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Yvonne Ocrant practices in the areas of equine law, title insurance, employment law and commercial litigation. She is a trial lawyer and mediator.

Ms. Ocrant's equine law experience includes handling litigation involving the Equine Activity Liability Act and various other state and federal laws. She assists individual horse owners; trainers; breeders; riding, boarding and training facilities; veterinarians and other entities in the equine industry litigate and resolve claims for personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and other legal issues. She drafts contracts for horse purchases, sales, leases and commission arrangements, and creates equine liability releases for boarding and training facilities, trainers, transporters and other individuals and entities sponsoring or participating in equine activities.

Ms. Ocrant routinely represents employers under the full range of employment laws, including both federal and state discrimination laws on issues of race, national origin, sex, sexual harassment and religion. She also handles actions under state contract and tort law, including retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with contract, fraud, and invasion of privacy.

She defends numerous claims in state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Ocrant handles cases and provides counseling in matters involving ADA, ADEA, employee breach of fiduciary duty/confidentiality agreements, Equal Pay Act, FMLA, defamation, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Ms. Ocrant also handles unemployment cases before the Illinois Department of Employment Security and state court, and provides counseling on numerous unemployment matters such as willful and deliberate misconduct, voluntary termination, refusal of work, chargeability, contribution rates, independent contractor arrangements, and claimant work search requirements.

She also regularly represents title insurance underwriters, agents, mortgage brokers and lenders in resolving claims and litigation cases over title insurance issues.

Professional Background

Ms. Ocrant joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in June 1999. She was instrumental in the September 2011 update of the stable keepers lien section of the Illinois Innkeepers Lien Act, 770 ILCS 40/49, which replaced the state’s statute on liens against boarded horses, which originated in 1897.

In fall 2005, Ms. Ocrant completed intensive training in mediation from the faculty of Pepperdine University School of Law’s top-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Professional Affiliations

  • Professional Riders Organization, Member of Board of Directors and Chair of Law & Legislation Committee

  • American Bar Association, Member of the Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Wisconsin Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2012)

Presentations

Ms. Ocrant speaks extensively on the topic of equine law. Her presentations include:

  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," Purina Professional Horse Owner Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, September 2016.

  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," Purina Professional Horse Owner Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2016.

  • "Equine Law 101 — Important Legal Tips All Professional Horsemen Need to Know," American Quarter Horse Association 2016 Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2016.
  • "Protecting Your Passion: Understanding and Utilizing Equine Law to Minimize Your Liability Risk," Purina National Ambassador Meeting, Wellington, Florida, January 2016.

  • "Legal Issues for Equestrians and Equine Businesses: Protecting Your Passion by Understanding Equine Law to Manage Liability Risk," United States Dressage Federation Young Rider Graduate Program, Wellington, Florida, January 2016.

  • "Equine Law 101," North Phoenix Bar Association, Scottsdale, Arizona, September 9, 2015.

  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," Purina Professional Horse Owner Meeting, St. Louis, September 2015.

  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," Purina Professional Horse Owner Meeting, St. Louis, May 2015.
  • "Establishing Canadian Equine Syndicates," No Boundaries Educational Program, Florida Horse Park, Ocala, Florida, April 8, 2015.

