I work in KCMO and help pet owners and businesses with animal related matters, as well as family law and general criminal defense.

I have never seen the Always Sunny episode. Sorry.


EDIT: Gotta run and catch stuff at this Clio Conference. Thanks for the questions, everyone!

Comments: 206 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

ndnihil249 karma


birdishlaw82 karma

I have watched quite a bit but haven't gotten to that one!

callawake51 karma

I'm calling kangaroo court.

birdishlaw23 karma

Okay, Rick.

Boner_Mountain13 karma

It's literally a running gag for the last six years

tomgremlin4 karma

I find it strange no one has mentioned this to her by now.

birdishlaw2 karma

Because I didn't get to the season it started yet. My friends told me about it and I've watched the McPoyle trial on YouTube.

thatlonghairedguy98 karma

so do you love harvey birdman, or not?

birdishlaw61 karma

Love is such a strong word.

Uz3rNam3z84 karma

What is the average air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

birdishlaw134 karma

African or European?

Uz3rNam3z46 karma


birdishlaw41 karma

Would you like to come to Camelot?

bug-hunter74 karma

1.) Do you get to let parrots testify?

2.) What's the most ridiculous "dangerous dog" case you've had?

3.) What's your favorite emotional support animal?

Edit: 4.) Favorite Muppet, and why is it Sam the Eagle.

birdishlaw58 karma

  1. Nope, but never had an occasion for that to come up either...
  2. Any time the "victims" don't show up.
  3. Dogs. They can do so much as service animals and ESAs.

AB_Parker33 karma

Do you also practice Tree Law?

birdishlaw46 karma

Only the birds in the trees!

SloppyChili32 karma

How does the Rule of Perpetuities impact your animal law practice?

birdishlaw60 karma

It depends.

orangejulius31 karma

Where Seabiscuit's genetic lineage is Blackacre.

birdishlaw44 karma

Law school flashbacks... I'm not crying, you're crying.

richterjw30 karma

Why animal rights law? And how did you get into it?

birdishlaw60 karma

It's not so much animal rights as it is helping pet owners. To me, animal rights is the pie in the sky idea that isn't really attainable without a lot of laws changing or fighting that fight like ALDF, at least in my state.

I started by getting involved in the Animal Law Society and then got a position as student certified attorney with the city prosecutor's office and helped with the animal dockets specifically. I learned a lot and learned that it is more about education and help than punishing people. From there I saw a need to help owners and here we are, it's a growing practice area for me.

orangejulius30 karma

Have you ever had to deal with hybrid domestic and wild animals? What do you do?

birdishlaw104 karma

Had client get a ticket for a "wild/hybrid animal" in the city limits. Didn't know what type of animal it was until he came and I REALLY wanted it to be an ocelet (insert Archer references please). It was a Bengal cat. They were using WIKIPEDIA as their basis that this Bengal was a hybrid animal. I had an expert witness lined up and the city was going to bring in the zoo's vet. Then the cat passed away before trial and the city threw out the ticket. I really wanted to try that case! I think the judge would've agreed with me.

JustSomeBadAdvice19 karma

Not sure how costly these are but couldn't a blood/genetic test establish this beyond reasonable doubt?

birdishlaw33 karma

It's an option but takes time to get. Still need someone to talk about the results, too.

crofabulousss3 karma

But a bengal is a hybrid... A cross between as Asian leopard cat ( Prionailurus bengalensis ) and the domestic housecat.

washoutr66 karma

They have less than a 16th in most cases.

crofabulousss3 karma

But all bengals have varying degree of hybridization.

birdishlaw6 karma

And at the D4 level of breeding, they're deemed domesticated according to vets.

sdubois25 karma

is bird law in this country governed by reason?

birdishlaw18 karma


orangejulius25 karma

Are animals property or something more in the legal world?

birdishlaw39 karma

MO considers animals property, which is good and bad depending on what the situation is. There have been states assigning special status to animals, but not here for a bit.

QuelqueChoseRose22 karma

If you could have one law animal-related law passed, what would it be?

birdishlaw67 karma

Something to help owners when pets are stolen or hurt by someone.

danhakimi11 karma

What is it now, just conversion/other property crimes? Why are those insufficient?

birdishlaw26 karma

You can do a conversion claim and all of that, but if you have two competing owners what do you do? And there's not really a clear civil claim for someone hurting your pet intentionally.

TuckRaker21 karma

Do you employ a pet detective?

birdishlaw23 karma

Ace is too expensive. And no need for a private investigator yet!

djtopicality20 karma

Did you have anything to do with the June 2017 bar exam MPT question about bird law

Also who's your favorite KC rapper

birdishlaw18 karma

No idea what was on the exam in 2017. What was the question??

mcmaples19 karma

Emotional support peacock... yes or no?

birdishlaw42 karma

ESA is tricksy, but I would say no, not reasonable. They're not a companion animal.

