Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Missouri: Governor Charged with Misusing Donor List Belonging to Charity He Founded (UPDATED)

Mission ContinuesUPDATE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a Missouri House committee issued a report on May 2nd relating to the donor list, including evidence that Governor Greitens had signed a confidentiality agreement with Mission Continues, that the Governor had obtained the donor list himself in May 2014, and that the settlement of an ethics complaint relating to the list contained falsehoods. And in a new development, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also reports that Washington University in St. Louis is investigating whether Governor Greitens misused grant funds received from the University by using a portion of them to compensate a campaign aide.

The Kansas City Star reports that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has been charged with felony computer tampering, which the newspaper characterizes as "essentially electronic theft," in connection with his campaign obtaining a donor list that belonged to Mission Continues. Mission Continues is a charity founded by Greitens in 2007. Greitens initially denied reports that his campaign had used the donor list to solicit contributions, but later admitted in a consent decree that the list was given to his campaign in March 2015 by his campaign manager. Emails discovered by the St. Louis-Dispatch indicate that Greitens' former assistant had sent the list to the campaign manager and another campaign staff member two months earlier. Greitens released a statement refuting the charges. 

Here is the text of the Probable Cause Statement:

DATE: April 20, 2018

I, Anthony Box, knowing that false statements on this form are punishable by law, state that the facts contained herein are true.

1. I have probable cause to believe that Eric Greitens, a WHITE MALE DOB: 4/XX/74 Age: 44, committed one or more criminal offense(s).

Count 1 Tampering With Computer Data To Defraud Or Obtain Property (value $500 Or More) (Class D Felony) RSMO 569.095 ON 4/22/2015 Time: PLACE: City of St. Louis, MO (SCC 569.095-001Y200229)

Or, in the alternative to Count I:

Count 2 Tampering With Computer Data To Defraud Or Obtain Property (value $500 Or More) (Class D Felony) RSMO 569.095 ON 4/22/2015 Time: PLACE: City of St. Louis, MO (SCC 569.095-001Y200229)

2. The facts supporting this belief are as follows:

I learned through an investigation that the defendant, acting with others, took and used data specifically owned by the Mission Continues for the purpose of soliciting funds for his political campaign.

At the direction of the defendant, on April 22, 2015, K.T. disclosed data, specifically a donor list owned by The Mission Continues, to a political fundraiser (the “Fundraiser”) working on behalf of Greitens for Missouri. The defendant directed this disclosure. The President of The Mission Continues explained neither the defendant nor K.T. had permission from The Mission Continues to disclose the donor list to the Fundraiser or to use the donor list for political purposes. The Mission Continues employee handbook and the non-disclosure agreements prohibited the disclosure of the donor list and the retenhat tion of it by anyone not employed by and working on behalf of The Mission Continues. The Mission Continues conflict of interest agreement signed by board members prohibited the personal use of The Mission Continues assets, including the donor list.

The defendant and K.T. knew that the donor list disclosed on April 22, 2015, was taken without the permission of The Mission Continues. The defendant was aware that K.T. retained or used the list without the permission or consent of The Mission Continues and the defendant directed K.T. to send the donor list in an April 22, 2015 email to the Fundraiser.

At the time of the April 22, 2015 disclosure of the donor list, the donor list resided and existed internal to a computer or computer system used by K.T. for the purpose of conducting business on behalf of The Greitens Group and/or Greitens for Missouri, as well as a computer or computer system belonging to the Mission Continues. The defendant and K.T. disclosed the donor list to the Fundraiser for the purpose of obtaining property of five hundred dollars or more.

Additional coverage: N.Y. Times, USA TodayWashington Post.

