Claudine Wilkins | Wilkins Law Firm, P.C
Claudine Wilkins is former prosecutor who became a personal injury trial attorney in 1999. She specializes in all personal injury cases with an expertise in dog bite injury law. She has received policy limits on numerous dog bite cases.
Claudine inspired policy changes after winning one of the largest verdicts in the nations in a landmark drunk driving case.
After a jury awarded a $40 million verdict to the parents of two teenagers killed in a drunk driving accident, she pursued a wrongful death suit for three years against a drunk driver, plus a liquor liability case against the bar owners where the 20-year-old driver had been drinking.
She in on the Executive and Legislative committee of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Animal Protection Division and is animal law expert. In 2010, she founded of Animal Law Source, The Animal Protection Society, and the Animal Protection and Wellness Expo (APAWexpo.org) in Atlanta, GA (celebrating its 23rd year) which provides training for those involved in animal cases including: judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, vet techs, animal behaviorist, victims’ advocates, animal shelters, rescues (who may hold evidentiary animals), in-the-field students, civil attorneys and lawmakers. She specialized in all kinds of plaintiff’s injury practice with an emphasis on dog bite injury and dangerous dogs’ cases.
Other areas of practice include including civil torts, preventing veterinarian mal-practice, domestic law related to animals (e.g., abuse and divorce), adoption contracts and various animal related issues. Fielding calls on animal law and consulting on animal cruelty and animal fighting cases is typical day. She is on the Executive and Legislative committee of the Georgia Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Division. She has have testified before the Senate and House committee on various legislative bills and was asked to join the Senate Study Committee on Service animals in 2018.
She graduated with a J.D. in 1996 and later received her Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. In 1997, she began her career as a prosecutor at a time when animal related cases were not being given credence. When she witnessed these cases consistently “falling through the cracks”.
Realizing there was a serious lack of information available to these professionals, she published online “toolkits” which provide summaries of animal law and dog bite topics. Since 1996, she has created over three thousand toolkits, and the demand for resources continues. Her essential mission became educating professionals and the public on their “state and local” laws related to animal cruelty and dog attack cases. Recognized for her work, she received the Animal Champion Award in 2004 and continued efforts by drafting legislation related to public safety and justice for victims including children and animals.
She has successfully drafted 10 of State laws in Georgia and local laws including the Local Government Animal Fund Law, 2021, Georgia Animal Cruelty Law, 2014, Responsible Dog Owner Law, (aka Dangerous Dog Law), 2012, Spay & Neuter License Plate, 2016, Dog Fighting Law, 2006, Cost of Animal Care Bond Law, 2016, Law Enforcement Animal Law (aka Tanja’s Law), Microchip Law, and various animal ordinances.
In 2009, she petitioned the State Bar of Georgia to create the Animal Law Section. She is national expert in animal cases, animal crimes and related civil laws. She routinely provides training in various fields nationally and throughout Georgia on dangerous dog & dog bite cases, animal law issues, including animal cruelty, neglect, animal fighting, abandonment, animal hoarding, puppy mills, large impound cases, equine cruelty, K9 Handlers, the link between animal abuse and other crimes (domestic violence, human trafficking, drugs, gangs, illegal gambling & weapons, serial crimes, etc.).
She also conducts lectures on case preparation and inside courtroom presentation in animal cases and civil liability in these cases. Authored a training manual titled, “How to Prosecute Animal Cruelty from Start to Finish”. She petitioned Georgia Governor Kemp to create the first Statewide Animal Crimes Resource Prosecutor which was approved in 2022. This historic position begins July 1, 2022. She founded the APAWexpo.org, a national conference educating all professionals and people who’s line of work pertains to the Protection and Wellness of animals and public safety including dog attacks. In 2022, the APAWexpo is celebrating its 23rd annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.