NoThereIsNone18 karma

Do you think that there's going to be new guidance forthcoming on ESAs, especially in housing? Right now the practice seems to have gone way beyond initial intent. I believe some Canadian provinces simply forbid no-pet clauses in leases, which would be a simpler approach, but I doubt that would ever fly here--what do you think?

birdishlaw19 karma

Not sure, I think it's worth exploring. I just don't want to diminish those who actually need an ESA.

CompleteZilch16 karma

What, in your opinion, is the worst bird?

birdishlaw45 karma

Any that shit on my car.

Also seagulls.

Alexylotl16 karma

What is the highest amount of money you've seen (or heard of) at stake in a case relating to "bird law"?

birdishlaw34 karma

There have been a couple police shooting dogs situations with high settlements (I think a million or more?). That's all I can think of right now. I know a colleague of mine got a significant settlement for death of a dog in KS.

foxonabox111 karma

What issue would you say you see the most in regards to businesses and animal related matters?

birdishlaw15 karma

Businesses want to protect themselves with service agreements. That's been my focus so far.

privilegelog11 karma

In law school did you know that you'd go into this area? Do they even have classes on animal law?

birdishlaw12 karma

I knew I wanted to but I never really knew how until I got into the city prosecutor's office. I've been looking for more and more ways to help ever since.

high_verbal11 karma

What are some typical animal-related matters?

birdishlaw28 karma

I help a lot of dangerous dog claims. City ordinances on this are VERY poorly written: vague and unenforceable. In one city near me, if your dog looks the wrong way at someone and that person feels threatened (and reports it), your dog can be deemed dangerous. It's absurd. I also help with abuse and neglect claims for people. I have also helped a couple cases where there were agreements for purchases of dogs and then those agreements fell through.

gerritvb9 karma

How difficult is it to find legal research resources in this area of law? Are you usually breaking relatively new ground when you file complaints?

birdishlaw24 karma

Actually, it's using well articulated areas of law and applying them to my situations. Judges so far have been really receptive to this idea and it helps them have something to guide their decision. I have not yet had to pave the way for new law but maybe soon!

NYLaw9 karma

Did you get that thing I sent you?

birdishlaw4 karma


nodray8 karma

i smoke a cigarette a day, on my back porch. about halfway through i can count on this stupid bird swooping down and stealing it and flying off. this bird has now gotten cancer, and is trying to sue me. what do i do?

birdishlaw9 karma

Laugh at him until you get served.

Manumitany8 karma

What do you think about litigation and cases where humans are attempting to assert rights on behalf of non-humans, e.g. the case that argued that the animal that snapped that selfie with a photographer's camera should own the copyright (and thus receive revenue)?

birdishlaw17 karma

It's a slippery slope and could potentially cause more problems than intended. However, I think there does need to be some better protections and laws for owners of animals.

KeroseneBlast8 karma

What city or county ordinance related to your work would you change if you had the opportunity?

birdishlaw36 karma

Breed Specific Legislation. It does nothing but cause problems for the city and hasn't actually helped prevent attacks.

blauhausk96 karma

Is there BSL in KCMO? I'm super surprised to hear that, there are a lot of APBTs there

birdishlaw15 karma

KCMO currently has a mandatory spay/neuter, which is better than BSL but not perfect. However, there are other nearby cities that do have the bans. Not sure what APBT stands for and too lazy to Google right now.

wordsmif7 karma

My wife desperately wants to get a mini-horse, but our city's ordinances regarding such a beast are vague. The city is deferring to county regulations, which don't really cover mini horses. We just don't want to just get a mini and hope it all works out. What's the bet way to proceed?

birdishlaw7 karma

You probably want to look into local laws with an attorney in your area.

mcmaples5 karma

Bird law?... Have you represented a bird yet?

birdishlaw20 karma

Do you know who I am? Do you even go here?

GhettoPippi5 karma

What are the big differences between repping domestic animal owners/dealers/breeders/etc. versus wild animal owners (like zoos)?

birdishlaw17 karma

Wild animal owners have strict liability issues that make it much harder to get any leeway. Also, zoos have way more issues than just animal related things, like slip and fall and employment problems. Domestic animal owners (cats, dogs, pigs, ferrets, etc.) face more city and county charges that have more flexibility in how to solve the problems they're facing.

Moose_Hole4 karma

Don't you know about the bird?

birdishlaw9 karma

FranklyTom3 karma

Are there any birds you think you would refuse to represent?

Do you have any Caw-caw-tionary tales to tell?

birdishlaw14 karma

I am not sure I can say I wouldn't represent a specific bird, but I would love to represent a flamingo.