Lloyd Mayer

May 2, 2018 in In the News, State – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York: AG Shuts Down Telemarketer, Settles Breach of Fiduciary Duties Case

Attorny_General_Eric_T_SchneidermanNew York Attorney General Eric  T. Schneiderman's Charities Bureau has been busy. Two recent activities are of particular note:

  • Charitable Solicitation: Following up on its 2016 closure of a sham veterans charity, the AG's office announced a settlement that closed the charity's telemarketing company, Menacola Marketing, Inc. In the settlement agreement, the company agreed its solicitations on behalf of the veterans charity contained "numerous material misrepresentations," that the company had ignored several "red flags" regarding the professional fundraiser who facilitated its work for the charity, and had "repeatedly made misrepresentations" in filings with the Charities Bureau. 
  • Fiduciary Duties: Completing its investigation of Yisroel Schulman, the former President and Attorney-in-Charge of the New York Legal Assistance Group, Inc. (NYLAG), the AG's office announced a settlement in which Mr. Schulman admitted violating his fiduciary duties of loyalty, care, and obedience, admitted breaching his duties under the New York version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, agreed to a five-year ban on future service as a director or officer of a nonprofit operating in New York, and agreed to pay $150,000 to NYLAG. In the settlement agreement, Mr. Schulman admitted this his recommendation to NYLAG's Board that it transfer NYLAG's multi-million dollar reserve fund to a donor advised fund at charity FJC was "neither prudent nor consistent with [his] duty to ensure that NYLAG's assets were administered for its benefit," in large part because that transfer surrendered NYLAG's legal ownership and control over those funds. Mr. Schulman also admitted that he also violated his fiduciary duty to safeguard NYLAG's assets when he "lost track" of another account that had received NYLAG charitable funds totalling approximately $600,000. The agreement also provides extensive detail about the a variety of misrepresentations relating to these NYLAG's funds and misuse of NYLAG's funds, including for the personal benefit of Mr. Schulman.

Lloyd Mayer

May 2, 2018 in In the News, State – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

IRS EO Stats for FY 2017

Data BookThe IRS Tax-Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE) Division released its compilation of Fiscal Year 2017 Accomplishments shortly before the IRS released the broader 2017 Data Book. Together these two documents provided a number of significant statistics regarding tax-exempt organizations related IRS activity for October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, including:

  • There are 1.65 million tax-exempt organizations under Code section 501(c), including 1.29 million 501(c)(3)s. See Data Book Table 25.
  • The IRS completed 6,101 examinations, a plurality of which (2,332) related to filing, organizational, and operational issues but which also involved employment tax issues (1,905), unrelated business income (602), and inurement/private benefit (109).
    • Providing a different breakdown, the Data Book (Table 13) reports 2,375 Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-N examined, 608 Form 990-Ts examined, and 302 Forms 990-PF, 1041-A (relating to trust accumulation of charitable amounts), 1120-POL, and 5227 (relating to split-interest trusts) examined.
    • While not completely clear from the Accomplishments document, it appears that 1,400 of these examinations were a statistical sampling of organizations that had had their applications for recognition of exemption approved through a streamlined process (with 43% resulting in changes, and 14 organizations revoked or terminated).
    • It also appears another 565 of these examinations were part of a statistically valid random sample of Form 1023-EZ filers (with 51% resulting in organizing documents amendments or written advisories and five organizations revoked or terminated).
  • The IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of 63 organizations, the majority (36) for not operating for an exempt purpose.
  • The IRS received 95,177 applications for recognition of exemption, approving 86,669 applications, denying 68 applications, and closing 6,238 applications for other reasons such as withdrawal by the applicant or missing required information; most (85,553) of the closed applications were under Code section 501(c)(3), as were most (42) of the denials and other resolutions (5,812). See Data Book Table 24a. The IRS also received 2,182 Notices of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), acknowledged 1,908 such notices and rejected 474 such notices (according to the Accomplishments report, most commonly for "failure to pay the user fee and unnecessary notification (e.g. the organizations were already exempt)"). See Data Book Table 24b.
  • The IRS received 1.5 million tax-exempt organization returns, including primarily Form 990 series information returns (so not including the Form 990-T unrelated business income tax return) but also including Form 4720 (excise tax return), Form 5227 (split-interest trust information return), and Form 8872 (political organization report). See Data Book Table 2.
  • The IRS collected $882 million in tax-exempt organization unrelated business income tax. See Data Book Table 1.
  • The IRS reported 114 technical activities, all relating to Congressional correspondence. See Data Book Table 22.

