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 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.
National Experience.** Litigation experience in 18 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. (Please see below regarding restrictions and requirements for out-of-state matters.)
Background. Julie Fershtman is a graduate of Emory College and Emory Law School. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Her areas of practice include business litigation, insurance coverage, and equine law.
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 for you. (All legal consulting arrangements require a conflict check and a written, signed retainer agreement.)
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
Legal Profession Honors & Awards
- 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," the State Bar's highest honor.
- 2018 recipient of the "Jean L. King Leadership Award" from the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
- 2008 - 2019 Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers®
- "Top 50 Women Lawyer in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2013 - 2019.
- "Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan" by Super Lawyers 2019.
- 2017 "Notable Woman Lawyer in Michigan" by Crain's Detroit Business.
- "Leading Lawyer" for 2015-2019.
- "Women to Watch" by Crain's Detroit Business.
- Michigan "Top Lawyer" by DBusiness Magazine 2009, 2010, 2015-2018, 2020.
- "Woman in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
- “AV” Rating (highest possible rating for abilities and ethics) by Martindale-Hubbell www.martindale.com.
- Listed in Who's Who in American Law for decades.
- Crain's Detroit Business "40 [Business Leaders] Under 40."
- Highest rating (10.0/10 "Superb") by www.avvo.com.
Equine Industry Accolades
Recipient of these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:
"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee
"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council
"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership
“Catalyst Award” - Michigan Horse Council
“Outstanding Achievement” Award - American Riding Instructors Association
"Partner in Safety" Award - American Riding Instructors Association
"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horsemen's Association
National "Partnership in Safety" Award - Certified Horsemanship Association
Results Delivered Year After Year
No lawyer can guarantee results, but we consistently strive to achieve them for our clients. Some examples:
- 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.
- Julie successfully defended a boarding and lesson stable against a lawsuit brought by a visitor who was injured in the barn. All claims dismissed.
- 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 of the case.
- Julie's equine industry client was sued for defamation (slander/libel); the court granted her motion to dismiss all of the claims. Motion granted/claims dismissed.
** Should You Hire Julie Fershtman for your legal matter? 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 has served it honorably and professionally for decades. She works tirelessly and aggressively on her clients' behalf.
• 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 and/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.
Bar Association Leadership
State - Past President (2011-2012) of the 45,000-member State Bar of Michigan.
National - Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (2019 - ); past Vice Chair (2005-2014) of ABA-TIPS Section Animal Law Committee.
Always take great care when choosing a lawyer for your legal matter.
We're very 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]. Julie or her assistant will check for conflicts.
**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.
No other lawyer has produced more educational material to benefit the equine industry.
Julie's speaking engagements span 29 states and include:
- National Conference on Equine Law - speaker by invitation almost every year between 1994 and 2020
- Equine Affaire Convention (Ohio, Massachusetts, California)
- American Horse Council Annual Convention
- American Youth Horse Council Annual Convention
- U.S. Dressage Federation Annual Meeting
- Hoosier Horse Fair
- All-American Quarter Horse Congress
- American Riding Instructors Association Annual Convention
- Equine Nutrition & Physiology National Symposium
- Midwest Horse Fair
- Cornell University "Horses 2001" Conference
- U.S. Pony Clubs Annual Convention
- Carriage Association of America
- U.S. Hunter/Jumper Association
- Equestrian Professional National Teleconferences
- Equine Land Conservation Resource Teleconference
- International Paso Fino Horse Assoc. Convention
- United Professional Horsemen's Assoc. Nat'l. Convention
- No. American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH Int'l) Conv.
- American Paint Horse Association Annual Convention
- Carriage Operators of North America Annual Convention
- Michigan Horse Council International Stallion Exposition
- AM Best National Equine Insurance Podcast
- National Dude Ranchers Association Annual Convention
- Washington State Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- California Dressage Society Annual Convention
- Equitana USA (California and Kentucky)
2019 Speaking Engagements: Seven states. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); National Agricultural Claims Conference (Kansas City, MO); "Agri Con" - IRMI Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Richmond, VA; Des Moines, IA), U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting on December 11, 2019 (Denver, CO), and Midwest Dressage Association Annual Meeting (Auburn Hills, MI); ABA GP-Solo "Hot off the Press" Podcast November 2019; Equestrian Professional National Webinar on December 16, 2019.
2020 Speaking Engagements (as of November 2019): Four states. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); University of Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law Symposium (Lexington, KY). "Agri Con" - IRMI Agribusiness Conferences (Sacramento, CA; Richmond, VA; Des Moines, IA). Also, ABA National Webinar on Equine Contracts & Liability January 14, 2020.
Please contact Julie for speaking engagements. Check back for updates on future speaking engagements around the country.
Equine Law and Horse Sense, Julie's newest book, is now available for purchase!
Designed for individuals, businesses, and organizations in the horse industry, along with the attorneys who serve them, Fershtman’s latest book provides readers with tools to assess their needs, plan ahead and take precautions to avoid legal conflicts.
This 372-page paperback covers numerous topics relevant to the equine industry, including contracts, liabilities and avoiding them, equine activity liability laws, loose horse liabilities, zoning and land use laws, business structures, risk management, debt collection, sales disputes, insurance and how to avoid disputes with insurers, association liabilities, veterinary malpractice, and numerous others.
Even if you already have Julie's first two Equine Law books, this is a book you'll want.
Click here for ABA Publishing order information.
Please Keep Up With Us! Visit Our Websites, Blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter
Julie Fershtman's Personal website www.fershtmanlaw.com
Foster Swift Law Firm website: www.fosterswift.com
Please visit and like our Facebook Page.
Equine Law Blog: www.equinelawblog.com