JustSomeBadAdvice4 karma

They're really really stinky. You sure about that?

birdishlaw18 karma

I don't have to live with it, just represent it!

voonoo3 karma

How do you speak to the birds, then translate it for the court?

birdishlaw2 karma

Hire an expert.

wangdingus3 karma

Is it legal to keep a hummingbird as a pet?

birdishlaw16 karma

Going to depend on what city/state you live in! I think KCMO might say no, but I'd have to check for sure. Also, this is not legal advice and I'm not your attorney. :)

BellieButtons5 karma

Wouldn't keeping a hummingbird as a pet violate the Migratory Bird Act though?

birdishlaw7 karma

Very true! Looks like a federal permit is needed. Good luck getting one.

enderspades2 karma

Saw this post at the top of my page after I lost all 4 of my parakeets today due to my parents’ neglect. They left the cage outside and some animal opened it, letting all of them escape. All the responsibility falls on me but for some reason my parents refused to spend a dime to send them to the vet when my birds are ill (and I can’t afford it being a student).

I’m afraid they’ll just buy more parakeets to keep themselves company but neglect them again. Is there any way to somehow prevent them from buying any more birds? I’m already mourning the loss of my birds and I don’t want anymore to be hurt.

birdishlaw7 karma

That's rough and is going to depend on your relationship with your parents. Legally the thing I'd recommend is reporting to local animal control. That may not be possible for you if you need to preserve your relationship with your parents. Practically though, you could try to figure out how to tell sellers not to sell to them, assuming you know where they're buying from.

Reminder that I'm not your lawyer, just brain storming.

NoNiceGuy712 karma

Why did the chicken cross the road? Was it legal for it to cross the road where it chose to cross or was the chicken J-walking? Are any other charges pending on the chicken?

birdishlaw10 karma

If the chicken is loose and not confined, he's a criminal! Well, his owner is anyways.

blauhausk92 karma

This is kind of a rabbit hole question, sorry. Are you familiar at all with the current dichotomy within the world of dog training that is balanced trainers vs force free trainers? Basically people who use all 4 quadrants of operant conditioning vs those who try to use only two. The dog training industry is entirely unregulated, and a lot of people on both sides want some sort of legally recognised regulation for the industry, but the main argument is who decides the rules of regulation. What are your opinions on this, if any? Also any opinion on tool bans, and whether or not it is acceptable to entirely legally ban the use of a physical training tool due to an ethical bias against using them, as well as there being very few recent and thorough studies citing the points that one side argues for in different contexts beyond people training pet dogs poorly?

birdishlaw10 karma

There is a lot to this and I'm not very knowledgeable on it. I'd have to reach out to some trainers and vets for opinions. Off the top of my head, it probably depends on what the dogs are being trained for. Police dogs and service dogs have different outcomes to their training. Then you have dogs that need basic obedience training. Regulations may be a good option and I would imagine it would have to be a legislative push to get a certificate through one of the state boards (vet, probably?). It'd be interesting to delve into and see if it's something that could be done without pissing off the farmers in MO (their lobby is huuuuge).

ryek2 karma

Joe's or Jack Stacks?

birdishlaw2 karma

Depends on how I'm feeling but usually Joe's.

Talia_Nightblade2 karma

What's your stance on the rights of emus?

Note: if this question seems odd, take a look at my user flair in r/bestoflegaladvice

birdishlaw6 karma

I'm missing context and can't see because I'm on my phone. However, I don't want to start any emu wars.

flying_goldfish_tier2 karma

Did you go to bird school? Do you enjoy your job and would you have ever thought this is what you'd end up doing? Or, as a child, did you just one day sit down and go, "I'M GONNA BE AN ANIMAL LAWYER!"?

birdishlaw3 karma

I do like my job a lot! It's stressful but the pros outweigh the cons. Also, I didn't grow up thinking it, but as soon as I knew I wanted to go to law school I wondered if I could.

Duke_Paul1 karma

Do you have a fursona, and is it a bird?

Also, considering that Bird Person's marriage to Tammy was based on a false identity, is it binding or nah?

But really, what's the craziest case you've had (that you can tell us about)?

birdishlaw8 karma

No fursona.

I think my family law cases top my animal cases.

jukeboxhero101 karma

Harvey is that you?

birdishlaw2 karma

Who is asking?

puntaserape1 karma

Can they force my Scarlet Macaw to testify against me in court or is it like my spouse?

birdishlaw8 karma

... Are you married to your macaw?

foxonabox11 karma

Judgment or Judgement and can we be friends again?

birdishlaw13 karma

Judgment in the USA. We never stopped being friends! Let's go see how to help your fox get out of the box.

trojanwombat0 karma


birdishlaw2 karma

Or you know, the mod was sitting next to me at the time. There's that, too. Also the picture is from my Facebook page. Reverse Google search that.

privilegelog-7 karma

will you post bikini pics?

birdishlaw19 karma

You first.