Lloyd Mayer

May 1, 2018 in Federal – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

Long List of Needed IRS Guidance: DAFs, Tax Reform, Church Tax Inquiries, and More

IRSThere is a lot of urgently needed guidance relating to tax-exempt organizations. Fortunately there are plenty of opportunities for organizations and their representatives to tell the IRS and Treasury what is needed, including by submitting recommendations for the 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan as requested in Notice 2018-43. Here is an overview of the most pressing issues:

Donor-Advised Funds

Late last year the IRS released Notice 2017-73, requesting comments on issues relating to the issuance of regulations under Code section 4967. Those comments are now flowing in, including from the ABA Section of Taxation, the Council on Foundations, Fidelity Charitable, and the New York Bar Association Tax Section. Issues that were of particular interest to the IRS are the treatment of  recommended distributions from a DAF to support a charitable event or fundraiser, or to pay membership fees, especially when benefits received in return by a donor advisor are more than incidental, the treatment of recommended distributions that satisfy a pledge by the donor advisor, and also how distributions from a DAF interact with the public support tests for a recipient public charity.

Tax Reform

Many others are exploring in detail the uncertain application of tax reform provisions relating to tax-exempt organizations. See, for example, the Exempt Organizations Committee schedule for the ABA Section of Taxation May Meeting, and the numerous summaries of relevant provisions prepared by both accounting firms (e.g., KPMG) and law firms (e.g., Ropes & Gray). That said, the most pressing issues appear to relate to the "basketing" of unrelated trades or businesses such that the losses from one such trade or business cannot offset the income of another such trade or business (Code section 512(a)(6)), the UBIT exposure of certain fringe benefits (Code section 512(a)(7)), the new excise tax on $1 million+ compensation paid by tax-exempt organizations (Code section 4960), and the new excise tax on the net investment income of private colleges and universities with relatively large endowments (Code section 4968). 

Not that the lack of guidance has prevented speculation about possible issues and workarounds. For example, one workaround for the new UBIT basketing rule might be to place all unrelated trades or businesses in a single taxable subsidiary (perhaps further divided into single-member limited liability companies owned by the subsidiary for liability siloing purposes). And there has already been speculation regarding whether the excise tax on compensation applies to compensation paid by public colleges and universities as well.

Church Tax Audits

The still pending nature of proposed regulations (issued 8/5/09) regarding what specific official within the IRS has the authority to begin a church tax inquiry under Code section 7611 has now arisen with a vengeance. In United States v. Bible Study Time, Inc., a federal district court recently concluded that such an inquiry (and therefore the subsequent church tax examination) had not been properly initiated because it was not approved by a sufficiently highly ranked IRS official. The decision also throws into doubt whether the proposed regulations are correct in giving this authority to the Director, Exempt Organizations, as the court found that position is not of sufficient rank under the relevant provision of section 7611.

And There's More

The February 2018 Update to the 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan included not only many of the above issues but also the following:

  • Charitable contributions of inventory (Code section 170(e)(3)) as part of reducing regulatory burdens.
  • Final regulations under Code section 170 relating to substantiation and reporting requirements for charitable contributions (proposed regulations issued 8/7/08).
  • Final regulations on Code section 509(a)(3) supporting organizations (proposed regs issued 2/19/16).
  • Final regulations under Code section 512 relating to computations for Code section 501(c)(9) voluntary employees' beneficiary associations (proposed regs issued 2/6/14).
  • Also under Code section 512, allocation of expenses relating to dual use facilities.