  • "Transitioning Your Passion to Your Practice and Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," George H. Morris Gladstone Program, Annali-Brookwood Farm, Antioch, Illinois, June 2014.
  • "Transitioning Your Passion to Your Practice and Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Risk," George H. Morris Gladstone Program, Hamilton Farm, Gladstone, New Jersey, May 2014.
  • "Understanding Equine Activity Liability Exposure and How to Minimize Your Risk," Fox River Valley Pony Club Horsemasters Unmounted Clinic, Barrington Hills Riding Center, Barrington Hills, Illinois, April 2014.
  • "Equine Law 101," 2014 USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program, Wellington, Florida, January 2014.
  • "Equine Law 101," Chicago Bar Association Animal Law Committee, Chicago, November 2013.
  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding and Preventing Equine Activity Liability," Dover Saddlery, Libertyville, Illinois, May 2013.
  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding and Preventing Equine Activity Liability," United States Eventing Association Area IV Annual Meeting, Barrington, Illinois, March 2013.
  • "Equine Law 101: Understanding and Preventing Equine Activity Liability," Southern Kettle Morain Horse Trails Association, Palmyra, Wisconsin, March 2013.
  • "Understanding and Developing Horse Syndications," Eventing Owners Task Force Reception, Rolex Three Day Event, Lexington, Kentucky, April 2012.
  • "Equine Law 101," 2012 USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program, Wellington, Florida, January 2012.
  • "Smart Business Practices for the Eventing Professional," United States Evening Association Annual Convention, Scottsdale, Arizona, December 2011.
  • "Equine Law 101," McHenry County Horse Club, Woodstock, Illinois, November 2011.
  • "Equine Law 101: Reducing Personal & Financial Risks in Equine Activities," and "Understanding Horse Syndications So You, Too, Can Enjoy the Ride," Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market, Grayslake, Illinois, November 2011.
  • "Equine Law 101," Southern Illinois University Equine Science Department, Carbondale, Illinois, November 2011 and March 2011.
  • "Equine Law and Estate Planning," Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida, February 2011.
  • "Syndicating Horses," EquestrianProfessional.com live webinar, February 2011.
  • "Equine Law 101: Reducing Liability Risk in Equine Activities," NARHA 2011 Illinois State Meeting, Poplar Grove, Illinois, January 2011.
  • "Smart Business Practices for the Eventing Professional," United States Eventing Association Annual Convention, Scottsdale, Arizona, December 2010.
  • "Equine Law," Hinshaw and Northern Trust’s Equine Law and Estate Planning Seminar, Barrington Hills, Illinois, August 2010.
  • "Equine Law Seminar," Illinois Horse Fair, Springfield, Illinois, March 2010.
  • "Equine Law 101," Southern Illinois University Equine Science Department, Carbondale, Illinois, February 2010.
  • "Legal Aspects of Abandoned Horses," University of Illinois Extension Abandoned Horses Conference, live teleconference, October 2009.
  • "What Is Illinois Equine Law About?" University of Illinois Extension Kankakee County Stable Owners and Stable Managers Workshop, Kankakee, Illinois, March 2009.
  • "Reducing Risks in Equine Activities," Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market, Arlington Park, Illinois, November 2008.
  • "Francis Field Equine Law 101," New Lenox, Illinois, November 2008.
  • "Equine Law 101: Reducing Your Risk of Liability in Equine Activities," Trail Riders of DuPage, Wheaton, Illinois, March 2008.
  • "Ethics Law for the Equine Lawyer," 22nd Annual National Conference on Equine Law, Lexington, Kentucky, May 2007.
  • "Equine Law 101: Learn How to Protect Yourself from Liability and Loss," 2007 Illinois Horse Fair, Springfield, Illinois, March 2007.
  • "Mediation Preparation and Employer Strategies," Hinshaw’s Effectively Dealing with Current Labor & Employment Issues seminar, Oak Brook, Illinois, November 2006.
  • "Equine Legal Issues and Equine Insurance," Horse promoters seminar, Orland Park, Illinois, April 2005.
  • "Hot Topics in Equine Law," Purina Mills Horse Owner’s Workship and Equine Law Seminar, West Chicago, Illinois, March 2005.
  • "The Equine Activity Liability Act and Insurance for Equine Activities," Alfred Rubin Center, Naperville and New Lenox, Illinois, January 2005.

Publications

    • "Equestrian arts make Olympic cut, others hope for the same," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 27, 2016.

    • "Equestrian Advocates Debate Change and Olympics," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 31, 2016.

    • "Adding a Horse to a Sport Behooves New Legal Questions," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 29, 2016.
    • "Equine Liability Law Raises Concerns, Questions From Horse Enthusiasts," Wisconsin Horsemen's News, May 2013.
    • Co-author of “Recent Developments in Animal Tort and Insurance Law,” published in the Fall 2012 issue of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal.
    • Co-author of “Recent Developments in Animal Tort and Insurance Law,” published in the Winter 2011 issue of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal.

Author of "HEADS UP!," a monthly column on various equine law related issues published in Scribe, a monthly magazine sponsored by the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association. Ms. Ocrant's "HEADS UP!" articles include:

    • "Trainers and Owners: Same Team, Difference Rules?" October 2012.
    • "To Lien or Not to Lien . . . an Update on the Stable Keepers Lien Law," November 2011.
    • “Equestrian Helmet Laws: Are You in or out?” June 2010.
    • “Liability Under the Animal Control Act: Was the Horse Provoked and Does It Matter?” February 2009.
    • “What Happens When . . . My Horse Gets Loose and Causes Damages or Injuries to Other People or Property?” June 2007.
    • “Home Is Where Your Horse Is—But Is Homeowner’s Insurance Enough?” April 2007.
    • “Write Before You Ride: A Few Useful Tips on Horse Trailering Agreements,” May 2006.
    • “Understanding Barn Liability for Injury to Boarded Horses—The Three B’s,” November 2006.
    • "Litigate or Mediate? How Should You Resolve Your Equine Related Dispute?" January 2006.
    • "Trainer? Coach?: Who Are You and Why Should You Care? Understanding the Trainer Responsibility Rule," September 2005.
    • “Release and Indemnification Agreements for Minors: A Major Concern,” June 2005.
    • "How Can My Care Live on?—Answers to Your Questions About the New Illinois Pet Trust Law," February 2005.
    • "It's a Small World After All: Equine Issues Across State Lines," December 2004.
    • "Take It Outside—Resolving Equine Legal Disputes out of Court," July 2004.
    • "To Lien or Not to Lien: Recovery for Unpaid Equine Related Services," March 2004.
    • "Is Your Horse Attractive in Illinois," January 2004.
    • "How to Own Your Own," November 2003.
    • "Fearful Forms: The Dangers of Unedited Liability Releases," October 2003.
    • "Insure Against Insurance Mistakes," September 2003.
    • "How the Law Becomes the Law, and the Implications of Kush v. Wentworth," July 2003.
    • "Get It Insured," June 2003.
    • "An Introduction to the Illinois Equine Activity Liability Act," April 2003.

Community/Civic Activities

Provides pro bono legal services for the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society in Barrington Hills, Illinois.

Horsemen’s Council of Illinois, Member of the Board of Directors.

Education

J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1999

  • Executive Editor, DePaul Law Review

B.A., Northern Illinois University, 1995

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