K9 In Training -
Professional and Expert Witness
Dan Chase, an expert witness in the field of dogs, he has been deposed in court cases multiple times around the US.Dan has been a dog handler, certified and accredited dog trainer for more than 20-years. His includes but not limited to; experienced in worked with Professional Prison Search and Riot Control Dogs, USAR Dogs, DASAR Recovery, Service Dog Trainer, Certified Dog Trainer, and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Dan provides services to both plaintiff and defense attorneys, insurance companies as well as city/county/state prosecutors and public defenders. His is experienced and available for consultation, review, deposition and trial testimony.His expertise includes:
Dan is all-breed expert with specialty knowledge in the Insurance Black Listed Breeds, Bully breeds (American Pit Bull Terrier, and all its relatives) Rottweilers, Doberman, as well as other Mastiff-based breeds.
- Dog bite investigation
- Dog bite analysis
- Dog behavior
- Temperament evaluations
- Behavior and/or training issues
- Animal cruelty cases
- Service dog training and evaluations
- Dog related laws and requirements
- AKC rules and protocols
- ADA rule for Service Dogs and their handlers
Do you have a case you'd like to talk about?
Dog Bit Legal Issues:
Any attorney, company and/or person involved in litigation involving a dog, will want to retain a K9 expert at the earliest possible moment. The dog owner, company, prosecution, insurance adjuster and both counsels (plaintiff and/or defendant) may know little or nothing about the real reasons why the dog in question bit the victim.
There are three types of K-9 experts who can assist an attorney. The investigation of a dog bite case, and be admitted to provide expert testimony on selected issues within their area of education and experience:
- Plaintiff(s) Counsel:
Tends to focus only on the Laws (Leash Laws, City/State Dog Bite Ordinance and more). Basically looking only at what the owner should/could had done better. Will never focus on anything their client(s) did to encourage the bite (i.e. Contributory Negligence). The victim always has to prove "WHY" the dog bit.
- Defense Counsel:
(Civil or Criminal) will try to mitigate the criminal charges, legal fines and/or civil suit to a lower amount. Many defense attorneys, may not understand that the plaintiff may/did add to the reason they got bit. In fact, the "only" study on this subject concluded that legal provocation occurs in only 6.5% of dog attacks.
- Home Owner Insurance Adjuster:
If they do their job (to minimize payouts) will generally try to put as much fault own their client--minimizing their cause to pay.
Sometime criminal charges come due to issues involving a dog bit--they should want an expert to present facts and/or evidence. Prosecution's job is to gather and present the facts, not find guilt.
Each of these can assist an attorney with the investigation or opposing expert witness of the dog and the incident itself. However, not all of them fare the same in court. One of the recurring issues in dog bite litigation is the admissibility of expert testimony. Common objections are that the witness is not actually an expert on the subject to which he is speaking, and that the subject is not one that requires an expert to expound upon. Therefore if the witness might have to testify, his qualifications and the topic of his testimony require careful scrutiny.Nevertheless, as with every type of litigation, it is essential to carefully identify the issues before selecting one type of expert over another. For example, in a dog bite case that involves a chronically ill dog, a veterinarian would be competent to testify about the diagnosis of the illness, a behaviorist could testify about the dangerousness of the dog but could not diagnose the illness itself, but a veterinary behaviorist could testify about both the diagnosis and the dangerousness of the dog.In other words, different issues may require a different kind of expert. In a case that involves a pit bull used as a fighting dog, for example, an animal control officer or a trainer who rehabilitates fighting dogs might be far more pertinent and convincing than an academic expert. Which expert to use, therefore, depends on both the qualifications of the available experts, and the issues presented by the case.Dog bite law is far more complex than might be indicated by the old cliche that "every dog is entitled to one free bite." It is a unique combination of city and county ordinances, state statutory law, state case law, and common law. There are many possible grounds for liability. One of the most overlooked grounds for liability is negligence per se based on violating a local public health and safety law such as a leash law, dog trespass law, or prohibition against dogs running at large. In states that do not have strict liability statutes, a violation of local law often is the only ground for liability. If you have to rely on this type of cause of action, research key terms such as "dog, bite, negligence, negligence per se, class" (the reason for "class" is that the court decision usually mentions the fact that the victim is a member of the class of persons intended to be protected under the animal control statute, which is an element of negligence per se liability).
- Commercial or Private Professional (Trainers, Handlers and Breeders)
These are those who work with animals as a profession. Those experienced with handling and/or training dogs, can assist with the investigation and cause of a dog bite case or, in court, might be qualified to render opinions about negligence, temperament, socialization, training, the customs and business of training, and provocation.
- Civil Professional (Animal Control Officer, Police Officers and such)
These will know the laws and ordinances, maybe experience with dangerous dogs, can assist with the investigation of a dog bite case or, in court, might be qualified to render "opinions" about compliance with local laws that could form the basis of a negligence per se claim.People who have
- Academia or Science Professional (Behaviorist, Veterinaries and such)
Academic and/or Science Based Training, can assist in investigating the facts pertinent to and provide opinions about negligence, temperament, the breed of dog, the "parents" of the dog, socialization, training, health and provocation, and can testify about a broad range of important issues relevant in dog bite cases, most notably the causation issue.
Involved in a Law Suit Involving a Dog Issue