  • Final regulations on the fractions rule under Code section 514(c)(9)(E).
  • Investments by private foundations in partnerships in which disqualified persons are also partners under Code section 4941 (relating to self-dealing).
  • Updating Revenue Procedure 92-94, relating to grants by private foundations to foreign grantees under Code sections 4942 and 4945.
  • Final regulations relating to disclosure of information to state officials under Code section 6104(c) (proposed regulations issued 3/15/11).
  • Unspecified guidance relating to church plans.

And I am ignoring planned or needed guidance on issues that have a more indirect effect on tax-exempt organizations, such as guidance relating to tax-exempt bonds. Things should be busy at Treasury - even with the new IRS Commissioner (Charles Rettig) and new IRS Chief Counsel (Michael Desmond) nominees still awaiting Senate confirmation.

Lloyd Mayer

May 1, 2018 in Federal – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

IRS Issues 2018 Work Plan for Tax Exempt Organizations

    In this article, Laura Kalick, discusses the IRS’ Fiscal Year 2018 work plan for tax exempt organizations. She begins the article by explaining that the work plan builds upon the IRS’ mission to refine, realign, and improve their education and examination methods. Last year, the IRS implemented data analytics and knowledge management strategies to target organizations with a high likelihood of noncompliance. In 2018, the work plan outlines three incentives: Examine entities that state they are supporting organizations and filed the Form 990-N, examine organizations that have operated as for-profit entities in the past, but now operate at 501(c)(3) organizations, and examine organizations that show signs of providing private benefit to individuals or private entities through contracts with individuals or other arrangements such as partnership agreements. She then discusses key tax gap issues for 2018, such as, unrelated business income and employment tax issues. She closes the article by examining what the best practices for tax exempt organizations would be to prepare for the possibility of an audit. To learn more about the 2018 work plan, click here:



April 25, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tax Abuse Rampant in Nonprofits, IRS Says

In his article Albert Crenshaw discusses tax abuse in nonprofit organizations. He explains that the IRS is finding problems with every type of nonprofit organization, from charities to pension plans. He also says that the IRS has no precise way to gauge the revenue impact of these problems. He explains that localities and transit systems were collecting fees for allowing corporations to benefit from tax shelters to help finance public works. Another problem that has been identified are nonprofits and charities committing abuse and fraud themselves. This can occur when a charity is established to benefit their primary donor, or when the nonprofit organization acts as a tax shelter. To learn more about nonprofit tax abuse, click here:



April 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Charities and Political Activity-Steering Clear of Risks in an Election Year

In this article, Joan Renner discusses how charities can engage in political activity while maintaining tax-exempt status. She first explains that board members and CEOs of nonprofits must speak as individuals and not as the nonprofit itself. She explains that board members and CEOs are permitted to support individual candidates, but they must do so individually. She says that if a nonprofit holds an event that includes political candidates they must refrain from fundraising at the event. She then discusses that when advocating for issues that are important to your nonprofit not to mention the upcoming election. She explains that nonprofits are permitted to advocate their positions on certain legislative issues if it’s not a substantial part of their activities. However, if that issue becomes prominent in the election, tying their positions on those issues to the election becomes prohibited political activity. She finishes the article by discussing that making campaign statements on the nonprofit’s website is prohibited. To learn more about to protect nonprofit tax-exempt status while engaging in political activity, click here:—steering-clear-risks-election-year



April 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Key Tax Reform Issues for Nonprofit Membership Organizations

In this article, Robert Logan discusses the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently signed by President Trump. He begins by explaining that the new act contains features that adversely affect many nonprofit organizations. He first discusses how the act now requires separate computation of unrelated business income for multiple businesses. The act eliminates the ability of nonprofits to offset income from one unrelated business with the losses from another. He then discusses the new tax on nonprofits that compensate their executives excessively. The act imposes a 21% excise tax on the sum of annual remuneration above $1 million, plus certain separation payments that exceed three times an average base salary measure. Finally, he discusses how nonprofits must now include fringe benefits from unrelated business income. To learn more about the adverse effects of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, click here:



April 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Rise of 501(c)(4) Organizations: A prediction for Nonprofits in 2018

Gene Takagi writes this article about his belief that 2018 will see an increase in the number of 501(c)(4) organizations being formed and receiving contributions. He argues that with the increased standard deduction more people will take that instead of itemizing their deductions. This means that 501(c)(3) charity organizations will see a drop in the amount of contributions they receive because people cannot deduct their contributions. He argues that because of this more people will decide to donate to 501(c)(4) organizations since neither type of nonprofits are deductible. His second argument is that people will want to donate to an organization that can engage in unlimited lobbying to further their social agenda. To learn about the rise of 501(c)(4) organizations, click here:



April 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Common Nonprofit Deals with Complex Tax Consequences

    In this article, Laura Kalick explores the tax consequences surrounding common business transactions, such as a merger or acquisition. She first discusses the tax consequences of merging two nonprofits. When merging two nonprofits, the two organizations will combine via state law, ending with one entity surviving and the other no longer existing. If either of the nonprofits had any outstanding tax liability before the merger, those liabilities do not disappear and could be transferred to the new organization. Also, both nonprofits must report the merger on their Form 990. The nonprofit that dissolves must file their Form 990 five months and 15 days after it has been terminated. To learn more about what happens in joint ventures of nonprofits, conversion between nonprofit and for profit organizations, click here:



April 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Key to Maintaining Public Charity Status

    In this article, Michael Sorrells explains how 501(c)(3)s maintain their public charity status. Many charities must undergo an annual public support test to maintain their public charity and tax exempt status. The test is completed annually on Schedule A. Organizations like churches, schools, hospitals, etc. must only complete part I of the test, which identifies the type of organization because they are exempt from parts II and III. Other 501(c)(3) organizations must complete one of two support schedules, either part II or part III depending on what type of organization the charity is. Part II organizations normally receive a substantial part of support from a governmental unit or from the general public. Part III organizations normally receive (1) more than 33.33% of its support from contributions, membership fees, and gross receipts, and (2) no more than 33.33% of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business expenses. Each of these tests looks at the cumulative support for the year reported and the prior four years. For more information of how to maintain public charity status, click here:



April 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS and Their Interest in 501(c)(4) Organizations with Political Agendas

    In this article, Michael Sorrells discusses why the IRS is so interested in 501 (c)(4) organizations with political agendas. He first explains what a 501(c)(4) organization is and how it differs from charitable organizations. 501(c)(4) organizations are defined as civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit, but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare. Some differences between 501(c)(4) organizations and 501(c)(3) charities is that donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions, 501(c)(4)s can engage in unlimited lobbying, if the lobbying is not the primary purpose of the organization. 501(c)(4)s can engage in political activity so long as it is not the primary purpose of the organization. He then explains the Citizen’s United case and how after it was decided many 501(c)(4) organizations began to sprout up – raising concerns for the IRS. The IRS was concerned about whether “political activity” was the primary purpose of these organizations and whether the organizations were organized to primarily benefit a private party (such as a political candidate). To learn more about why the IRS is concerned about 501(c)(4) organizations with a political agenda, click here:



April 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bruckner on Terminating Tenure in Bankruptcy

Matthew A. Bruckner (Howard University School of Law) recently posted "Terminating Tenure: Rejecting Tenure Contracts in Bankruptcy" to SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Many institutions of higher education are in dire financial straits and will close, merge, or file for bankruptcy in the near future. This Article considers the effect of bankruptcy laws on the ability of higher education institutions to restructure their workforces and, in particular, the impact that a bankruptcy filing may have on tenured professors. It also addresses how some tenured professors may be able to complicate their employer’s reorganization to their own strategic advantage.

