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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ministerial Magic: Tax-Free Housing And Religious Employers, Bridget J. Crawford, Emily Gold Waldman Jan 2019

Ministerial Magic: Tax-Free Housing And Religious Employers, Bridget J. Crawford, Emily Gold Waldman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Religious organizations enjoy many of the same benefits that other non-profit organizations do. Churches, temples and mosques, for example, generally are exempt from local real estate taxes. Economically speaking, a tax exemption has the same effect as a subsidy; freedom from tax liability means that the organization can devote its financial resources to other activities. But where an exemption afforded to a religious employee is broader than the equivalent exemption available to a secular employee, a significant Establishment Clause concern is raised. The parsonage exemption of Internal Revenue Code Section 107 presents such an issue: ministers are permitted to exclude …


What Went Wrong: Prudent Management Of Endowment Funds And Imprudent Endowment Investing Policies, James J. Fishman Jan 2014

What Went Wrong: Prudent Management Of Endowment Funds And Imprudent Endowment Investing Policies, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Most colleges and universities of all sizes have an endowment, a fund that provides a stream of income and maintains the corpus of the fund in perpetuity. Organizations with large endowments, such as colleges, universities, and private foundations, all finance a significant part of their operations through the return received from the investment of this capital. This article examines the legal framework for endowment investing, endowment investing policies, their evolution to more sophisticated and riskier strategies, and the consequences evinced during the financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. It traces the approaches to endowment investing and chronicles the rise and, …


Commentary: The Federalization Of Nonprofit Regulation And Its Discontents, James J. Fishman Jan 2010

Commentary: The Federalization Of Nonprofit Regulation And Its Discontents, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The Internal Revenue Service, at the instigation of the Senate Finance committee-the Service's primary congressional overseer-has commenced a corporate governance initiative by issuing announcements and guidelines, as well as providing educational advice as to how charities' internal affairs should be ordered. The Service also has revised the Form 990 Annual Information Return, a publicly available document, so that it contains mandatory corporate governance questions.2 Nonprofit organizations traditionally have been creatures of state law and overseen by state agencies and regulators.3 What is unique about the corporate governance initiative is the Service's admission that it lacks express statutory authority for this …


Wrong Way Corrigan And Recent Developments In The Nonprofit Landscape: A Need For New Legal Approaches, James J. Fishman Jan 2007

Wrong Way Corrigan And Recent Developments In The Nonprofit Landscape: A Need For New Legal Approaches, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This essay argues that some of the assumptions by which we view and regulate the nonprofit sector are traveling, as did Wrong Way Corrigan, in the wrong direction. This is due to faulty assumptions about the nonprofit universe, overreactions to perceived problems, and a reluctance to consider innovative approaches to existing problems. This essay examines some of the erroneous assumptions, discusses recent legislative initiatives, and suggests that there is a need for more than incremental approaches when considering the nonprofit landscape. It argues that regulation of fiduciary behavior should be at the local level, or a combination of local and …


The Nonprofit Sector: Myths And Realities, James J. Fishman Jan 2006

The Nonprofit Sector: Myths And Realities, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Transcript from Who Profits from Nonprofits? A Symposium on Nonprofit Organizations. I have followed the development of CUNY Law School from its founding, and I really have to salute you. I do not know exactly where legal education is going, but I think CUNY is going to get there before other law schools, including my own. Today, I am going to explore some of the myths and realities of the nonprofit sector.


Is Voting Necessary? Organization Standing And Non-Voting Members Of Environmental Advocacy Organizations, Karl S. Coplan Jan 2005

Is Voting Necessary? Organization Standing And Non-Voting Members Of Environmental Advocacy Organizations, Karl S. Coplan

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This article will examine the law of standing, and specifically, the conflicting decisions concerning the importance of voting rights in order to establish organizational standing. The article concludes that voting rights should not be essential to the assertion of representational standing. Nevertheless, the article will also consider alternate forms of organization that will improve an organization's chances of establishing representational standing, while addressing the concerns that lead organizations to avoid a voting membership in the first place.


Charitable Accountability And Reform In Nineteenth Century England: The Case Of The Charity Commission, James J. Fishman Jan 2005

Charitable Accountability And Reform In Nineteenth Century England: The Case Of The Charity Commission, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Why is it so difficult to carry out effective institutional change? Why did the principle of charitable accountability, a nearly unanimously supported ideal, ring so hollow in practice? This Article offers hypotheses about the difficulties of administrative reform, through the prism of the nineteenth century, which may apply to contemporary issues of charitable accountability.


Improving Charitable Accountability, James J. Fishman Jan 2003

Improving Charitable Accountability, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article focuses upon a persistent problem of the nonprofit sector--its lack of accountability to the public. Director, officer, and organizational responsibilities will be analyzed. Past and current approaches to secure accountability of charitable assets will be discussed, and a proposal for improving charitable accountability will be suggested through the creation of public-private charity commissions at the state level under the aegis of the attorney general.


Checkpoints On The Conversion Highway: Some Trouble Spots In The Conversion Of Nonprofit Health Care Organizations To For-Profit Status, James J. Fishman Jan 1998

Checkpoints On The Conversion Highway: Some Trouble Spots In The Conversion Of Nonprofit Health Care Organizations To For-Profit Status, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This essay does not address the truly important policy issues: whether for-profit healthcare should be allowed or encouraged; how the quality of care compares to nonprofits or what criteria should be used to evaluate the quality of care; or what the impact of these conversions is on the communities they serve. It discusses less significant issues: those of process—how can we shape and control this tidal wave of change so that the public will be served and charitable assets preserved to the maximum extent possible? The focus is upon the valuation of these charitable assets; the appropriate process of conversion; …


Corporate Philanthropy And The Business Benefit: The Need For Clarity, Shelby D. Green Jan 1990

Corporate Philanthropy And The Business Benefit: The Need For Clarity, Shelby D. Green

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

The need for clarity or harmony is the subject of this essay. Part II summarizes a philosophical debate between two scholars on the mission of the corporation. Part III briefly traces the historical development of the relevant principles and Part IV examines the actual philanthropic practices of several large publicly held corporations. Finally, Part V considers the continuing significance of the common law rule in light of these practices and urges support for the ALI proposal.


Standards Of Conduct For Directors Of Nonprofit Corporations, James J. Fishman Jan 1987

Standards Of Conduct For Directors Of Nonprofit Corporations, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article analyzes the standards of care and loyalty that should apply to directors of nonprofit corporations. It suggests that the movement toward corporate law principles neither reflects the differences in the types of nonprofit corporations nor provides a coherent rationale for the conduct regulated. The "trust law"-"corporate law" distinction has often centered upon the label to be applied rather than on an analysis of the principles involved. Too often the selection of the label has determined the result. At other times, the label has been used as a convenient rationalization of a socially desirable conclusion. This Article will attempt …


The Development Of Nonprofit Corporation Law And An Agenda For Reform, James J. Fishman Jan 1985

The Development Of Nonprofit Corporation Law And An Agenda For Reform, James J. Fishman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This article examines the development of the law of “charitable corporations”' and attempts to explain why the charitable corporation rather than the charitable trust became the predominant organizational form for charitable and benevolent activities in the United States. It then discusses some of the inconsistencies of nonprofit corporation law and provides an agenda for future reform.