Distinguished Service Citation

Awarded to Katherine Bloomquist on April 11, 2003 by the Rotary Club of Chaska
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Paul Harris Fellow

Katherine Bloomquist was named as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International
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Dedicated Leadership Award

Katherine Bloomquist was recognized for her dedicated leadership and service to St. Francis Health Care Foundation from 1996 - 1998
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Outstanding Service Award

Awarded to Katherine Bloomquist from Minnesota Circuit Riders
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Rotary Club of Minnesota President

Katherine Bloomquist was the President of the Rotary Club of Minnesota from 2002 - 2003
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Service Award

Awarded to Katherine Bloomquist for chairing the Animal Law section from 2005 - 2007
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Filling the Niche

The term “general practitioner” is anathema to this specialist. By Joan Oliver Goldsmith Printed in June/July 2004 Minnesota Law & Politics Katherine Blomquist: No horsing Around The road to a niche legal practice often seems surprising while you’re living it, but inevitable in retrospect. Take Katy Bloomquist of Bloomquist & Berner. She left Minnesota to attend law school at the University of Oregon, because she was planning to ecome an environmental lawyer. But she found the atmosphere more radical than she had anticipated. “My fellow law students were chaining themselves to old-growth timber,” she tells the story. “Being a moderate Minnesotan I said, ‘I think you’re going to get arrested.’ ‘Of course,’ they replied. ‘Civil disobedience is the whole idea.’ It wasn’t my whole idea, so I switched my focus to corporate law.” After law school she returned to Minnesota to join Popham Haik, where Wayne Popham advised her that even hardworking associates need an outside interest. An avid horseman himself, he suggested riding. It was love at first canter. She signed up for six months of riding lessons, leased a horse and soon bought her own. Her first equine case came shortly after. The client had purchased a horse with undisclosed lameness and wanted her money back. As a young lawyer, Katy was flattered that a client with the wherewithal to engage high-powered corporate attorneys wanted her to handle the case. Why Bloomquist? The client had met her at the stable. So it has continued. “I’m an insider,” she says. “People don’t like attorneys anyway, so it gives them a comfort level.” Clients also benefit, because they aren’t paying for the time that a less specialized litigator would have to spend coming up to speed on equine anatomy and chemistry, as well as developing connections throughout the horse world.
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Building a Stable Clientele

Equine law practitioners building a stable clientele. Just out of the gate, their practice is off to a galloping start. By Barbara L. Jones Printed in Minnesota Lawyer, June 1999 Imagine a contract dispute about a piece of “property” that stands on four legs and is extremely temperamental, or a personal injury suit in which the “victim” has to canter into the courtroom. Meet Katherine Bloomquist and Barbara Halper, two Chaska lawyers who have a rather unique niche – equine law. Bloomquist and Halper joined forces in January, having originally met as competitors in a lawsuit. The two attorneys have been fortunate in being able to combine a friendship and their passion for horses into a practice which includes business and nonprofits counseling, contracts, and litigation. The lawyers’ pre-existing practices allowed them to build an immediate clientele for their firm. Their clients include professional and Olympic equine competitors seeking corporate endorsements to support the costs of competition. The partners are two of a “handful” of lawyers in the country who work in the sport horse world, according to Halper. “What sets us apart as equine practitioners is that we have both the practice and the hobby,” explained Bloomquist. The stable housing their horses is only five minutes away from where they practice. Hot to trot Bloomquist said that she has an appreciation for the nuances of a horse case that other lawyers don’t. In a recent case involving a corporate dispute, for example, Bloomquist represented an individual seeking possession of some horses under a temporary restraining order and replevin action. Bloomquist said she prevailed because the other attorney tried to make horses look like any other asset – which they clearly are not. “[Horses} can’t easily be replaced, even with dollars,” she said. “I was immediately able to give examples.” The lawyers’ expertise also comes in handy if a horse or a person gets hurt, according to Halper. “Because we know intimately the operations of the stables, we know who is in the line of fire if a horse gets hurt,’ she explained. In the saddle Halper is currently lobbying for a statutory amendment that would limit the liability of horse owners and others if someone is hurt while riding. “There are inherent risks in riding,” she noted. “Horses react at the drop of a hat. You can’t control them, so you shouldn’t be held liable.” Minnesota Statute sec. 604A.12, subdivision 2 presently limits the liability of nonprofit organizations for horse-related activities, she noted. At a minimum, said Halper, it should be extended to business and recreational activities. In the only reported equine law case in Minnesota, Bloomquist represented the victorious defendant – a stable. A horse owner sued in contract and tort over a horse’s lameness, alleging that it was caused by an accident at the stable. Bloomquist’s four experts testified about the lack of medical causation. The plaintiff initially had no experts, but ultimately produced one expert opinion to the contrary. The Supreme Court concluded that the plaintiff’s expert was not competent and reinstated the trial court’s summary judgment for the stable. That case is Gross v. Victoria Station Farms, 578 N.W.2d 757 (1998). Staying on Track Both lawyers came to their love of horseback riding as adults. Bloomquist was an attorney at Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman when she began riding. “Wayne Popham got me into riding,” she observed. “He told me I was working too hard.” Six months later, Bloomquist purchased a horse and is now preparing to compete in her first international event. With an active law practice and two children, ages two and five, she still generally rides her horse, Uncle Pete, six days a week. When Bloomquist is in trial, she gets someone else to ride him, “because he has to be exercised.” Halper started riding as an activity she could share with her 14-year-old daughter. Her daughter actually owns the horse, Shazaam. “[Shazaam] knows me and he loves me,” Halper stated. “I’m the treat lady, but he really comes alive when my daughter is around.” Halper acknowledged that it is scary to watch her daughter do jumps with the horse. “I mentally jump every jump with her.” Bloomquist, a 1989 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, practiced on her own in Chaska for five years before Halper joined her. Halper previously practiced in Golden Valley. She has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law (which she obtained in 1989). The lawyers also run a business-consulting firm, which is located in Solana Beach, Calif.
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Horse Sense at ABA Convention

