Jonathan Nelson practices primarily in the fields of civil litigation and corporate law, with a concentration on the representation of religious institutions.
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Constitutional and statutory provisions create a special legal regime for churches and other religious institutions. This seminar distinguishes between the areas where houses of worship operate subject to the secular legal system and those areas where secular law does not intrude and explores how systems of ecclesiastical governance may shift the boundaries between these areas.
Key topics to be discussed:
Date / Time: April 8, 2022
Jonathan Robert Nelson | Nelson Madden Black LLP
Jonathan Nelson practices primarily in the fields of civil litigation and corporate law, with a concentration on the representation of religious institutions. He is a highly regarded church law practitioner. Mr. Nelson established an independent law office in 1991, after eight years of practice in corporate litigation and financial transactional work with major law firms in Chicago and New York City. Over the next twenty-five years, Mr. Nelson represented or advised hundreds of clients in the religious community, including Christian churches of many kinds, a religious order, Hindu temples, Jungians, a Yoruba cultural center, mosques, pastors, church trustees, missionaries, and victims of religious persecution seeking asylum.
Mr. Nelson has advised lay boards and clergy on a wide variety of legal concerns. Mr. Nelson has been a panelist at meetings organized by the American Bar Association and other lawyers’ groups. He also served as lead counsel in numerous judicial and administrative litigations, including a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church against the City of New York in 2001 to enforce the church’s First Amendment rights to serve homeless people on the steps of the church. Mr. Nelson has been listed in SuperLawyers since 2012, and has been rated “AV Preeminent” since 1998.
I. First Amendment protections for religious organizations | 2:00-2:24
II. Dual entity theory of incorporation of religious institutions | 2:24-2:48
III. Legal distinctions among hierarchical versus congregational religious institutions | 2:48-3:00
IV. Break | 3:00-3:10
V. Effects of incorporation and other forms of organization under State laws | 3:10-3:34
VI. “Abstention” doctrine affecting judicial resolution of church disputes | 3:34-4:10