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From Your Equine Law Firm: What You Need to Know about New Horse Sale Law

Dual agency and bill of sale requirement in California

Would you buy a home if your real estate agent was representing both you and the seller?  Some might consider it a conflict of interest.

It’s been illegal for many years for a real estate agent to represent both buyer and seller without both parties being completely in-the-know.  This has not been the case when it comes to horse sales in California – until now.

Equine attorney and civil litigation lawyer in California

Understanding the basics of the new California Business & Professions Code 19525 can help ensure a smoother horse purchase or sale, and help you better understand if you are in need of an equine law firm or California civil litigation lawyer.

The new code, which became law in January 2011, changes the game when it comes to horse sales.

Equine law firm – three main things to take away from the new law:

1. It requires a written bill of sale for virtually all horse sales


This means no more handshake deals, all deals must be in writing.  An equine law firm should be contacted.  An equine attorney can help ensure all paperwork is in proper order and according to law.

2. It spells out that dual agency – the representing of both buyer and seller – must be transparent through the written acknowledgement of both parties.


Simply put, dual agency is illegal unless everyone involved has okayed it – in writing.

3. It mandates all third party commissions of more than $500 be disclosed to both parties.


It has been common practice in the industry for a third party – such as a trainer or agent –to act as representation for both the buyer and seller throughout a horse sale.  It has also been somewhat common for that third party to be paid an undisclosed commission, which is oftentimes buried within the buyer’s cost.

This new law changes all this.  The law states retribution can be taken in legal form if a third party fails to tell buyer and seller it is representing them both, or if they are collecting more than $500 in commission without explicit knowledge of both parties.  The offense is a civil, not criminal, so contacting a California civil litigation lawyer would be an important first step.

Equine law firm – new law involving horse purchase

Failure to comply with the new law means offending parties can be sued for “treble” damages of up to three times the amount in question.  It is important to note the new code section does not allow for recovery of fees related to an equine attorney.  This means an equine attorney should be consulted to help evaluate whether a suit is cost-effective and worth your time.

For more information, please contact an equine attorney or California civil litigation lawyer at (818) 707-0407.