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Key rights and potential liabilities for ordained religious leaders; counseling, penitent privilege


Nebraska Case Underscores Importance of Knowing and Understanding State Marriage Laws Member access only

Ministers who ordain a marriage that results in a bigamous relationship can face criminal sanctions.
10 Legal and Tax Developments for Churches and Church Staff

10 Legal and Tax Developments for Churches and Church Staff Member access only

Richard Hammar covers what church leaders should know—and anticipate—for the rest of 2022 and into 2023.

Court Rejects Man’s Attempt to Claim an Invalid Marriage Member access only

What ministers who officiate weddings should know about their responsibilities ahead of a ceremony.
Answering Listeners’ Questions About Legal Issues

Answering Listeners’ Questions About Legal Issues

Tackling board member liability, religious worker visas, childcare policies for home Bible studies, compensation-setting practices, and more!
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New Mexico

New Mexico Court: Child Abuse Reporting Laws Did Not Apply to Pastor’s Testimony Member access only

The defendant in this case was protected by both the clergy-penitent privilege and state statute.

Court Allows Pastor’s Wrongful Dismissal Lawsuit to Proceed Member access only

What church leaders should note about this surprising decision by a federal court in Ohio.

Defamation Claim Dismissed Due to Church’s “Qualified Privilege” Member access only

Case illustrates a protection church leaders may receive when communicating negative information with members—but caution must be exercised.

Failure to Conduct Criminal Background Check Showed Negligence Member access only

This court case demonstrates the need for churches to properly screen candidates for youth and children’s positions.

Sexual Abuse Conviction Upheld Despite the Defendant’s Claim His Pastor Broke Privilege Member access only

A man was sentenced to two life terms in prison for sexual battery and lewd or lascivious molestation of his stepdaughter.
10 Key Tax Developments Affecting Churches and Pastors in 2022
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10 Key Tax Developments Affecting Churches and Pastors in 2022 Member access only

What you need to understand for 2021 filing and 2022 compliance.

A Fired Pastor’s Defamation Suit Is Dismissed Member access only

Appeals court said the lawsuit was barred due to the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine.”

Pastor Denied Injunction Aimed at Stopping Online Critic Member access only

First Amendment speech protections mean a minister’s only recourse is a defamation lawsuit.

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