An active participant in equine activities, Yvonne Ocrant uses her extensive knowledge of the industry to help individual horse owners; trainers; breeders; veterinarians; farriers; and riding, boarding and training facilities with their legal issues. She represents individuals and entities in claims involving the Equine Activity Liability Act, personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and other legal issues. Yvonne also drafts contracts for horse purchases, sales, leases, breeding arrangements, syndicates, and commission payment terms, and creates equine activity liability releases for boarding and training facilities, trainers, transporters and other individuals and entities providing, sponsoring or participating in equine activities.
Yvonne further adds value for her clients by advising them on a full range of labor and employment matters. She represents clients with issues involving all types of federal and state discrimination laws, breach of fiduciary duty/confidentiality agreements, the Equal Pay Act, FMLA, and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. She also counsels on unemployment matters, and has defended a number of client cases before the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state and Federal courts.
Additionally, Yvonne advises clients on actions under state contract and tort law including: retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with contract, fraud, and invasion of privacy. She also represents title insurance underwriters, agents, mortgage brokers and lenders in resolving claims and litigating cases over title insurance issues.
Yvonne was instrumental in the September 2011 update of the stable keepers lien section of the Illinois Innkeepers Lien Act, 770 ILCS 40/49. The revised law replaced the state's statute on liens against boarded horses, which originated in 1897.
- Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Member
- Eventing Riders Association of North America
- Board of Directors
- Law & Legislation Committee, Chair
- American Bar Association
- Animal Law Section, Equine Law Subcommittee, Member
- Chicago Bar Association, Member
- Illinois State Bar Association, Member
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member
- Wisconsin Bar Association, Member
- The Florida Bar, Member
Yvonne speaks regularly on risk management and liability issues confronting participants throughout the equine industry. Some of the organizations and events she has presented before include, among many others:
- 22nd Annual National Conference on Equine Law
- Alfred Rubin Center
- American Quarter Horse Association Annual Convention
- Chicago Bar Association Animal Law Committee
- Dover Saddlery
- Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market
- Eventing Owners Task Force Reception
- Five Ring Stables, LLC/Carter Eventing
- Fox River Valley Pony Club Horsemasters Unmounted Clinic, Barrington Hills Riding Center
- George H. Morris Gladstone Program
- Hinshaw and Northern Trust's Equine Law and Estate Planning Seminar
- Hinshaw's Labor & Employment Seminar
- HITS Thermal
- Horse Promoters Seminar
- Illinois Horse Fair
- McHenry County Horse Club
- NARHA Illinois State Meeting
- New Lenox
- No Boundaries Educational Program, Florida Horse Park
- North Phoenix Bar Association
- Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
- Purina Mills Horse Owner's Workshop and Equine Law Seminar
- Purina National Ambassador Meeting
- Purina Professional Horse Owner Meeting
- Purina Professional Horse Owner VIP Meeting
- Southern Illinois University Equine Science Department
- Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trails Association
- Spruce Creek Trails Association
- Trail Riders of DuPage
- United States Dressage Federation Young Rider Graduate Program
- United States Eventing Association Annual Convention
- United States Eventing Association Area IV Annual Meeting
- University of Illinois Extension Abandoned Horses Conference
- University of Illinois Extension Kankakee County Stable Owners and Stable Managers Workshop
- University of Minnesota Equine Extension Program
Equine Activity Liability Acts
- "The Purpose of the Equine Acts," The Midwest Equestrian, Spring 2018
- Co-author, "Limiting Your Equine Liability Under Minnesota Law," University of Minnesota Equine Extension Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 2, February 2018; republished by Farm Forum, February 5, 2018
- Co-author, "Understanding Minnesota's Equine Liability Statute," University of Minnesota Equine Extension Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 1, January 2018; republished by Farm Forum, January 8, 2018
- "Three Days, Three Ways, One Law," EventingUSA, May/June 2017
- "Equine Liability Law Keeps Dangerous Sport in Stride," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 16, 2017
