The Animal Law Section Officers serve one-year terms. Elections are held at the section’s annual meeting in conjunction with the State Bar of Texas annual meeting in June. A nominating committee is formed and nominees are solicited approximately 60 days before the election. Anyone interested in running for office or a council member position may contact the Chair of the Animal Law Section.
There are eight council members who serve two-year terms. The council is the governing body of the section.
Dawn Reveley, Vice Chair
Shelby Bobosky, Secretary
W. Michael Murray, Treasurer
Council Members 2018-2020
|Place 1||Lara Tomlin
|Place 2||Abigail Finch
|Place 3||Eric Torberson
|Place 4||Jenny Sigler
Council Members 2017-2019
|Place 5||Don Feare
|Place 6||Joel Hailey
|Place 7||Robyn Katz
|Place 8||Camila Cossio|
Below is the Animal Law Section Nominating Committee’s slate of Officers and Council:
- Chair-Michael Murray
- Vice-Chair Dawn Reveley
- Secretary-Fran Ortiz
- Treasurer-Kelle Jones
- Place 5-Don Feare
- Place 6-Joel Hailey
- Place 7-Randy Turner
- Place 8-Camila Cossio
DAWN REVELEY, Vice Chair, has practiced law for 33 years and is licensed in Texas and in Michigan. She has twelve years of complex commercial litigation experience. Dawn currently has her own practice, which she opened in October 1996. She practices business law and litigation representing small businesses, most of which are animal care providers. Dawn is one of the founding members of the Animal Law Section and has spoken nationally on animal & equine law issues and on the establishment of state bar animal law sections. She serves on the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and is active in animal-related businesses and hobbies. She has bred, trained and shown horses and golden retrievers for over thirty years.
SHELBY BOBOSKY, the Section’s Secretary, also is the President of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, a 501(c) organization whose mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through legislation, education and advocacy. Since 2011 and under her leadership as President, Vice President and Legislation Chair, the organization has had three successful legislative sessions wherein THLN successfully passed the Anti-Gassing Law (passed in 2013), the Mandatory Canine Encounter Training Law (passed in 2015) and the Animal Cruelty Enhancement Law (passed in 2017). Ms. Bobosky attended the University of Kentucky for her undergraduate degree, earning a double major in History and Spanish in 1996. She then attended the University of Tulsa Law School and spent a year as a visiting law student at Northwestern University School of Law graduating in 1999. In 1999, Ms. Bobosky moved from Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas, to begin her law practice. For the past sixteen years, Ms. Bobosky has continued practicing general civil litigation until recently when she decided to do only pro bono work putting in hundreds of hours for THLN as well as assisting animal welfare advocates and rescues when possible. Ms. Bobosky was heavily involved in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, co-chairing the Animal Welfare Committee for four years and raising thousands of dollars for local 501(c)(3) rescues during her terms. Ms. Bobosky has been Vice President and Board Member with THLN since January 2011. Ms. Bobosky served as the Co-Legislative Chairman for THLN in the 2013 and 2015 sessions. She has traveled thousands of miles with THLN in order to promote its mission. Ms. Bobosky and her husband, three boys and three rescue dogs live in Dallas, Texas.
W. MICHAEL MURRAY, Treasurer and recent Chair, commenced his career in the practice of law in 1975. He has been both in private practice and for several years was an in-house counsel for a large, publicly-traded company located in Austin, Texas. Mr. Murray currently has his own firm, Murray & Associates, PC, which is located in Austin, Texas and works mostly in the areas of business law, bankruptcy, probate and civil litigation. Mr. Murray has worked in the area of animal law, on a pro bono basis, almost since the beginning of his career. For many years he represented and was on the Board of Directors of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Inc. – which, among other things, operates from an animal refuge in the Texas Hill Country, comprising almost 200 acres. Mr. Murray also represents Austin Dog Alliance a multi-functional animal organization involved with dogs. Mr. Murray received his law degree from Saint Mary’s University Law School (1975), and holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Tulane University (1969). He did graduate work in accounting at the University of Texas at San Antonio (1975-77). He is admitted to the practice of law in Texas, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. States District Court, Western District Court of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
CAMILA COSSÍO is a Staff Attorney with the Oregon Law Center, where she serves the low-income community of Coos County. Camila also serves as Of Counsel with the Richman Law Group, primarily focusing on the firm’s animal welfare litigation docket. Camila received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her LL.M in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School. She is a recipient of the Richard J. Peppin Scholarship for Animal Rights and she has been a guest speaker at the Minding Animals Conference, the Animal Law Conference, and the Animal Rights Conference. Camila’s prose has been published in the Animal Studies Journal, among others.
DON FEARE has fought for animals for over twenty years with eighty-five percent of this practice dedicated to animal law. He has served on the council of the Animal Law Section from its early years. His cases include assisting in the seizure of the largest number of cruelly treated animals in history, involving some 26,000 animals, many dangerous dog cases, a suit against a university to stop a study exposing newborn deer to fire ants, shutting down the last remaining horse slaughter plant located in Kaufman and, suits against municipalities for unconstitutional dangerous dog ordinances. He has served as an appointed receiver and attorney for the receiver when animal organizations were seized by the State of Texas. Don has also served as both county and district attorneys in prosecuting civil seizures of large numbers of cruelly treated animals. He is an adjunct professor teaching animal law at Texas A&M University School of Law, served on the legislative committee of THLN, was recognized as a Top Ten Animal Defenders in America by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and, received the Animal Law Section Life Achievement Award for his work in animal advocacy. He has assisted in drafting animal law statutes and testifies before legislative committees. Don teaches a day long course for attorneys on defending dangerous dog cases as well as an annual constitutional law course for the Texas Animal Control Association. He is a regular guest speaker at local bar animal law sections and at the ALS annual Animal Law Institute.
