Years ago church leaders didn't have to worry about litigation. Churches simply were not likely to be sued. Times have changed. With today's churches facing huge verdicts on high-profile lawsuits, board members cannot afford to be uninformed about the legal liabilities facing the church. Consider these litigation trends among churches:
Lawsuits involving churches cover almost every area of church life. The most common lawsuits stem from personal injury cases. Other common areas include employee disputes, membership disputes, employment problems with clergy, lawsuits over title to property, litigation with zoning boards, tax and IRS disputes, and violations of securities law. In recent years, church board members have also been named as defendants in cases. For example, church board members have been called on in cases relating to the negligent selection of church workers who later molested a child.