University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2021

Course Description
This course will explore the evolving law and policy relating to the legal relationship between people and their companion animals. The issues addressed will span a wide range of legal territory, including torts, property, family law, estates and trusts, and criminal law. We will explore the legal status of pet ownership and discuss whether there should be addition changes to laws that consider animals to be property. For example, should disputes over custody of family pets be resolved by property distribution principles, the “best interest” of the pet, or other considerations? As pets increasingly become extensions of family, should restrictions be abandoned against non-economic claims for damages against veterinarians or other parties who cause harm to pets? How should our laws take into account the link between domestic violence and cruelty towards companion animals? Is there a duty to provide veterinary care and what is the scope of that duty? What are the legal and policy implications of the emergence of studies on the Human-Pet Bond? The course will explore these and other questions through simulations and discussion.

Short Course Attendance Policy Due to the small number of meetings, attendance to all meetings/classes for short courses is mandatory. Students who miss more than one class session (110 minute) of a 1-credit short course are subject to administrative withdrawal and will have a W for the course on their transcripts.

Course Schedule
Offering Dates: 03-10-2021 - 04-14-2021  

Dates Day Time Room
03-10-2021 - 04-14-2021   W  2:00 PM-3:50 PM DL

Course Frequency
Occasional course offering

Course Information

Credits: 1
Pass/Fail Option: No
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Assessment will be based on the submission of several short response papers, contribution to class discussions, and participation in a simulated legislative hearing.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes:
New Course
New Professor
Short Course
Course Delivery:
Online (all synchronous)
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Environment & Natural Resources - Related
Bar Subject(s): None
Environmental Law (Area of Focus)   More information
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
Additional Materials:
Course materials will be posted on the course's Blackboard page.  
First Class Assignment(s): TBD/None