ABIGAIL FINCH is an associate at Dwyer Murphy Calvert L.L.P., a boutique corporate law firm in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining DMC in 2017, Abigail was a corporate attorney in the Austin office of Baker Botts L.L.P. Abigail is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. She received her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was an active member of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. She received her B.A., in English and History, with high honors, from the University of Texas, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. During her undergraduate studies, Abigail was the recipient of the Rapoport-King Honors Thesis Scholarship and the Claudio Segre Best Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History for her thesis “Yeas and Neighs: the Decline of the Urban Horse” focusing on the removal of the work horse from New York City in the early 20th century. Abigail has been involved in animal rescue and animal welfare issues for many years, and is a lifelong equestrian. In her free time, Abigail enjoys riding and competing her horse, spending time with family and friends, and exploring the Austin hiking trails with the two rescue coonhounds she acquired because of her childhood love of the novel Where the Red Fern Grows.
JOEL HAILEY has a private practice of probate law in San Antonio where he was born and raised. Hailey received his bachelor’s degree and his Juris Doctor from Baylor University. A longtime leader in the fight to save animals in the San Antonio area and other parts of the state, Hailey has served as Chair and Council Member of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and Vice-Chair of the State Bar Council of Chairs – and he’s been a board member of various organizations such as the Texas Humane Legislation Network, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, and Spay-Neuter Assistance Program. Hailey has been featured in television, radio and newspaper interviews on his efforts as an advocate for animals – and he has helped lead the battle for laws and ordinances to protect animals. He has continued to write articles and make presentations at the Animal Law Section institutes and other seminars.
ROBYN KATZ served as the Chair from 2014-2015. After graduating with Honors from the University of Michigan, Robyn received her Master’s of Education degree at the University of Texas in the field of Sports Management. Immediately after, she became the Director of Community Relations and Marketing for the Austin Toros. In 2005, Robyn began teaching at Mendez Middle School, where I taught 6th grade Science and coached girls’ soccer. With a passion for the law, Robyn decided to return to school for my law degree, and attended Texas Tech University School of Law. While at Texas Tech School of Law, she became very involved in the community, especially animal welfare. During law school, Robyn competed in national mock trial and legislative competitions at Harvard and George Washington University, and was a finalist three times. Robyn was also the founder of the Student Legal Defense Fund at Texas Tech School of Law.
After graduating, Robyn worked as a legal fellow for an animal welfare nonprofit in Washington, DC. Late 2010, she moved to San Antonio and worked as is an Assistant District Attorney for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, in the Family Violence Division. In 2012, Robyn opened up her own law firm, the Katz Law Firm, and practices Family Law, Animal Law, and Wills, where 100% of her animal law practice is pro bono. Robyn has presented over 30 cases to juries, and over 500 cases to judges. Transitioning back to teaching, Robyn took a position with Austin ISD as a Criminal Justice teacher at Akins High School, where she will be teaching students about criminal law, court systems, and preparing them for legal careers. In her free time, she enjoy serving on the Board of the Hailey Foundation, volunteering with local animal shelters, working closely with Don’t Bully Me Rescue (a pit bull rescue), and spending time with her rescue mutt, Pedro.
JENNY SIGLER has been involved in animal rescue and welfare issues for many years. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and her juris doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2015. She graduated St. Mary’s in the top 15% of her class and was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. During her time at St. Mary’s, Jenny served as President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and won the State Bar Animal Law Section Student Writing Competition for her piece on ag-gag laws and factory farm animal abuse. She was a staff writer, and later Comments Editor, for The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race & Social Justice, and received The Scholar’s Community Service Award for her volunteer work at the Animal Defense League. She also worked at the St. Mary’s Center for Legal & Social Justice in the Civil Justice Clinic, where she represented indigent clients pro bono, and she received Community Service and Pro Bono Service Awards from the law school. Jenny currently serves on the Board of The Hailey Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides education and awareness on animal welfare issues. She has fostered and found homes for countless loveable dogs since moving to San Antonio in 2009, and enjoys the company of three wonderful rescue dogs of her own at home.
LARA TOMLIN is an assistant district attorney in Denton County, Texas. She has been with the office since 2010, works in the appellate division, and handles animal-related cases, including all the seizure hearings for cruelly treated animals. Lara is board certified in Criminal Appellate Law. She graduated from the University of North Texas with her bachelor’s degree, and from Texas Tech University School of Law with her juris doctor. She is a former director and former chairman of the board of directors for the Denton Animal Support Foundation, an organization that supports the Denton Animal Shelter and raised funds for the Linda McNatt Animal Adoption Center. She lives with her two rescue dogs, four hens, barn cat, human children, and partner Daniel.
ERIC TORBERSON is a private practice criminal defense attorney in the Austin area. He developed a passion for practicing animal law during the last 4 years, mainly defending dogs in dangerous dog hearings. Eric believes animals deserve due process in court. Many times it is a life or death decision being made. Eric graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2001.