Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law
- Animal & Dog Law
- Credit Cards Accepted
Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
I have specialized in this field for eight of my 21 year legal career. When deciding whom to chose for advice, remember the adage "you get what you pay for". My initial consultations start at $250. If retained, my hourly rate starts at $185 (nonprofits) up to $200. Animal Law is considered a specialty because it is both vast and obscure. The field includes any type of legal matter, whether it be criminal, civil, administrative or transactional, that affects the rights, standing and/or welfare of an animal or its guardian or third parties. It is a relatively new area of the law where sparse case and statutory law exists in terms of defining, establishing and protecting the welfare of animals and legal rights and responsibilities of their guardians or owners. As a lawyer who practices animal law exclusively, with a emphasis on protecting pets, I use the tools that the legal system provides to give animals a voice in both the litigation and transactional forums.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- English: Spoken, Written
- Managing Member, Senior Attorney
- The Piccone Law Firm LLC dba Colorado Animal Attorneys
- - Current
- In June 2013 I founded The Piccone Law Firm, LLC dba Colorado Animal Attorneys, with the goal of becoming Colorado's leading expert regarding pet legal issues. I provide compassionate yet aggressive representation to both pet and person, using best interest of animal analysis . I have provided hundreds of initial consultations to individuals, businesses and animal welfare organizations to craft unique solutions and weigh pros and cons of going to court or to trial, and lay out as many different options I can think of for a particular issue. In 1990 when I decided to become a lawyer, I never thought I'd become a criminal defense attorney; but these are some of my most important cases. I defend both pet and person for vicious or dangerous dog cases which could lead to the pet's death at the hands of the government. The next largest category of animal law I handle is civil litigation or negotiating with the opposing party (or insurance company) for custody disputes and liability issues.
- Associate Attorney
- The Animal Law Center LLC
- After taking some time off, somewhat disheartened about "the law" and my place in the field, I decided to explore options in animal law. I joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund and was offered an internship with a local animal law practice following a mixer sponsored by ALDF. I worked part time for free or later on for a small stipend so I could learn the field of animal law. During my 10-month internship, I quickly learned that attorneys practicing "animal law" must be fluent with divergent areas of the law. After 10 months I was ready to branch out on my own.
- Board Member
- Every Creature Counts
- I was a volunteer board member for a local no-kill pet rescue/high volume spay and neuter clinic. I obtained first hand experience of what animal shelters go through with the pet overpopulation crisis. I assisted with fundraising activities and social media operations.
- Associate Attorney
- Various insurance defense law firms
- Prior to 2012 I worked as an insurance defense attorney, litigating property, malpractice, serious injury and death cases. I represented both individuals and companies that had liability insurance coverage for alleged negligence. Later on in my carrier I also represented insurance companies in disputes with their insureds ("bad faith breach of contract being the main complaint"). Since insurance companies hire lawyers for their insureds (the defendants), the cases usually came down to what was the property or the injured or deceased person worth? How much money should be paid to the person or his or her family? Although I empathized with my clients and always defended them vigorously, I did not become a lawyer to save corporations money; I became an attorney to help people and make a difference in society. I did not become a lawyer to reduce an insured's chances of being covered under their paid liability or property policies. I decided to take a break and rethink my career options.
- Law clerk to Chief Judge John David Sullivan
- Colorado District Court Eighth Judicial District
- I was then Chief Judge John David Sullivan's law clerk. He presided over felony criminal cases, civil cases and adoption proceedings. He presided over a number of jury trials. Part of my job was to be his bailiff and keep order in the courtroom while simultaneously reviewing motions that had been filed and drafting legal memorandum or proposed orders. All this in the era before the court used laptops, tablets or smart phones, so everything was written by hand until I could go to my office when court was not in session. This was an invaluable experience.
- Felony Victim/Witness unit Volunteer
- Boulder County Colorado District Attorney office
- I very much desired to become a criminal prosecutor, so in my senior year at C.U. Boulder I volunteered with the local prosecutor's office in the felony crimes victim witness unit. I became close to several district attorneys, and obtained letters of recommendation for law school.
- University of Colorado Law School
- J.D. (1999) | Law
- University of Colorado - Boulder
- B.S. (1996) | Political Science
- Colorado State Bar  # 30934
- - Current
- PACFA Rule Changes for Petsitters and Rescues, Hopeful Hound
- No Kill Colorado
Websites & Blogs
134 Questions Answered
- Q. An ex girl friend is trying to keep a dog I paid for she says I gave to her and I have bi polar episodes she know about.
- A: Did you gift the dog to her? If it goes to court you could try to allege legal incapacity but at that point you are basically arguing your bipolar disorder makes you incapable of knowing what you are doing, i.e. incapable of managing your own affairs, so that's a pretty slippery slope and probably not one you want to try to navigate alone. You probably need an experienced animal attorney such as myself to navigate this potential minefield.
- Q. My ex and I recently broke up. With out my knowledge, she removed one of my dog from my apartment, and won’t return him.
- A: Did you push her? The protection order is a separate issue from the replevin. My advise would be to hire an experienced animal attorney who has litigated and WON dog custody cases. I've handled dozens of these kinds of cases and prevailed on quite a few.
- Q. Roommate asked myself and the third housemate for permission to get a husky puppy. We said no. She got the dog anyway.
- A: Your post makes me shudder in so many ways. FYI, It's a felony to "euthanize" a dog they way you are describing as one who "grew up on a farm". Your roommate has every right to keep property at her place of residence unless it violates the lease.
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