Church Law

service with a smile

Meet Our People

Motley Waller is well versed on the specific legal needs of churches, ministries, faith-based organizations, and clergy.  The firm’s work includes both the creation of new nonprofit organizations and consulting with existing ones. We advise our clients on legal questions relating to general corporate and business matters, and a broad range of other issues that often have unique application in the religious nonprofit environment.  Our team conducts legal compliance reviews; designs and implements children’s safety procedures, employment practices and termination procedures; the correct application of Copyright and Trademark conventions, and various other federal and state statutes. From the boardroom to the courtroom, Motley Waller provides both transactional services related to drafting and reviewing corporate documents and litigation services.  Our work also involves navigating complex business transactions, including the acquisition, construction, financing, and disposition of real property in addition to the merger and dissolution of churches.

Motley Waller regularly advises churches in numerous situations.  The firm has become a leader in assisting churches’ plan for, and survive church leadership transition and successions issues.  Losing a long term pastor or change of church leadership can have a devastating effect upon a church organization and its congregation.  Our firm has successfully assisted churches in these difficult situations.

When spiritual diplomacy fails, sometimes the church must go to either civil or church courts to resolve the conflict.   Our firm has succeeded in courts called on to resolve a conflict within the church.  Recently, the firm successfully prosecuted and obtained judgment in a member’s derivative action.  We defend our clients freedom of religious rights. We also defend our client churches before the Internal Revenue Service.

We regularly provide the following services to churches:

  • Advise churches on issues relating to the termination of professional employees and clergy, and represent  them in negotiating termination agreements.
  • Make presentations to church boards and membership meetings concerning  legal matters in which the church is involved.
  • Review and examine church property ownership issues.
  • Counsel churches on difficult business matters.
  • Review and advise churches regarding copyright issues 

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