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Dog Gets His Own Lawyer in Contentious Custody Battle


— May 8, 2007

Ron Callan Jr. left an estate worth about $2 million, but the most hotly contested item in the late businessman’s Tennessee probate court case is his 13-year-old golden retriever, Alex.

The four-way fight over custody of Alex was so intense that a judge appointed an attorney to represent the dog’s interests.

A judge on Monday approved a consent order to split custody of the dog based on the recommendations of the guardian ad litem, The Commercial Appeal reported.

“Obviously, this is a very unusual set of circumstances,” attorney Paul Royal wrote of his four-legged client. “At first glance, the petition seems almost frivolous, but after speaking with all parties, it is evident that this is a highly emotional issue for all involved.”

Callan, whose New Year’s Day shooting death was ruled a suicide, left no will, leaving the court to decide what to do with the dog and the rest of the estate.

Details here from the AP via Law.com.


Ron Callan Jr. left an estate worth about $2 million, but the most hotly contested item in the late businessman’s Tennessee probate court case is his 13-year-old golden retriever, Alex.

The four-way fight over custody of Alex was so intense that a judge appointed an attorney to represent the dog’s interests.

A judge on Monday approved a consent order to split custody of the dog based on the recommendations of the guardian ad litem, The Commercial Appeal reported.

“Obviously, this is a very unusual set of circumstances,” attorney Paul Royal wrote of his four-legged client. “At first glance, the petition seems almost frivolous, but after speaking with all parties, it is evident that this is a highly emotional issue for all involved.”

Callan, whose New Year’s Day shooting death was ruled a suicide, left no will, leaving the court to decide what to do with the dog and the rest of the estate.

Details here from the AP via Law.com.

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