From understanding the laws that govern churches to providing counsel on essential contracts, a church attorney is critical to protecting your ministry from litigation. Every church needs an attorney specializing in church governance law to run their organization safely and avoid costly legal troubles, and here's why.
Protecting Your Reputation
In the age of social media and messaging, protecting your church's reputation is more important than ever. A church attorney can help you develop a communications strategy to address a negative news story or social media post. They can also help you establish policies and procedures to manage social media and other online communications to protect your church's reputation.
Protecting Your Assets
A church attorney can help you set up effective governance structures to manage your assets by creating a board of directors or a trust. They can also help you negotiate contracts, such as leases or vendor agreements, to protect your church's interests. They can advise you on managing risks associated with owning property or operating a business, such as carrying appropriate insurance or developing a disaster recovery plan.
Minimizing Liability Risks
Liability risks are a constant concern for churches; a church attorney can help you minimize those risks. For example, they can advise you on maintaining safe premises by identifying and addressing potential hazards or managing security risks. They can help you develop crisis management plans to mitigate the impact of any legal claims that arise.
Ensuring Compliance With State And Federal Laws
A church attorney can help ensure your church complies with tax and employment laws and other applicable regulations. For example, they can help you correctly classify your staff members as employees or independent contractors and ensure you're properly withholding and paying taxes.
Preventing Legal Disputes
Preventing legal disputes before they occur is often more effective than working to resolve them after the fact. A church attorney can help you identify potential legal issues before they become problems. For example, they can help you develop policies and procedures to prevent claims of sexual harassment or discrimination or to manage conflicts of interest.
Handling Legal Disputes
Even with preventative measures in place, legal disputes can still arise. A church governance attorney can represent your ministry in legal proceedings and help you achieve the best possible outcome. They can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law and help you develop a strategy to achieve your goals. They can also help you negotiate settlements or establish alternative dispute resolution strategies, such as mediation or arbitration.
For more information, contact a church attorney near you.