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August 2019
AVMLA Welcome 2019-2020 National President
Frank C. Muggia_ Esq.
Greetings from the American Veterinary Medical Law Association! 
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the many supporters, professional colleagues, the board members and staff for the warm welcome that you have extended to me as the new AVMLA President. I couldn't be more proud or more excited to have the honor of serving the AVMLA in this new role

I am happy to report that the AVMLA is growing and expanding its mission, thanks to the leadership of my predecessor Debra Hamilton, Esq., a staff team whose dedication is unparalleled in support of the AVMLA, and a Board who exemplifies fiscal responsibility, collaborative partnership, and careful stewardship of the AVMLA and its future. 

The AVMLA contributes strategic resources and provides community leadership as we increase awareness and foster dialogue, partnerships, and collaboration around critical veterinary medical law issues.   The AVMLA is expanding its horizons and rededicating ourselves to our mission.
  • Provide information to members regarding pertinent issues in the field of veterinary medical law.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the impact of the law on all aspects of veterinary medicine.
  • Facilitate interactions among organizations, regulatory agencies and the courts for the benefit of society.
What can you expect to see in the upcoming months from the AVMLA?
  • An Expanded AVMLA News Brief
  • New Educational Programs for Medical and Law Students
  • Continuing Educational Webinars on Hot Industry Topics
  • The New AVMLA Members Directory with Advertising Opportunities
  • Corporate Sponsor and Partner Opportunities
  • Membership Tier Expansion
  • Animal Medical Law Advocacy
Put simply, what we "do" can be described using three simple words: Care. Connect. Educate. Whether you are a supporter, an industry professional, a volunteer, or a student, we serve as your advocate in the education of animal medical law.  I look forward to connecting in the months to come.  Thank you for your continued support of the AVMLA.

Best regards, 

Frank C. Muggia, Esq.
AVMLA National President
2019 AVMLA Continuing Education Conference Wrap Up 
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 Annual Continuing Education Conference held recently in Washington, DC. We hope you enjoyed yourself, took advantage of your time in our Nation's Capital, found the sessions informative and had the opportunity to network with other AVMLA members and your colleagues.

There are some wonderful photos from the Annual meeting, various activities and presentatio ns. I f you haven't done so already, please "Like" us on     Facebook , check out the photos from the event and tag yourselves!

Lastly, a  big thanks  to all our speakers and sponsors for supporting the conference, we could not have pulled together such an exciting and engaging event without you! We invite all attendees to visit each of the sponsors websites to learn more about their services and products below.

Please watch for upcoming details regarding the next AVMLA continuing education webinar. If we can provide you with any assistance regarding your AVMLA Member account, advertising in the Annual Members Directory, Corporate Sponsoring or volunteering for a committee, be sure and contact the AVMLA office at

Special appreciation the 2019 AVMLA SPONSORS

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

The presentation of court cases involving veterinary medicine is provided as a benefit to all AVMLA members. Our membership consists of both lawyers and veterinarians, some of whom have substantial interest in veterinary law as well as those who are new to the field. Consequently, I try to provide current cases when possible, but will also provide older cases if they consider a basic principle of veterinary law, especially if that principle differs from the law as it is applied to other areas. I encourage your comments on how to make this section better and  also solicit cases you become aware of which might be published in this format. In order to save  research time and expense, if possible please provide a written copy of the entire case in pdf  format. If you only have a cite to a legal reporter, I will try to locate the case and consider it for publication. You may contact me at or telephone 806-231-4678, 
John F. Scott, DVM, JD


Boswell v. Iowa Bd. Veterinary Medicine, 477 N.W. 2d 366 (Iowa 1991)

The Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine revoked the license of Dr. Boswell on the basis that he , inter alia, falsified test records, failed to properly supervise employees, and violated food and drug regulations regarding use of illegal animal drugs.

After Dr. Boswell's license was revoked by the Board he petitioned for judicial review. Following limited remand to the agency, the District Court affirmed the revocation. Both parties appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. Dr. Boswell appealed the decision of the Board challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the Board's decision and procedural irregularities that allegedly denied him a fair hearing. The Board cross appealed regarding the standard of proof used by the District Court in its review of the Board decision. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the District Court affirming the revocation action of the Board and reversed as to the cross appeal of the Board.

A party who has made a disclosure under Rule 26(a) must supplement or correct 

Dr. Holder's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Third Supplemental Disclosure of Expert Testimony  is hereby denied.

Davis v. Lyall & Lyall, Veterinarians

Davis v. Lyall & Lyall, Veterinarians, 506 So. 2d (Dist. Ct. App. 1987)

Veterinarians brought suit against Davis for refusal to pay her bill for treatment rendered for her horse. Davis counterclaimed that veterinarians were negligent in treating the horse resulting in its death. Summary judgment was granted by the trial court for failure to timely file an expert affidavit showing evidence of negligence.

Within a one-month period preceding the summary judgment hearing Davis lost both her expert witness and her attorney. At the hearing two days after Davis' first attorney withdrew, Davis' new attorney submitted an affidavit of a second expert witness that established grounds for a malpractice claim. The new attorney requested that the affidavit be considered even though it was not filed timely or that additional time be granted to file the affidavit and moved for a stay of the summary judgment order. The trial court denied those requests and entered summary judgment for the veterinarians. Davis then filed her appeal from the summary judgment. The appellate court reversed and remanded to the trial court.

The law favors adjudication on the merits and summary judgment should be cautiously granted in negligence or malpractice suits. While Florida Rules of Civil Procedure have been interpreted to require that affidavits in opposition to a motion for summary judgment be filed at least one day prior to the hearing, that requirement is not necessarily carved in stone. Exigent circumstances may relieve a party of such requirement. We think such circumstances existed here,
and failure to accept Davis' affidavit or grant a continuance constituted a breach of the trial judge's discretion.
In The News...
St. Peter Swine Vet Clinic co-owner pays largest fine for violations
The co-founder of Swine Vet Clinic in St. Peter is to pay a record $77,500 penalty after being reprimanded by the state.

Under an agreement with the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine, Timothy Loula must pay the penalty and follow a series of corrective actions.
Julia Wilson, executive director of the Board of Veterinary Medicine, said no one on the board can recall a larger penalty being paid by a vet. The high amount reflects concerns about the potential risk to the food supply over the way Loula handled certificates of veterinary inspections.

"Vets are asked to examine animals to make sure they can be shipped, particularly between states, because you don't want contagious diseases being spread," she said.

"They are to check the animal, fill (out the certificates) and then sign them. In this case Dr. Loula signed many before he looked at the animals or had his wife sign them."

His wife, Ruth Loula, is also a veterinarian at the clinic.
In a written statement to The Free Press, Timothy Loula said the clinic "is committed to high-quality veterinary care and is a world-leading swine veterinary practice.

"Last month, we resolved a complaint, originally filed in 2015, ... which was submitted by a partner who eventually left the organization. The factual allegations related largely to record-keeping and clerical accuracy. No allegations involved the quality of care we provide to pigs," Loula said.

He said the clinic, which has 15 swine veterinary consultants on staff, has "always been about continuous improvement, whereby we seek to learn, understand and implement new processes or ideas where they are applicable and feasible. We have identified areas where we were able to strengthen our practice by using technology and changing some of our documentation procedures, when appropriate."

The complaint said Loula authorized his wife to sign his name on the certificates of veterinary inspection and on his prescriptions, which isn't allowed by the state. Loula also had pre-signed certificates that were then completed by office staff.

The board also said that at times "prescriptions did not specify quantity or refills, and provided for unlimited refills (and) lacked information required by statue." The board said he also prescribed medications that were not approved for use in swine.

The board said Loula's medical records didn't consistently contain information required by the state.

The state inspected the clinic in June 2016 and found concerns about unlicensed individuals performing compounding of medications, inaccurate expiration dates, inadequate tracking of inventory and inadequate verification before dispensing medications.

Under the order issued June 12, which was signed by Loula and the board May 13, he must take continuing education on medical records and ethics and on compounding medications for use in food animals.

After the continuing education, the board will select five hog farms Loula serves and have a third party review all medical records for those sites to check for compliance.

If Loula fails to comply with any of the orders, the board could take further disciplinary action, including a temporary suspension of his license.
In The News...
Horse Abuse Bill Passes House
The AVMA Advocate

On July 25 , the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, which is a critical first step in ending the cruel and inhumane act of horse soring. AVMA has worked closely with lawmakers for many years to support this legislation, and this vote is a huge victory for horse welfare.

The bill was sponsored and championed by veterinarians in Congress, Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). Read their press releases here and here, which both include a statement of support from AVMA Immediate Past-President Dr. John de Jong. Now, the bill will go to the Senate for consideration.

The cruel and inhumane act of horse soring - deliberately causing pain to exaggerate a horse's gait and gain an advantage in the showring - has effectively been illegal for decades. But because of enforcement loopholes and ineffective self-inspection by the walking horse industry, this practice continues to be exceedingly common in events with Tennessee Walking Horses. 

Congress can close loopholes and end needless suffering of horses by passing the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, which would provide the enforcement mechanisms necessary to catch bad actors and preserve horse welfare. Fill out the form below to write Congress and ask them to crack down. 

In The News...
Landmark law against animal cruelty takes effect today in Arizona
Arizona Humane Society

Animal abusers could face much harsher penalties under a new anti-cruelty law that goes into effect Tuesday, Aug., 27.

The landmark law is called HB2671, and is designed to hold animal abusers accountable by imposing stiffer penalties for their crimes.
Until now, even the worst cases of animal abuse were classified as a "Class 6 felony," the lowest felony designation, and one that was often pleaded down to a misdemeanor.

That stops on Tuesday.

Now, prosecutors will have the option to charge a "Class 5 felony" and ensure the sentence reflects the severity of the crime for those who intentionally and knowingly inflict cruel mistreatment on voiceless and defenseless pets.
The law also stipulates that abusers receive supervised probation and treatment, a key component to getting abusers they help they need.

Valley shelters like the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) are celebrating the new law.
"There was an amazing outpouring of support for this legislation," said Dr. Steven Hansen, Arizona Humane Society President and CEO. "It is saddening that the worst abusers would get a simple slap on the wrist. We are so heartened that the people of our state have been heard and that pets have a voice."
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