Local equine lawyer brings some horse sense to ABA convention. Hay! Local equine expert speaks at ABA convention. Printed in Minnesota Lawyer, Aug 15, 2005 Edina attorney Katherine C. Bloomquist is riding high after being the first ever speaker on equine law at the American Bar Association (ABA) convention. Bloomquist, a regular speaker and writer on equine law, is chair of the MSBA’s Animal Law Section, as well as chair of the section’s Equine Law Committee. On Aug. 6, Bloomquist was off to the races, providing ABA convention attendees with a general overview of the practice area. Bloomquist is thrilled that after years of jockeying for a position among the various substantive law areas discussed at bar conventions, equine lawyers have finally been recognized as having a practice niche worth discussing. “Equine law has been around for generations and is recognized in Kentucky and on the East Coast, but not by lawyers in general as a specialty area,” Bloomquist told Bar Buzz. “It’s exciting that it is finally being recognized as a significant practice area.”
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The Attraction of Animal Law

By Michelle Lore Printed in Minnesota Lawyer, August 29, 2005 No longer just the pet cause of a few, this practice area is growing in leaps and bounds. With dogged determination, ferocious drive and a little horse sense, animal-law attorneys have dug out an attractive practice area. The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) two years ago approved the creation of an Animal Law Committee, granting it section status a year later. Last year, the American Bar Association (ABA) followed suit, establishing an Animal Law Committee as part of its Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Section. Four dozen law schools across the country are now offering courses in animal law – and at least 41 states have passed animal-related criminal felony bills, compared to less than a dozen a decade ago. Attorneys who regularly practice in animal law are pleased to see the increasing attention paid to animal-related issues, and remain convinced that the practice area will continue to expand over the coming years. “It’s a growing area,” said Edina attorney Katherine C. Bloomquist, who chairs the MSBA’s Animal Law Section. “There has been much more attention on animal law in the last few years than I’ve seen in the last 15 years.” Fridley attorney Barbara J. Gislason, who chairs the ABA’s Animal Law Committee, agreed. “The status of animals in our legal system is in flux and attorneys are discovering creative and interesting ways to use legal arguments in the face of increasingly complex scenarios,” she said. A new committee At the time the MSBA elevated the Animal Law Committee to section status in June 2004, the bar group was only the sixth state in the country to make animal law an integral part of its association. Gislason was instrumental in getting the committee off the ground and served as its first chair. She was also the impetus behind the ABA’s adoption of an Animal Law Committee last year. “I see myself as a pioneer,” Gislason recently told Minnesota Lawyer. “I am brining attention to an emerging practice area.” Like the MSBA Animal Law Section, the ABA’s Animal Law Committee (ALC) examines the current state of the law and animal-related issues. Its mission is to evolve the thinking on animal issues across the country and the world, and to examine animal-related problems. (See sidebar.) In an open letter to the ALC, Gislason notes that the public interest in animals is steadily increasing. Proof of the interest in animals and animal-related issues lies in the fact that there are 65 million indoor pets in the United States, most states have passed animal related criminal felony legislation and animal law courses are becoming common in law schools across the country. “It’s growing every month,” Gislason observed. A broad area St. Paul attorney Corwin Kruse, who taught a course on animal law at William Mitchell College of Law last semester and currently serves as vice chair of the MSBA’s Animal Law Section, pointed out that animal law covers elements of torts, contracts, intellectual property and criminal law. “Any area of law can have an animal law component to it,” he said. Bloomquist, who handles many equine law cases in particular, added that animal law as a practice area includes topics like animal rights, animal welfare and pet ownership issues. According to Gislason, animal law, when broken down into its component parts, has long been the subject t of the rule of law all over the world. “Orderly societies have wanted answers to questions like: who pays when an animal damages property or bites, where is it allowed to be, when and own can it be killed, how are risks managed, what constitutes a sale, what is the difference between lying and puffing, and under what circumstances