Valparaiso Law Professor Rebecca J. Huss to Receive Award for Work in Animal Law
CHICAGO, July 20, 2011 – The Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section will honor Valparaiso University law professor Rebecca J. Huss with the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award. Presented annually, the award recognizes exceptional work by a member of an international, national, regional, state or local bar association’s animal law committee who has advanced the humane treatment of animals.
The award will be presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto at the TIPS Animal Law Committee Awards Reception, Aug. 6, at 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.
“Rebecca Huss is one of the leading voices in the country on the laws regarding companion animals and service animals,” said TIPS Animal Law Committee Chair Mariann Sullivan. “Her work has brought much illumination to the confusing patchwork of laws that govern our relationships with these animals. In addition, her work as the court-appointed special master/guardian in the Michael Vick dog fighting prosecution was truly groundbreaking in encouraging the recognition of the American pit bull terriers seized in that case as crime victims.”
Huss teaches courses in business associations, mergers and acquisitions, animal law, securities regulation and business planning, and has fostered a popular and active animal law program. Prior to beginning this position in 2004, she served as an associate professor of law (2002-2004) and assistant professor of law (1999-2002). Huss was a visiting professor of law at Stetson University College of Law (fall semester 2006), the University of Iowa College of Law (summer session 2006) and Notre Dame Law School (spring semester 2005).
Prior to joining the law faculty, she also served as an attorney for the Fort Dodge Animal Health Division of Wyeth (1998-1999), an associate in the corporate department of Husch Blackwell Sanders (1996-1998) and as an associate in the corporate finance and business/tax/ international departments of Perkins Coie (1992-1994).
Huss earned her Master of Laws in international and comparative law from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1995, her Juris Doctor magna cum laude in 1992 from the University of Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Va., and her Bachelor of Arts in 1989 from the University of Northern Iowa, where she minored in international studies and graduated with highest honors.
She is actively involved in many organizations including the American Bar Association’s Section of Business Law and the American Veterinary Medical Law Association. Huss is a founding member of the TIPS Animal Law Committee in which she has actively participated since its founding in 2004 and currently serves as chair-elect-designee, vice-chair and co-chair of its Companion Animal Subcommittee. She also served as co-chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Animal Law and chair of the American Association of Law Schools Animal Law Section.
Huss is renowned for her service as guardian/special master handling the disposition of the dogs seized in the Michael Vick dog-fighting prosecution, which involved working intimately with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide for the humane disposition of the dogs. She also played an instrumental role in the drafting and ultimate adoption of ABA Resolution 108B, urging all federal, state, territorial and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to enact laws and implement policies to ensure the humane treatment and disposition of seized animals in a timely manner, which was approved by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2011.
She has been the recipient of many awards including the U.S. Department of Justice, National Asset Forfeiture Award for Outstanding Investigation or Case (July 2009); 2008 President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency and Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency Award for Excellence; Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; and the 2008 Law Enforcement Public Service Award from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance, and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 25,000 members and 32 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS website, www.americanbar.org/tips.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.