Meet Debra

We enable our clients to be part of the solution process, not powerless bystanders. The advantage of using mediation and collaborative process over litigation is that the parties retain the ability to own their process. They feel respected and capable of expressing the emotions driving the disagreement.

–Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton, Esq

I get enormous pleasure when my process allows people in conflict to recognize they have so much in common and really only have to work out one or two differences. Starting from a place of counting what we have in common first enables the differences to melt away because they are easily addressed in a positive manner.

Debra spent 30 years as a practicing litigator, but she is now a full-time mediator and conflict coach for people in disputes over animals.

She works both nationwide and internationally. She has far-reaching experience in resolving interpersonal conflicts involving animals, and she is also well-known in the world of purebred dogs as a top breeder and exhibitor of Irish setters and long-haired dachshunds.

Debra speaks widely on the topic of how mediation techniques can help people address conflicts without litigation. She has presented at veterinary schools, the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Law Association, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, the Living With Animals conference, state bar association Animal Law Committee meetings, and animal interest group meetings.

Debra also writes a blog for Hamilton Law and Mediation and is a contributor to the Solo Practice University blog and the Canine Chronicle. She has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, and the New York Times, just to name a few.

As the principal at Hamilton Law and Mediation, PLLC—the nation’s first solo mediation practice dedicated to helping people resolve conflicts over animals—Debra uses alternative dispute resolution to help address disagreements over the family pet during divorce, neighbors’ arguments over a barking dog, and confrontations between clients and veterinarians and other professionals who work with animals. HLM also looks forward to helping animal rights and welfare advocates see the benefit of having a conversation about the best interests of all parties—especially the animals—to resolve animal-related disputes.

Debra is admitted to practice law in all New York State courts. She is certified as a mediator and collaborative professional and has worked with various court-based mediation programs in New York City (Queens-Community Mediation Service) and in Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York (Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers).

Debra’s Professional Affiliations and Memberships