In this excellent article, Bruckner considers how the crisis in legal education may affect the obligations of law schools facing bankruptcy to their tenured faculty, as well as how tenured faculty members at those institutions may respond to the threat of restructuring. Currently, colleges and universities are unusually vulnerable to financial crises, because they cannot be reorganized in bankruptcy. A bankrupt school loses accreditation and with it the ability to receive federal loan money, effectively a death sentence. But if Congress amends the Higher Education Act to allow schools to reorganize in bankruptcy, it will inevitably present a range of issues, including the bankruptcy treatment of tenure contracts. Bruckner argues that law schools can probably abrogate tenure contracts in bankruptcy, but observes that the bankruptcy process may enable tenured faculty members to delay or frustrate that abrogation in order to increase their leverage with the institution.

April 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The 2018 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools

CJ Ryan (Roger Williams University School of Law) and I recently posted to SSRN a draft article titled The 2018 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools. It is an update of our article A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, 69 Alabama Law Review 495 (2017) Here is the abstract:

In 2017, we published A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, which presented the first (intentionally) subjective ranking of law schools. Other law school rankings are objective because their purpose is to tell prospective law students where to matriculate. Our “revealed-preferences” ranking is subjective because its purpose is to ask where prospective law students choose to matriculate. In other words, objective rankings tell students what they should want, but our subjective ranking asks what students actually want.

In this article, we present a law school ranking based exclusively on the combined scores of the students in a school’s 2017 incoming class. We also compare this ranking to our previous ranking, as well as other objective ranking systems, and provide regional rankings of law schools.

Of course, comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Brian L. Frye

April 4, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Aprill on the Tax Bill and 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations in The Hill

Professor Ellen P. Aprill of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles has published an interesting op-ed in The Hill, arguing that the tax bill may cause an increase in the number of organizations that opt for 501(c)(4) social welfare status, rather than 501(c)(3) charity status. Donations to 501(c)(3) organizations are potentially tax deductible, but the organizations cannot engage in substantial lobbying or any campaigning. While donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible, the organizations can engage in substantial lobbying and at least some campaigning (arguably as much as 49% of their activities).

Aprill observes that the tax bill's increase in the standard deduction will significantly decrease the number of taxpayers who itemize. Because only itemizers benefit from the charitable contribution deduction, many commentators have observed that charitable giving may decrease significantly.

But Aprill observes that if non-itemizing taxpayers continue to give, they should also become indifferent between donating to 501(c)(3) charities and 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. This may encourage more organizations to choose 501(c)(4) status, rather than 501(c)(3) status, especially because the choice would come with the ability to engage in considerably more political speech. In other words, the tax bill may (inadvertently?) lead to more 501(c)(4)s, more lobbying, and more campaigning.

It will be interesting to see how Aprill's observation plays out in practice. I can only imagine that at least some additional organizations will choose 501(c)(4) status. But there are benefits to 501(c)(3) status other than the charitable contribution deduction. Among other things, most foundations can only make grants to 501(c)(3) charities, and that is a larger source of funding for many organizations than individual donations.

UPDATE: Professor Aprill observes that private foundations can make grants to 501(c)(4) organizations by exercising expenditure responsibility, which is not necessarily a significant burden on the foundation or the use of its granted funds, so the benefits of 501(c)(3) status may be more limited than they appear at first glance.

Brian L. Frye

March 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 2, 2018

2018 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Award Nominations

Nonprofit Organizations Committee



CONTACT: David A. Levitt

(415) 421-7555

Seeking Nominations for the

2018 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C.—February 27, 2018:  The Committee on Nonprofit Organizations of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section is calling for nominations for the “2018 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Awards.” The Committee presents the Awards annually to outstanding lawyers in the categories of Academic, Attorney, Nonprofit In-House Counsel, and Young Attorney (under 35 years old or in practice for less than 10 years). The Committee will also bestow its Vanguard Award for lifetime commitment or achievement on a leading legal practitioner in the nonprofit field. Nominations are due by April 2, 2018.

