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When Your Church Needs a Lawyer

What you should know about selecting an attorney to prevent legal risks.

The church usually begins looking for an attorney only when it is confronted with a crisis—such as being served with a lawsuit. However, the need for an attorney's advice actually arises during the planning stages of any activity or event. Common situations that call for an attorney's expertise are:

  1. If the church is revising its governing documents, it should always engage an attorney familiar with nonprofit law in its state.
  2. If the church is considering terminating a lay employee who is protected by law, it should always engage an attorney familiar with employment law in its state.
  3. If the church is revising its employee handbook, it should always engage an attorney familiar with employment law in its state.
  4. If the church is considering a new source or method of fundraising, it should engage an attorney familiar with nonprofit tax and fundraising rules and regulations.
  5. If the church is revising its policies and procedures, it should have an employment attorney and/or a risk management attorney review the revised policies and procedures.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2013

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