- "Equine Liability Law Raises Concerns, Questions From Horse Enthusiasts," Wisconsin Horsemen's News, May 2013
- "Can My Liability Protection Under the Equine Act Differ From State to State?," From the Horse's Mouth, September 2009
Other Laws Impacting the Equine Industry
- "There Is No Such Thing As a Free Horse," The Midwest Equestrian, Summer 2019
- "Parental waivers, indemnity depends on your state," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 31, 2018
- "Reliable Releases," The Midwest Equestrian, Summer 2018
- "Equestrian Liens have as much Kick as all Other Liens," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 30, 2018
- Co-author, "Transferring Your Equine Liability Risk to Another Party," University of Minnesota Equine Extension Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 3, March 2018; republished by Farm Forum, March 19, 2018
- "Recent Developments in Animal Tort and Insurance Law," Animal Law Annual Survey, Winter 2017
- "Resolving Equine Legal Disputes Without Kicking up a Fuss," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 17, 2017
- "Equestrian Helmet Laws: Are You In or Out?," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 30, 2017
- "Adding a Horse to a Sport Behooves New Legal Questions," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 29, 2016
- Co-author, "Recent Developments in Animal Tort and Insurance Law," American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Winter 2011, Fall 2012
- "Equestrian Helmet Laws: Are You in or out?," Horse Council Courier, Vol. 2, Summer 2010; From the Horse's Mouth, June 2010
- "To Lien or Not to Lien . . . an Update on the Stable Keepers Lien Law," From the Horse's Mouth, 2011
- "The Debate on Equine Dentistry: Should the Vet be a Dentist or the Dentist be a Vet?," From the Horse's Mouth, May 2009
- "Liability Under the Animal Control Act: Was the Horse Provoked and Does It Matter?," From the Horse's Mouth, February 2009
Equestrian Olympic Sport Issues
- "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
Author of "HEADS UP!" articles on various equine law related issues published from 2003‒2012 in Scribe, a monthly magazine sponsored by the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association. Yvonne's articles include:
- "An Introduction to the Illinois Equine Activity Liability Act"
- "Fearful Forms: The Dangers of Unedited Liability Releases"
- "Get It Insured"
- "Home Is Where Your Horse Is—But Is Homeowner's Insurance Enough?"
- "How Can My Care Live on?—Answers to Your Questions About the New Illinois Pet Trust Law"
- "How the Law Becomes the Law, and the Implications of Kush v. Wentworth"
- "How to Own Your Own"
- "Insure Against Insurance Mistakes"
- "Is Your Horse Attractive in Illinois"
- "It's a Small World After All: Equine Issues Across State Lines"
- "Liability Under the Animal Control Act: Was the Horse Provoked and Does It Matter?"
- "Litigate or Mediate? How Should You Resolve Your Equine Related Dispute?"
- "Release and Indemnification Agreements for Minors: A Major Concern"
- "Take It Outside—Resolving Equine Legal Disputes out of Court"
- "To Lien or Not to Lien: Recovery for Unpaid Equine Related Services"
- "Trainer? Coach?: Who Are You and Why Should You Care? Understanding the Trainer Responsibility Rule"
- "Trainers and Owners: Same Team, Different Rules?"
- "Understanding Barn Liability for Injury to Boarded Horses—The Three B's"
- "What Happens When . . . My Horse Gets Loose and Causes Damages or Injuries to Other People or Property?"
- "Write Before You Ride: A Few Useful Tips on Horse Trailering Agreements"
- October 29, 2018
- Part III: Suzanne Jones and Yvonne Ocrant Discuss Transferring Equine Liability Risk by using Indemnity AgreementsMarch 20, 2018
- February 6, 2018
- January 24, 2018
- June 12, 2017
- May 31, 2017
- May 31, 2016
- April 7, 2016
Yvonne continues to actively train and compete in the equestrian sport of Three-Day Eventing with her off-track Thoroughbred gelding. Yvonne trains along-side her husband, who is also her full-time trainer, with his Oldenburg gelding. She trains in Ocala, Florida December through April, and broadened her practice as a licensed Florida attorney in an effort to continue both her training and client representation during the winter months.
- Provides pro bono legal services for the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society in Barrington Hills, Illinois
- Horsemen's Council of Illinois, Advisory Counsel and Former Member of the Board of Directors
- Eventing Riders Association of North America, Member of the Board of Directors
J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1999
- Executive Editor, DePaul Law Review
B.A., Northern Illinois University, 1995
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana