Respected Trusted and Experienced National Highly-rated equine law leader
Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law
A Leading Equine Law Practitioner With National Expertise



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.  Several thousands of these books have sold. These books have also been required reading material at equine studies programs around the country.

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

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)

Author of Hundreds of Articles

Author of articles on Equine Law covering a broad spectrum of issues affecting people, organizations, professionals, and businesses in the equine industry.  More than 400 articles have been published in magazines that include EQUUS, Riding Instructor, Horse Illustrated, and numerous websites.

Author of the Nation's Leading Equine Law Blog

Author of the Foster Swift Equine Law Blog, which is the nation's largest and longest-serving blog devoted exclusively to Equine Law issues. 

Examples of Past Speaking Engagements (Partial List)

Julie's speaking engagements span 29 states and include: 

  • National Conference on Equine Law - speaker by invitation almost every year between 1994 and 2017 
  • Equine Affaire Convention for several years (Locations: Ohio, Massachusetts, and  California)
  • 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 National 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. Convention
    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 Annual Convention
  • Michigan Horse Council International Stallion Exposition
  • North American Horse Spectacular
  • North American Horsemen's Association Conference
  • Northern Illinois Horse Fest
  • Kansas Association of Insurance Agents
  • Schoolcraft College Equine Educational Series
  • Michigan Quarter Horse Association Annual Convention
  • Michigan Horse Drawn Vehicle Association 
  • AM Best National Equine Insurance Podcast
  • Highland Equestrian Conservancy
  • Equine Spectacular Convention (Arizona)
  • Michigan 4-H Leaders State Conference
  • National Dude Ranchers Association Annual Convention
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • California Dressage Society Annual Convention


No other lawyer in the world has spoken more extensively on Equine Law. For more than 25 years, Julie has given presentations around the country on a variety of Equine Law subjects, usually commanding repeat engagements. If you are interested in having Julie speak at your event, please contact her directly to inquire about availability, rates, topics, and requirements. 

2015-2020  Equine Law Speaking Engagements

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. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness & Farm Insurance Specialist Conference (Overland Park, KS); Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Tampa, FL); Equestrian Professional National Webinar.

2017  Four states. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Indianapolis, IN, Des Moines, IA).

2018  American Bar Association Annual Meeting (Chicago, IL); American Horse Council National webinar; Equestrian Professional National Webinar.

2019  Seven states. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); National Agricultural Claims Conference (Kansas City, MO); Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Richmond, VA; Des Moines, IA), U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting (Denver, CO), and Midwest Dressage Association Annual Meeting (Auburn Hills, MI).

2020  National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); University of Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law Symposium (Lexington, KY). 

Check back for updates on future speaking engagements. 



Julie I. Fershtman is an Equity Shareholder with the full-service law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, and also serves as a Managing Shareholder of the firm's Southeastern Michigan offices.  A lawyer for nearly 33 years, 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, equestrian coaches, breeders, exhibitors, clubs, and individual horse owners.

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

Background.  Julie Fershtman is a graduate of Emory College and Emory Law School. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and has been admitted to practice in 18 out-of-state jurisdictions as specially admitted (pro hac vice) counsel. She has drafted hundreds of equine industry contracts and has litigated equine-related court cases involving contracts, liabilities, and transactions.

Legal consultant - for those who already have lawyers. Sometimes, lawyers lack experience in horse-related matters or don't sufficiently understand the industry. Consider hiring Julie as a legal consultant to work with your lawyer while your lawyer handles the matter. (All consulting arrangements require a conflict check and written retainer agreement). 

Websites, Blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter

Personal website 

Firm website   

Please visit and like our Facebook Page

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, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.
  • Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).
  • Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry 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 insurers 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 (2 cases), 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 restrictions and regulations for out-of-state matters.]

Legal Profession Honors & Awards

  Partial listing: 

  • The Best Lawyers in America,® 2013-2020 (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law)
  • 2016 "Woman of the Year" for the State of Michigan by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
  • "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2010.
  • State Bar of Michigan 2019 Roberts P. Hudson Award, which is the State Bar's highest honor
  • 2018 Jean L. King Leadership Award from the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
  • 2008 - 2018 "Michigan Super Lawyer®
  • Listed in the "Top 50 Woman Lawyer in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2013 - 2019.
  • Named one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2020.
  • "Top 25 Woman Business Lawyer in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2013 - 2018.
  • Selected as a "2017 Notable Woman Lawyer in Michigan" by Crain's Detroit Business.
  • Peer selected as a "Leading Lawyer" in 2015-2019.
  • "Women to Watch" by Crain's Detroit Business.
  • Named a Michigan "Top Lawyer" by DBusiness Magazine 2009, 2010, 2015-2018, 2020.
  • 2016 "Woman in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
  • 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 has just been confirmed to speak at the 2019 U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.  

Bar Leadership

  State - Past President (2011-2012) of the 45,000-member State Bar of Michigan.

  National - Past Vice Chair (2005-2014) of the ABA-TIPS Section Animal Law Committee.  State Bar of Michigan appointed Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (2/2020 - )

Results Delivered Year After Year

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

- In 2015, Julie won a nine-day trial involving an equine sale dispute, representing the plaintiff.  Through the case, her client also recovered possession of horses from the defendant. 

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

- In 2014, Julie successfully defended horse owners against a lawsuit 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 lawsuit, and the court of appeals affirmed dismissal (2014).

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

   Should You Hire Ms. Fershtman?

Equine-related legal matters can demand lawyers who combine knowledge of the industry with significant experience in handling and resolving matters involving business disputes, insurance law, contracts, and complex commercial matters.  Julie Fershtman has that unique expertise. She understands the equine industry and serves it honorably and professionally. She works tirelessly and aggressively on her clients' behalf. 

 Visit the Foster Swift Law Firm Web Site


Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.
Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, PC
28411 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 500
Southfield, Michigan  48034

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 welcome new clients. If you have a serious legal matter and would like to hire Ms. Fershtman as your lawyer or legal consultant, please remember that we strictly adhere to ethical regulations that apply to the practice of law.  Please do not e-mail, fax, mail, or deliver details of your potential legal matter. (We might already represent the other side of your matter.) Instead, please call Ms. Fershtman's office [Direct line: (248) 785-4731; Main office: (248) 539-9900].  We will check for conflicts and determine whether she can assist. 

**What state(s) does your legal matter involve?

Regulations and ethical restrictions prevent Julie from working alone in every state. Although her expertise is national, and she has practiced in numerous jurisdictions around the country, ethical restrictions and regulations governing the practice of law 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 typically require you to hire a local lawyer to work in some capacity with her.




New Equine Law book is coming!  Julie drafted a new Equine Law book for the American Bar Association.  Publication is expected in 2019. Watch for more information.

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