CPT Trainer Appears at Hopewell Middle School Animal Club to Discuss CPT’s Expert Witness Services

On Wednesday, October 7, CPT Trainer/Owner Mark Spivak appeared at the Hopewell Middle School on Cogburn Road in Alpharetta. Mark spoke to the sixth through eighth grade students participating in the school’s extracurricular Animal Club. Club proctor and HMS teacher Lisa Byrd asked that Mark speak to the students about his experiences providing expert witness services in criminal and civil cases involving animal law and animal behavior.

The students, many of who desire a future career with animals, learned about how Mark has applied his knowledge and experience in the field of animal behavior during the pre-trial and trial stages of various legal cases. Mark first discussed various legal definitions, such as the difference between a criminal and civil case. He next discussed the difference between expert testimony and non-expert testimony, factfinding, the role of an expert as a consultant, the role of an expert in constructing compelling affidavits, and the role of an expert in presenting persuasive trial testimony. He then outlined various types of criminal cases and civil cases where a plaintiff or defendant may benefit from hiring an expert witness in the field of animal behavior and training, including:


    Dog bite injuries

  • Homeowner-victim claims regarding person or property
    • Dog to person
    • Dog to dog
  • Landlord-tenant issues
  • Seller-purchaser contract issues
  • Service performance issues
  • Negligence issues
  • Questions of provocation


  • Zoning violations
    • (habitats, breed specific ordinances)
  • Animal control violations
    • (barking, dog at large, nuisance complaints)
    • (scratching, biting, quarantine)
    • (vicious animal hearings)
  • Misdemeanors and felonies
    • Assault
    • Battery

Mark used slides from CPT’s website (ExpertWitnessService.asp) to visually guide the students through the presentation. After describing some of the technical and legal issues that may benefit from the inclusion of an expert witness, Mark told some entertaining anecdotes from actual cases, and played some videos of dog evaluations pertinent to resolved cases.

The students were surprised at the variety of legal disputes that can include animal behavior issues. Moreover, they enjoyed the videos. The club’s teachers were similarly surprised and intrigued by the subject and entertained by the storytelling. Overall, everyone present, including Mark, had an enjoyable and productive time.

For more information about CPT’s expert witness services, please review our website (www.cpt-training.com) or contact the CPT office by phone at 770-396-6433.

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