Nancy E. Halpern, DVM, Esq. represents clients in intellectual property matters. A licensed veterinarian in the state of New Jersey, Nancy previously served as Director of the Division of Animal Health for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and as Assistant Director of Livestock Disease Control for the state’s Division of Animal Health. Among her responsibilities in those roles, she led the state’s emergency response planning activities regarding animal care concerns in the event of a natural disaster or act of terrorism and researched, reviewed and drafted appropriate statutory regulations and amendments to comply with federal and state rules regarding animal care and safety as well as animal disease surveillance and control. Nancy also previously operated a private veterinary practice in New Jersey serving the medical needs of large animals. She also served as a resident in theriogenology at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine, a clinical instructor in ambulatory medicine at Virginia Tech Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and an ambulatory medicine intern at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

James Wilson, DVM, JD (Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine 1967) and [law] (UCLA 1973) practiced as an associate and emergency clinician in California before becoming a partner in a multi-doctor small animal practice in Concord, CA. He moved to Yardley, PA in 1986 where he became the Medical Director at the U of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school. He is a member of the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Medical Law Association and VetPartners™ Association of Consultants and Advisors. With Veterinary Pet Insurance sponsorship, he teaches veterinary law, ethics, career development and practice management at > 15 veterinary schools each year. When not teaching, he provides practice management and employment contract consulting services. Dr. Wilson has received the Student AVMA Teacher of the Year Award for clinical veterinary medicine and has authored 5 books and 135 articles on veterinary law and practice management topics. In 2011 he has partnered with Iowa State University’s CVM to provide a streaming video, classroom captured, 15-hour online Veterinary Law and Ethics and Career Development courses, each with over 300 pages of handouts. During the summer of 2012, Dr. Wilson and his son, Mike, managed and then bought a two-doctor small animal veterinary practice in Philadelphia. He now sees the world as a part-time practicing veterinarian and full-time practice owner, just as was the case 25 years ago.

Adrian Hochstadt, JD, CAE directs the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) state legislative and regulatory initiatives. He played a key role in creating and implementing AVMA’s state advocacy program, including monitoring and analyzing legislation, partnering with state associations in handling public policy and enhancing the visibility of veterinary medicine with state policy makers.

Mr. Hochstadt has 25 years of experience in managing government affairs programs and association management. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and his law degree from Northern Illinois University College of Law.  He earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 1999. He currently serves as president-elect of the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, and is a member of AVMLA and ABA.

Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton is the principal of Hamilton Law and Mediation, (HLM). She is an attorney mediator who works with pet people and pet service providers enabling them to pursue their passion of helping people, their pets and animals in general, while reducing exposure to litigation. She presents her programs, that teach people how to communicate without resorting to litigation, all over the country. She has been mentioned or featured in Forbes, US News and World Report, The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and the Chicago Sun Times.

Debra graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School in 1983, was admitted to practice in New York in1984.  Hamilton Law and Mediation PLLC;  6 Pioneer Trail,  Armonk, NY 10504;  Tel: 914.273.1085 [email protected]

Charlotte LaCroix, DVM, JD, owns and manages Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc., a legal and business consulting firm, and advises veterinarians and attorneys nation-wide on business and legal issues. Dr. Lacroix received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1988 from the University of California at Davis. After completing a large animal internship at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), she worked for several years at an equine medical and surgical referral practice serving northern New Jersey’s large equine community. In pursuit of her goal to make greater contributions to the veterinary profession, Dr. Lacroix attended law school and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Dr. Lacroix’s legal and consulting activities include: legal document preparation and negotiation; assisting practice owners in selecting and forming business entities; advising on all aspects of veterinary partnerships, including associate buy-ins, specialty and general practice governance and management, and partner retirement and withdrawals; negotiating and facilitating the purchase and sale of practices of all types; consulting on specialty practice “shared leases” and other commercial leases; assisting with all employment law issues; and advising on malpractice cases, animal law and other legal and business problems. Dr. Lacroix lectures extensively on all these topics nation-wide and overseas, and is a frequent speaker at AVMA, AAHA, NAVC, WVC, and other veterinary association and industry meetings and seminars. She is also an enthusiastic adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lacroix is a regular contributor to JAVMA, Veterinary Economics, DVM Magazine, Veterinary Forum, Partners in Practice, and AAHA publications. She has written numerous other articles, contributed to several books, and appeared on radio and television. Dr. Lacroix also volunteers her time and expertise to veterinary and other organizations, including AVMA, AAHA, AAEP, NJAEP, NJVMA, PVMA, and NAVC.

John E. Owens, MA, JD graduated from the University of Florida in 1991 with a degree in Zoology. In 1997 Mr. Owens received a Master of Arts degree in Education. After seven years as a high school science teacher and coach, Mr. Owens attended Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, graduating in 2007. Mr, Owens is admitted to the Bar in Florida and Maryland.Mr. Owens operates a solo practice concentrating on Veterinary Law, Small Business Law, Special Education Law and Estate Planning. He is a member of VetPartners, and is a Past-President of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association.Mr. Owens is married to Dr. Rebecca Owens. They reside in Crofton, Maryland with their 3 children.

Milton Toby, JD is an attorney and award-winning author with a home base in Central Kentucky. He opened his law practice in 1995, following two decades as a journalist, first covering Thoroughbred racing for The Blood-Horse magazine and later as a freelance photographer working in China, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Milt represented defendants charged with offenses ranging from simple misdemeanors to capital crimes in state courts and inmates on Kentucky’s Death Row seeking federal habeas corpus relief.

Milt also practiced equine law, a long-standing interest that led to numerous writing and teaching opportunities. He teaches Equine Commercial Law in the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program, a course that is extremely popular with students, and he is in the process of developing a course in Equine Regulatory Law. He served as Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Equine Law Section and as Chair of the Equine Division at Midway College in Kentucky.

His eight books include The Complete Equine Legal & Business Handbook, which is used as a textbook in undergraduate equine law courses at a number of colleges and universities (including his University of Louisville class).  His professional publications include “State Regulation of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Therapies: Defining the Practice of Veterinary Medicine in the 21st Century,” published in the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law, and “Agister’s Liens: How Much Process Is Due,” which appeared in Bench & Bar, the official publication of the Kentucky Bar Association.

Milt also has written extensively on equine law issues for lay audiences. In addition to feature articles for a number of print and online publications, his weekly blog “Horses and the Law” enjoyed a successful three-year run at His monthly column “Legal Bits” appeared in the Paint Horse Journal. Milt currently writes about legal issues for the equine industry and for veterinarians at and