For a nomination form, please go to the Nonprofit Lawyer Awards Subcommittee's webpage and scroll down to find the form under "Nonprofit Lawyer Awards Documents" on the right hand side.  You will also find a list of prior award recipients. The Awards will be announced at the Business Law Section's Spring Meeting in April.

Send nomination forms by April 2, 2018 to:

David A. Levitt
Adler & Colvin
235 Montgomery Street

Suite 1220
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 421-7555
(415) 421-0712 (fax)

March 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Webb: 99% of UK charities should lose their charitable status

image from

Merryn Somerset Webb penned an op-ed in The Financial Times entitled The charitable giving model is an undemocratic use of funds. Focused on the UK, the piece proposes that "99 per cent of the organisations with charitable status in the UK should have it removed." Instead, tax subsidies would apply to a limited number of official charities that would be tightly regulated. Read the entire piece at: 

February 26, 2018 in Current Affairs, In the News, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Chodorow & Aprill, The Parsonage Allowance Subsidizes Religion

E0B73FE6-7269-4CD3-BE27-27FF786BC02CA75A91D7-84CB-44D2-9E55-8BCDFB6B02C2Adam Chodorow (Arizona State) and Ellen Aprill (Loyola-Los Angeles) have posted a particularly timely article titled The Parsonage Allowance Subsidizes Religion. Here is the abstract:

In this piece, Professors Adam Chodorow and Ellen Aprill discuss section 107(2), which permits churches and other religious organizations to provide tax-housing to their ordained ministers, in the context of litigation involving the provision. They argue that the exemption provides special benefits unavailable to laypeople and thus raises serious establishment clause concerns.

Readers please note: After this piece went to press, the court enjoined enforcement of section 107(2) beginning 180 days after the later of the conclusion of any appeals or expiration of time for filing any appeal.

Is is timely because an appeal has just been filed in Gaylor v. Mnuchin, seeking to overturn the federal district decision concluding that the parsonage allowance found in section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code is an unconstitutional establishment of religion. We therefore will eventually know whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit agrees with Chodorow and Aprill or with those, such as Edward Zelinsky (Cardozo), who take a contrary position.

Lloyd Mayer

February 25, 2018 in Federal – Judicial, Publications – Articles, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

ARNOVA-Asia Conference: Deadline Feb 28

image from www.socsc.hku.hkThe Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) has extended to February 28 its call for proposals for its June 2018 ARNOVA-Asia Conference in Hong Kong. From the conference website:

We are calling for papers that advance the theoretical understanding of factors activating and shaping the changing dynamic between government and the third sector, and the implications of the change for public governance and the sector’s development. We encourage diverse theoretical approaches and methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative research; and also studies with a focus at the individual, organizational or sectoral levels. As we strive to bridge the academic and professional communities in the study and practice of nonprofits and philanthropy, we also welcome proposals for professional exchange sessions by practitioners which address the opportunities and challenges they face amid the changing government-third sector relations. For these practitioner-oriented sessions, innovative modes of presentation and discussion are encouraged; they may be short presentations on case studies to provoke thoughts and discussions, panel discussions of best practices, or provocative talks. Roundtable sessions in which academics and practitioners share their views and experiences of seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges are also welcomed.




February 25, 2018 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYTimes: When Charity Workers Turn Predatory

On Friday, the New York Times Editorial Board penned an opinion piece entitled, "When Charity Workers Turn Predatory." It concludes:

the Oxfam scandal has sounded an alarm across the entire nongovernmental aid profession that it must heed if it is to retain the public trust on which it depends. There must be zero tolerance for misuse of power by staff members in the field and swift and transparent action against any appearance of abuse.

Read the entire thing (paywall) at:


February 25, 2018 in Current Affairs, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)