Respected National Highly-rated equine law leader
Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law
A National Leader in Equine Law



Author of Books

No other lawyer has produced more educational material to benefit the equine industry.  

Equine Law & Horse Sense 

MORE Equine Law & Horse Sense.  These books have been required reading material at several equine studies programs.

Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Completeon certain matterson certain matters Guide for Lawyers  (co-author and co-editor). Julie authored chapters addressing contracts, insurance, and tort law.

Approved to write the American Bar Association's new Equine Law book!  Watch for more information.

Peer Recognition

Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys.  One of less than 20 attorneys nationwide to earn this prestigious designation. 

Equine Industry Honors

Recipient of these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

Boards and Organizations (Partial List)

  • Equine Land Conservation Resource (Advisory Committee)
  • Founder of “Equitana U,” one of the equine industry's first ever business & professional development workshops for professionals
  • Planning Committee, National Conference on Equine Law
  • Past Honorary Director, Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER)
  • Past Vice Chair, ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee
  • Past Chair, Animal Insurance Law subcommittee, ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee


Author of articles on Equine Law covering a broad spectrum of issues affecting people, organizations, and businesses in the industry.  Articles have appeared in more than 400 publications, including EQUUS, Riding Instructor, Horse Illustrated, and numerous websites.

Examples of Past Speaking Engagements (Partial List)

Julie's speaking engagements span 29 states and include: 

  • National Conference on Equine Law - speaker by invitation nearly every year since 1994 
  • Equine Affaire Convention for several years (Ohio, Massachusetts, and  California locations)
  • American Horse Council Annual Convention
  • American Youth Horse Council Annual Convention
  • U.S. Dressage Federation Annual Meeting
  • Two-Day Intensive Risk Management Seminars and Equine Contract Workshops at Virginia Intermont College (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013)
  • Savannah College of Art & Design Two-Day Intensive Risk Management Seminar 
  • The University of Findlay
  • American Morgan Horse Assoc. Annual Convention 
  • Hoosier Horse Fair 
  • National Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration
  • All-American Quarter Horse Congress
  • American Riding Instructors Association Annual Convention
  • Equine Nutrition & Physiology Nat'l. Symposium
  • Midwest Horse Fair
  • Michigan Hunter/Jumper Association
  • Cornell University "Horses 2001" Conference
  • U.S. Pony Clubs Annual Convention
  • Carriage Association of America
  • Midwest Dressage Association
  • Equestrian Professional National Teleconferences
  • Equine Land Conservation Resource Teleconference
  • International Paso Fino Horse Assoc. Conv.ention
    United Professional Horsemen's Assoc. Nat'l. Convention
  • North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Association Annual Convention
  • American Paint Horse Association Annual Convention
  • Carriage Operators of North America Convention
  • Michigan Horse Council International Stallion Exposition
  • North American Horse Spectacular
  • North American Horsemen's Association Conf.
  • Northern Illinois Horse Fest
  • Schoolcraft College Equine Educational Series
  • Michigan Quarter Horse Association Annual Convention
  • Michigan Horse Drawn Vehicle Association
  • Highland Equestrian Conservancy
  • Equine Spectacular Convention (Arizona)
  • Michigan 4-H Leaders Conference
  • National Dude Ranchers Association Annual Convention
  • California Dressage Society Annual Convention


No other lawyer has had more speaking engagements on Equine Law. Please contact Julie directly to inquire about her availability, rates, topics, and requirements. 

2013-2016 Speaking Engagements

2013   Eight states.  Agribusiness Conferences (California and Iowa); Washington State Bar Association (Washington); Wayne State Law School (Michigan); Michigan State University College of Law (Michigan); National Conference on Equine Law (Kentucky); National Business Institute (NBI) Nationwide Continuing Legal Education Webinar; New York State Bar Association (New York); Virginia Intermont College (Virginia); Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia).

2014  Three states. MSU/My Horse University Webcast on Sales Fraud, Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (California); National Conference on Equine Law (Kentucky); Midwest Dressage Association (Michigan); ABA national webcast on Equine Contracts.

2015  Eight states. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness Conference (Kansas City, KS); Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Des Moines, IA; Indianapolis, IN; Richmond, VA); Agribusiness Agent Conference (Kansas City, KS); State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section (Novi, MI); The University of Findlay (Findlay, OH);  Equestrian Professional National Webinar.

2016  Four states - and counting. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness Agent Conference (Kansas City, KS); Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Tampa, FL). 

Please check back for updates on future speaking engagements around the country. 



Julie I. Fershtman is a Shareholder with the full-service law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC.  She is widely recognized as one of the nation's best known and most experienced Equine Law practitioners.

The practice.  Crossing all horse breeds and disciplines, she serves a national clientele of stables, professionals, associations, businesses, show management, insurers, trainers, international clinicians, riding instructors, breeders, exhibitors, and individual horse owners.

Expertise.  She offers unmatched national trial, appellate, and arbitration experience on equine matters and has achieved numerous courtroom victories. In one year, for example, she won jury trials in 3 states, 2 appeals, and a major Federal insurance case — all on equine matters. 

