As one of the visionaries who co-founded the Animal Legal Defense Fund over three decades ago, California attorney Joyce Tischler has helped shape the emerging field of animal law. Joyce handled some of Animal Legal Defense Fund's earliest cases, including a 1981 lawsuit that halted the U.S. Navy's plan to kill 5,000 feral burros and a 1988 challenge to the U.S. Patent Office's rule allowing the patenting of genetically altered animals. She has tackled such diverse topics as challenges to hunting and trapping using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, standing to sue, animal custody battles, the right to kill animals pursuant to will provisions, landlord-tenant issues and damages and recovery for injury to or death of an animal. Joyce was the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s executive director for 25 years and now serves as the agency's founding director, responsible for writing, lecturing on and promoting the field of animal law. In 2009, The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Animal Law Committee honored Joyce with the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award.