will the treatment of an animal by a human be circumscribed.” Gislason wrote in the letter to the ALC. In addition to the already recognized practice area of equine law, specific issues falling into the area of animal law include: • the legality of estate planning for companion animals; • the changing liability standards and insurance coverage in dog bite and other animal cases; • compensation beyond fair market value when an animal is killed; • public and private conflicts about where an animal may be kept; and • the competing interest of wild animals and urban, farming and recreational land use. Because animal law is so broad and encompasses so many different areas, most people who practice in animal law today do it as part of a more general practice. According to Corwin, however, that may change. “As the filed grows, there will be more opportunities for people who want to do just this sort of thing,” he said. Gislason refers to attorneys practicing in animal law as “generalists” who are trying to build the field. “A lot of people who do animal law… will accept a case even though it’s outside their normal practice area,” she said. “They take on a broad variety of cases and stick their necks out because if they don’t do it, no one will.” Hot buttons Within the broad legal arena known as animal law, there are several more specific issues that are gaining particular attention these days. “Pet custody is hot,” said Gislason, noting that people are living with more animals now than children. Most states don’t have laws on the books in this area, but people think they do, Gislason observed. In reality, who gets a pet during a divorce is something that is completely within the judge’s discretion. With the nation’s high divorce rate, it makes sense to develop laws in the area of pet custody, she said. According to Bloomquist, pet trusts are another emerging area. It used to seem novel, but we are seeing more and more issues surrounding wills and trusts devoted to pet care after one’s death, she said. While more than half the country currently allows pet trusts, Minnesota is not one of them, despite recent efforts by attorneys to get such a statute passed, Gislason observed. “That is extremely upsetting to senior citizens.” Ownership of exotic animals – like tigers – and the legal issues it touches on, is another growing area, Bloomquist added. Examination of these issues involves the public’s and the county’s perspective on animal ownership, as well as consideration of the best interests of the animals involved. Change needed Practitioners also assert there are a variety of areas in the animal law arena that need to evolve, like veterinary medicine. “Veterinary malpractice laws have to change,” Gislason observed, noting that unlike medical malpractice premiums across the country, veterinarian premiums are less now than they were 10 years ago. Under current law in Minnesota, all a pet owner may recover in a case of veterinary malpractice is economic loss or replacement value of the pet. But many people would rather lose an expensive price of art than a beloved pet, Gislason opined. Corwin explained that while animals have traditionally been looked at merely as property, courts seem to becoming more sympathetic to punitive damage claims, especially in cases where someone intentionally causes the death of another person’s pet. “But it is still largely a property value claim,” he said. “The law hasn’t caught up with how we view animals.” Bloomquist added that questions are now being raised over the rights of the animals, as well whether pet owners can recover emotional damage for the loss of an animal. “We are seeing more requests for sentimental value,” she said. “New law is being developed there.” Gislason said that much of the work of the ABA’s Animal Law Committee and the MSBA’s Animal Law Section centers on bringing attention to these issues and implementing much-needed change. “There needs to be laws on the books that make sense,” she said. Sidebar: ABA Animal Law Committee’s mission statement The mission statement of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee provides: “The mission of the Animal Law Committee is to evolve out thinking on animal issues for both the United States and the world. By attracting the best and brightest lawyers in this country, with a wide variety of perspectives, we will look at animal related problems and issues today, and think about new ways to define, manage, and solve them. Utilizing problem-solving strategies, we will also look at the law as it exists today – fragmented around the country – and envision what it could be. The TIPS ABA Animal Law Committee will be the instrument of a paradigm shift, and will bring to the table and address legitimate business and economic interests, and humane concerns.”
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First Ever Speaker on Equine Law