Background.  A practitioner for nearly 30 years, Julie Fershtman graduated from Emory College and Emory Law School.  She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and has been admitted to practice in 17 jurisdictions as special (pro hac vice) counsel. She has drafted thousands of equine industry contracts and has litigated numerous disputes involving equine contracts and trandactions. 

Legal consultant.  If you already have a lawyer in your own state, she can be hired on certain matters as a consultant to help your lawyer (subject to a check for conflicts). 

Websites, Blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter

Personal website 

Firm website   

Please visit and like our Facebook Page

We're now on Twitter! Lawandhorsesense

Equine Law Blog: 

Our newest web domain:  

Services **

   Matters Handled

Examples of services:

  • Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, and partnerships.
  • Litigating disputes in the courts or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).
  • Defending equine/farm/equestrian professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.
  • Representing and advising insurance companies on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;
  • Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.
  • Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.
  • Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 

National Experience

Litigation experience in several jurisdictions nationwide as co-counsel including Florida, Illinois (3 cases), Missouri, Ohio (3 cases), Georgia, Arizona, Kentucky (2 cases), Connecticut (2 cases), South Carolina, Pennsylvania (2 cases), and Tennessee. Trial counsel before juries in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Connecticut.  [IMPORTANT: Please read further below regarding ethical restrictions and regulations for out-of-state matters.]

Legal Profession Honors & Awards

  Partial listing: 

  • The Best Lawyers in America,® 2013-2016 (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law)
  • "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2010.
  • 2008 - 2016 "Michigan Super Lawyer®
  • Listed in the "Top 50 Woman Lawyer in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2013 - 2016.
  • Listed in the "Top 25 Woman Business Lawyer in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2013 - 2016.
  • Peer selected as a "Leading Lawyer" in 2015.
  • "Women to Watch" by Crain's Detroit Business.
  • Named a Michigan "Top Lawyer" by DBusiness Magazine 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016.
  • Rated “AV” (highest possible rating for abilities and ethics) by Martindale,-Hubbell 
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law for decades.
  • Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40."
  • Highest rating (10.0/10 "Superb") by

Equine Industry Recognition

Recipient of numerous awards from prominent equine organizations for service to the equine industry (see list on left).

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Julie heads to California and Kentucky to deliver four speeches on Equine Law-related topics, a week apart.

Bar Leadership

  State - Past President (2011-2012) of the 44,000-member State Bar of Michigan.

  National - Past Vice-Chair (2005-2014), ABA Animal Law Committee

Results Delivered Year After Year

No lawyer can guarantee results, but we consistently strive to achieve them for our clients. Some recent examples:

- In 2015, Julie won a nine-day trial involving an equine sale dispute, representing the plaintiff.

- In 2014, Julie successfully defended a boarding and lesson stable against a lawsuit brought by a visitor who was injured in the barn aisle.  All claims dismissed.

- In 2014, Julie successfully defended horse owners against a claim for serious personal injuries that their horse trainer brought against them.  All claims dismissed.

- Julie drafted a boarding stable's contract, but a customer later sued the stable. On the strength of the contract, the trial court dismissed the case, and the court of appeals affirmed(2014).

- Julie's equine industry client was sued for defamation (slander/libel); in 2014, the court granted her motion to dismiss these claims.  Claims dismissed.   

   ** Should You Hire Ms. Fershtman?

Sometimes equine-related legal matters call for experienced lawyers who combine knowledge of the industry with significant experience in handling and resolving business disputes, insurance law, contracts, and complex commercial matters. Julie Fershtman has that experience. She deeply understands the equine industry and serves it honorably. She works tirelessly and aggressively on her clients' behalf.  Also, when matters occasionally call for other areas of practice, she can direct people to qualified partners and associates at Foster Swift or at other law firms, whenever possible.

 Visit the Firm Web Site


Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.
Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, PC
32300 Northwestern Highway,
Suite 230
Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334

Direct Phone Line: (248) 785-4731

Main Office Line: (248) 539-9900


Always take great care when choosing a lawyer for your legal matter. 

We're busy, but we always consider new clients. If you have a serious legal matter and want to hire Ms. Fershtman, please remember that we must adhere to ethical standards and regulations.  Please do not e-mail, fax, mail, or deliver details of your potential legal matter. (We might already represent the other side.) Instead, please call Ms. Fershtman's office [Direct line: (248) 785-4731 - Main law firm line: (248) 539-9900] so that we can check for potential conflicts and determine whether Julie Fershtman can assist you in some way. 

What state(s) does your matter involve? 

We cannot work alone in every state. Julie Fershtman has handled legal matters across the country, but ethical restrictions and regulations prevent her from working alone on matters outside of her state of licensure. She is licensed in Michigan. Hiring her on an out-of-state matter will usually require you to hire a local lawyer to work in some capacity with her.




Sold out!  Julie Fershtman's Equine Law & Horse Sense book series, which began in 1996, is sold out.  We're proud to have sold several thousand books. We apologize to those seeking copies.  Watch for the release of Julie's newest Equine Law book, which is expected to be published in 2017 by the American Bar Association. 

Lawyers and Paralegals:  Julie's co-authored book entitled Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers is available for purchase. Published in 2009 by the ABA, it includes sample court filings, letters, and agreements as well as detailed explanations of the law, with numerous statutory and case citations that people working in the legal profession will find helpful.