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Personal passion for horses

Karen Thompson-Harry has a passion for horses and practices equine law. She believes the horse world is a very small world, full of interconnections. It is also very emotional, as we have strong attachments to our equine friends, and sometimes the parties lose their perspective. Karen believes the collaborative model or the mediation model can successfully settle equine disputes. The lawyers assist the parties to identify their respective interests and goals, to acknowledge and listen to the interests and goals of the other side, and to be prepared to compromise.

Karen owns two dressage horses, one of which she competes on (Whisper Champion) and the other (Corrigan) she sponsors Tom Dvorak riding and competing on. Karen is a member of the "Officials Committee" of Dressage Canada.

Practice areas

Karen’s equine practice has included multifaceted types of cases. They range from as simple as preparing a Bill of Sale, or Offers to Purchase, Purchase and Sale Agreements, to litigation over a "purchase or sale gone wrong".

Anyone who has ever owned a horse can appreciate the numerous issues that come along with horse ownership. There are relationships with veterinarians, coaches, boarders, property owners, insurers etc. Equine law may involve "contracts" (boarding/leasing/breeding/purchase and sale etc.), liabilities (negligence, nuisance, personal injuries), insurance questions, or employment law.

For example, should you have insurance? What is the purpose of the insurance policy? It is basically a contract between yourself and the insurance company. It could involve liability insurance (if someone gets injured on your property while riding a horse, or if a horse gets loose and causes an accident, for example) or equine mortality insurance (life insurance for your horse!)

What is negligence? What is the standard of care? Someone can be negligent without ever intending to be. Intention is not the key factor. The conduct must fall below the legal standard that has been established to protect others. That is sufficient to qualify as "negligence".

It makes sense to have a lawyer as part of your "team" when issues arise, but it helps to involve your lawyer early on, even before issues arise. As a result of Karen’s experience as a horse owner, boarder, competitor, and property owner, ensure she is able to offer a level of expertise many other civil litigators cannot.

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Karen Thompson-Harry
1 Wellington Rd. 124
Erin, Ontario

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