Printed in Personal Notes Section of Sept 2005 – Bench & Bar Katherine C. Bloomquist was the first-ever speaker on equine law at a meeting in August for the American Bar Association. She is a regular speaker and writer on equine law. Bloomquist & Berner, LLC, focuses its practice on equine law, small business law, and employment and litigation.
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Bloomquist Speaks on Equine Law

Printed in The Waconia Patriot – People & Business Section - 2005 Katherine C. Bloomquist, Esq., was the first-ever speaker on equine law at the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Aug. 6. The ABA conducted its annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Ill. Aug. 4-9. Bloomquist is a regular speaker and writer on equine law. Bloomquist (Holub) lives with her husband David and two kids, ages 8 and 11 on their horse hobby farm in Cologne. In addition to her equine law practice, she trains and competes young horses in jumping and dressage. Bloomquist’s law practice involves the areas of commercial, business litigation, corporate and equine. She is recognized as a leader in equine law, and is a frequent speaker at the National Equine Law Conference in Kentucky, the equine law conference in California, and is regularly published on this subject. She has been a past president of Christmas in May, and past president of Chaska Rotary, and actively involved in other areas of the community. She received her B.A. degree in 1986 from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1989. She was a member of the National Moot Court Team, earning recognition as the top regional female oral advocate.
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Centennial Lakes Tenant Feature

When Katy Bloomquist’s life became too focused on work in 1990, her boss advised her to get a hobby. A horse enthusiast himself, he suggested riding. After six months of lessons, the city-raised corporate lawyer bought her first horse. Not long after that, she handled her first equine case. Now a talented three-day event competitor and retrainer of retired racing thoroughbreds, Bloomquist has also become one of the most recognized equine lawyers in Minnesota. “There aren’t many lawyers specializing in equine law, particularly in the Midwest,” says Bloomquist. “I found a need, a niche area of law that I’m interested in and understand.” As a fellow horsewoman, Bloomquist already knows about equine anatomy and chemistry, she uses the same jargon, and has established connections in the horse world. “I’m an insider to my clients, and they find that comforting,” comments Bloomquist. “They also benefit by not having to pay for learning-curve time, which a less specialized litigator would need to do.” Bloomquist’s partner, Matt Berner, is adding a new dimension to the practice – veterinary medicine. Berner’s wife, an equine veterinarian, is helping the two lawyers better understand the medical side of the industry. “It’s a natural fit and a dimension that will help our practice grow,” states Berner. “As a result, we’ll be better able to provide the full spectrum of equine law services.” Bloomquist and Berner, located in the 7701 Building suite 670, defend trainers, stables and horse owners in lawsuits involving riding injuries, as well as handle insurance defense and product liability. They’re also involved with Olympic athlete sponsorships and are representing more equine corporations and veterinarians. “About 80 percent of our case work is in equine law,” remarks Bloomquist. “The other 20 percent involves commercial and civil litigation for corporations and small businesses.” Bloomquist has also published numerous articles and has conducted many seminars on the topic of equine law. Bloomquist’s family shares her hobby. “We live nearby on a 20-acre ranch, retrain and sell horses in our spare time, ride together and even go on annual cattle drives in Montana,” shares Bloomquist. “My former employer’s advice has profoundly affected my life, which is now balanced.”
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