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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 2009
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Feature Article

Whose Church Is It? Subscriber access only

California Supreme Court rules on ownership issue between national Episcopal church and local parish that seceded.
Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Employment Practices

Breach of Contract and the Ministerial Exception Subscriber access only

Court agrees to hear church organist's breach of contract lawsuit.

Take Care When Naming Your Church Subscriber access only

Church names are protectable under trademark law.
Compensation and Benefits

Clergy Compensation Disputes Subscriber access only

Court rules that it cannot resolve a pastor's lawsuit for breach of contract.
Members - Discipline

Expelled Church Members Sue Church, Directors and Officers Subscriber access only

Court agrees to resolve former members' complaint.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Off-Premises Sexual Misconduct Subscriber access only

Employer not liable for employees' off-premises sexual assault.
New York

Can Opinions Be Defamatory? Subscriber access only

Former music director sues church for defamation after his dismissal.
Multi State
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Segregation of Damages Subscriber access only

If this principle applies, exposure to monetary damages in sexual misconduct claims may be reduced.
North Carolina
Employment Practices

Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Subscriber access only

Court rules that church employee's behavior does not qualify as harassment.
Employment Practices

Are Parochial School Teachers Ministers? Subscriber access only

Court rules that ministerial exception does not apply to teacher in Catholic school.
Employment Practices

Whistleblower Protections for Church Employees Subscriber access only

Dismissing or disciplining a whistleblower can have legal consequences.



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Best Practices for Receiving Charitable Contributions

Best Practices for Receiving Charitable Contributions  Subscriber access only

Practical help and clear understanding on issues surrounding charitable contributions.
Understanding Labor Laws

Understanding Labor Laws Subscriber access only

Best practices for complying with regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.