Dr. Nancy Halpern is a registered patent attorney and Chair of the firm's Animal Law Practice.

A seasoned IP attorney, Dr. Halpern helps clients manage and defend their intellectual property rights through litigation, transactional work, due diligence, and patent prosecution. Dr. Halpern also represents animal owners, animal-related businesses, veterinarians, biomedical research facilities, veterinarian pharmaceuticals, farmers and trade associations in issues related to the complex patchwork of local, state and federal laws and regulations governing corporate law, intellectual property, food and drug law, as well as animal health and the humane use of animals. Dr. Halpern capitalizes on her prior experience in veterinary medicine for the benefit of her current clients.  Whether prepping and defending witnesses for trial or administrative actions, Dr. Halpern has appeared in courts from municipal court to the U.S. Supreme Court and before a multitude of state and federal agencies.

A licensed veterinarian in the State of New Jersey, Dr. Halpern previously served as Director of the Division of Animal Health for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and New Jersey's State Veterinarian and served on the State Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners (SBVME) for nearly a decade. In these posts, she was responsible for the state’s emergency response regarding animal care concerns in the event of natural or man-made disasters; supervision of the sole animal health diagnostic laboratory in New Jersey and implementation of regulatory and statutory provisions governing animal care, well-being and safety as well as animal disease surveillance and control.  As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Halpern worked with livestock, zoo animals, animals in biomedical research and companion animals.

Dr. Halpern serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research and previously served on the Board of Americans for Medical Progress. She has represented the American Veterinary Medical Association and other trade associations in legislative and regulatory matters (excluding services covered by the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 2 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.), represents veterinarians when acquiring or selling their practices and when facing regulatory challenges nationwide.  She also provides statutory and regulatory analysis for trade associations and animal-related businesses and represents businesses, from farms to pharmaceutical companies, during their interactions with governmental regulators.

Recent Speaking Engagements

“Cautionary Tails: FOIA and Other Threats to Sustainability of Animal Research" – American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2019 Forum Educational Program

“Current Issues in Estate Planning for Pets” – Lorman Webinar, Dec. 11, 2018, co-presenter

“In Defense of the Humane Care of Animals Owners, Raised, and/or Exhibited by Animal-Related Facilities" – Zoological Association of America Annual Meeting, Nov. 8, 2018

"Legal Issues Facing the Biomedical Research Community" – New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research, Presenter, IACUC 22, IACUC 23, IACUC 24, IACUC 25, 2015-2018

“Federal v. State Regulations on Animal Use in Agriculture" – Lawline Webinar, May 7, 2018

“Animal Welfare Panel" – Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, Jan. 27, 2018

“Are All Human Drugs Actually Animal Drugs Waiting To Be Developed? What it Takes To Develop a New Animal Drug and Other Animal Health Considerations" – New York State Bar Association Food, Drug & Cosmetic Law Section Annual Meeting, Jan. 25, 2018

“Animal Rights or Reason? Insight into the Practice of Animal Law" – CLE at Fox Rothschild LLP, May 4, 2017

“Livestock Owners’ Concerns in Humane Issues" – New Jersey State Agricultural Convention, Feb. 8, 2017

“The Legal and Ethical implications of animal Use in Biomedical research" – American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2016 Forum Educational Program

“Puppy Mills and Pet Stores" – American Veterinary Medical Law Association, Annual Meeting July 11-12, 2015

Articles and Alerts on Animal Law

Another Attempt to Create Legal Standing for Animals as Plaintiffs in Lawsuits Fails
Nov. 3, 2018

On the Importance of Zoos
Aug. 18, 2018

The Goals of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Groups Do Not Align
Aug. 20, 2017

Court Permits Plaintiffs Another Crack at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Inc
Aug. 2, 2016

FDA’s Authority Over Livestock Production and Food Labeling
Sept. 6, 2015

New Jersey Pet Trust Bill
June 20, 2015

Animal Testing Saves Animals and People Too
Jan. 24, 2015

California’s Egg-Laying Hens Now Have More Space, and Eggs Produced Cost More 
Jan. 1, 2015

This Pig Can’t Fly
Dec. 10, 2014

Lessons Learned from Animal Quarantines – Understanding Ebola Quarantines
Oct. 30, 2014

On “Personhood” for Animals
Sept. 8, 2014

When Dog Breeders Do Not Have to Register as a Kennel in NJ
July 2, 2014

The Phenomenon Called 'Retail Rescue' 
May 20, 2014

Articles on Veterinary Medicine

"Antibiotics in Food Animals: The Convergence of Animal and Public Health, Science, Policy, Politics and the Law"
Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Volume 14, Number 3, Fall 2009, 401.

"Herd and Reproductive Management of Llamas"
Nancy E. Halpern, D.V.M, TNAVC Proceedings 1993, 750-755.

"Llama Medicine"
ACVC Proceedings 1992, 1-8

"Small Ruminant Medicine"
ACVC Proceedings 1992, 1-9.

"Equine Parasite Control Program"
Nancy Halpern, D.V.M. and Jorgen Hansen, D.V.M., Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication, Publication 406-904, September 1985.

"Dysphagia in Horses: The Differential Diagnosis – Part I"
Nancy E. Halpern, D.V.M., Karen H. Baum, D.V.M., Paula Modransky, D.V.M., M.S., and Linda D. Banish, D.V.M. The Compendium on Continuing Education, Vol. 10, No. 12, November 1988.

Beyond Fox Rothschild

Dr. Halpern is certified in EPA Hazardous Materials Incident Response Operations (2006) and has completed USDA Tuberculosis Epidemiology Training (2005) and management-level training for Preparedness and Response to Agricultural Terrorism (2005). She has also completed the IS-700 Introduction to NIMS (2005), presented by FEMA.

Dr. Halpern speaks frequently about the legal issues affecting animal-related industries, including issues of animal welfare and the shifting laws governing animal ownership and use. She has delivered presentations recently at the annual meeting of the American College of Laboratory Medicine, the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research’s annual IACUC Conference, the region's premier training event for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members and managers, laboratory animal veterinarians, animal welfare compliance specialists, laboratory animal care staff and other research team members and has often presented at the annual meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association.

In addition, Dr. Halpern provides animal-related pro bono legal services. Most recently, she has provided assistance to:

  • The New Jersey Bar Foundation, by editing mock trial documents that dealt with the death of a dog
  • The family of an adopted dog, in recouping their adoption fee after they spent more than $4,000 on surgery to repair their dog’s heart condition, which was not disclosed to them by the rescue group from which the dog was adopted
  • The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), by drafting an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit in which NAIA claimed that a city ordinance banning the sale of dogs was preempted by state law

Honors & Awards

  • Selected to the "Super Lawyers - Rising Stars" list for Animal Law in New Jersey (2016-2020)*
  • Recipient, Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders Volunteer Award (2003)
  • Recipient, State of New Jersey Team Partnership Achievement Award (2001)
  • USDA Year 2001 Secretary's Honor Awards (2001)

*Awards Methodology