District Directors.  
Directors serve a three-year term. Candidates may nominate themselves. As an AVMLA Board member, you will be asked to participate in conference calls and Board emails throughout the year, and contribute to committees and projects to advance the work of AVMLA. This is your opportunity to help mold the future of the AVMLA!

The minimum requirement to serve as a board member is an active membership in the AVMLA. Attendance of a 30 minute monthly Board of Director conference call (2nd Monday) attendance of the annual meeting,  as well as demonstration of leadership and advocacy will also be considered by the Nominations Committee when submitting a recommended slate of nominees to the Board for consideration.
Interested individuals should send a letter of intent and curriculum vitae by May 20th, 2019 to
In addition, a list of references or letters of recommendation may be sent at the discretion of the applicant.

AVMLA Membership & More

To renew your AVMLA Membership dues, simply renew  online , or you are welcome  to  download/print/mail your membership app to AVMLA, 1750 K Street, NW, Ste. 700, Washington, DC 20006,  email your app, fax  ( 202.449.8560)  or give our office a call at  202.449.3818.  

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