Address Legal Concerns Involving Pastor or Church Board Disputes and Personal Injury Liability
Churches and other religious organizations by their very nature face unique issues of personal injury liability. They must rely not just on employees, but also on volunteers and lay leaders to teach and minister. They are often committed to ministering to vulnerable people who are suffering, including addicts and homeless people. They may also allow other religious or nonprofit organizations to use their facilities.
All of these acts of charity put churches at risk. Situations that have resulted in churches being sued include:
- Lay leaders abusing minors
- Addicts or other homeless individuals abusing minors or another person
- Lack of supervision leading to an accident (negligent supervision)
- Pastor making sexually inappropriate advances to vulnerable females
- Failure to report an incidence of child abuse discerned during a confidential counseling session in a state where mandatory reporting is required.
It is important that church and lay leaders be informed of potential liability issues and proactively address these risks. In this case, an ounce of prevention may save the church from costly, heart-wrenching litigation.
Situations can arise even under the most innocent of circumstances. For instance, in 2008, an elderly woman died after eating beef at a church social buffet at Salem Lutheran Church in Longville, Minnesota. Several other people also became very sick. The beef had E. coli bacteria.
The source was tracked back to Nebraska Beef. The processing plant’s beef was tested and found positive for E. coli. Nonetheless, in an outrageous move, Nebraska Beef turned around and sued the church, blaming it for the E. coli contamination.Lonnie Woods is a seasoned attorney whose practice centers on church law. Based in Arlington, Texas, Mr. Woods offers legal guidance that includes managing and advising on issues involving pastor disputes, church board disputes, church liability issues, buying and selling real estate for church purposes and more.
An ordained minister as well as a lawyer, Mr. Woods is dedicated to serving the legal needs of churches. He is here to help, serving nonprofit communities throughout Texas, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Speak with a trustworthy, caring church law attorney who can knowledgeably answer your questions and offer guidance on how to protect your rights. Please call for a free initial consultation at 817-751-7111 or contact us online.
Divorce can be complex. One complexity can involve the distribution of marital property, also referred to as the division of marital assets. In dividing property, there are two central issues: Is the property marital property or community property, and, if so, what is the value of the property?
Before value can be examined, there is an underlying question that must be answered: Is the property in question community property or separate property? Community property is subject to division in a divorce; separate property goes to the individual who owns the property and is not subject to division in a divorce.
Typically, assets brought into a marriage (e.g., a house or car) are separate property and assets purchased during a marriage are community property. However, the line gets a little murky when assets are co-mingled or community money is used to finance part of the separate property brought into the marriage.
For example, your spouse owned a home when you were married and still owns that home today. However, funds from the marriage were used to keep the house up, pay for improvements and make payments on the mortgage. In this case, the house will likely remain separate property, but you would still be entitled to half of the marital money that went into the payment, upkeep or improvement of the home.
If you are seeking a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, please seek counsel from an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure your interests are adequately protected and you have an advocate who will fight on your behalf for everything you are entitled to. Retaining an experienced family law attorney will ensure you have effective representation and fully understand your options.For those with divorce or family law matters in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, including division of property issues, we invite you to contact the Woods Law Firm for a confidential consultation by calling 817-751-7111, or you can elect to fill out our contact intake form and we will contact you.
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