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Denver, CO, April 12, 2023 — The Animal Law Firm (ALF), which in 2022 became the first national law firm representing pets and their people, today announced the addition of two new associate attorneys to their team of lawyers devoted to animal justice. The team expansion is in response to pet owners' rapidly growing—and unmet—needs for legal representation on behalf of their pets, hobby animals, or service animals.   

The ALF comprises lawyers specializing in animal law who advocate for pet and animal owners seeking legal representation for criminal and civil cases involving their domesticated animals. The new ALF team members will begin practicing in Colorado, but the firm has already expanded into New Jersey and Pennsylvania to defend and counsel the growing population of individuals seeking specialized animal representation in those states. 

Cerridwyn Nordstrom, Esq., a legally-blind attorney based in Colorado, has joined the ALF team. As a guide dog user, Nordstrom is passionate about service dogs and their handlers. In addition to providing counsel for a wide range of animal law cases, Nordstrom will focus on service animal issues such as animal access and civil rights and discrimination cases. Nordstrom graduated from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind, the National Association of Guide Dog Users, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and the Colorado Disability Bar Association.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the outstanding team at The Animal Law Firm doing so much for animals and the humans they love,” said Nordstrom. “The rights of disabled individuals to have assistance animals need to be protected and made clearer; judges and the general public often misunderstand the role these animals serve and their human counterpart’s rights. I will strive to improve the quality of life for anyone who could benefit from having an assistance animal help them.”

Emily Ann Hynes, Esq. joins the ALF team with a degree from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University. Hynes views pet ownership as a means of preserving an owner’s well-being and independence and has advocated for their legal rights and for socially conscious sheltering of homeless pets. She has exceptional skill in solving landlord and tenant issues when animals are involved, protecting service animals and emotional support animal rights, and assisting pet owners in complying with city and county ordinances. 

“I am excited to join ALF and combine my two favorite things: pets and helping people. My goal at ALF is to help people keep their pets in their homes and understand the legal landscape around pet ownership. By helping our clients navigate legal problems pertaining to their pets, I aim to empower them and preserve their dignity,” said Hynes. “I am most excited to help improve the world's understanding of pet law. Colorado law, like in many states, sees pets as property; however, they are much more.”

The Animal Law Firm has a history of trailblazing the relatively new field of animal law and has set several precedents protecting animals and their owners. In a 2021 major appellate decision for animal rights in Colorado, ALF helped establish a precedent allowing unmarried couples to share custody of a pet after a breakup, rather than a judge needing to choose one person to be awarded custody. And in Pennsylvania in 2017, ALF established a dog owner’s right to sue a police department for the unlawful shooting of the owner’s dog and punitive damages when a court determined wrongful conduct.

ALF founder Kristina Bergsten, Esq. received her law degree in 2013, and holds many committee positions and award designations. She founded The Animal Law Firm in 2017.

“I couldn’t imagine two better additions to the Animal Law Firm team than Cerridwyn and Emily,” said Bergsten. “ALF has already made history in our field through our unyielding pursuit of justice for animals and their owners, and we’re just getting started. With these two on pet owners’ side, and a plan to serve more of the country’s animals, we’re excited to bring the fight for animal welfare into common conversation.”

About the Animal Law Firm: 

The Animal Law Firm, the first national law firm representing pets and their people, fights for the underdog. Operating as Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey’s premier animal attorneys, ALF handles cases involving dog bite defense, service animal representation, veterinary malpractice, pet custody, pet trusts, civil rights as they pertain to animals and animal ownership, and many other areas of animal law. The lawyers of The Animal Law Firm know how important our pets, service animals, and working animals are to us, and that’s why they use the tools of the justice system to help create a world in which animal welfare is the primary consideration in animal cases. 

ALF’s animal lawyers hold themselves to the highest standards of performance and ethics—and it shows in their winning track record. Learn more at theanimallawfirm.com or follow the Animal Law Firm on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and check out their podcast Fighting for the Underdog wherever you listen to podcasts.

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