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Church Law & Tax Report

March/April 2011
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

Feature Article

Avoiding Costly Tax-filing Mistakes

Avoiding Costly Tax-filing Mistakes Member access only

Ministers often make these 20 errors—here's how to avoid them.


Tax Court Addresses Housing Allowances for Clergy with Two Homes  Member access only

Driscoll v. Commissioner, 135 T.C. No. 27 (2010)

20 Common Clergy Tax Errors Member access only

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Defamation; Invasion of Privacy

Avoiding Defamation Lawsuits Member access only

In some cases, even a true statement may be considered defamatory.

Pastor Permitted to Sue Church for Breach of Contract Member access only

Have employment contracts reviewed by legal counsel to protect against liability.
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Keeping a Secret Member access only

Counselee's disclosure of information to third party may waive the clergy-penitent privilege.
Confidential and Privileged Communications

Spouse's Presence May Not Nullify Clergy-Penitent Privilege Member access only

A conversation may be protected even if a third party is present.
Defamation; Invasion of Privacy

Pastor Sues Former Church for Defamation Member access only

Some courts will resolve certain employment disputes between churches and clergy.

Adding Defendants to a Lawsuit Member access only

Be sure to name all potential defendants in the lawsuit; you may not be able to amend it.
Clergy - Removal

Termination of a "Whistleblower" Member access only

A court cannot intervene in the firing of a ministerial employee.


Q&A: Can This Estate Gift Be Challenged by "Undue Influence"?

Q&A: Can This Estate Gift Be Challenged by "Undue Influence"? Member access only

Church leaders should never try to receive such a gift through "force, coercion, or over-persuasion."