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Church Law

Business Law Applied to Religious Organizations and Non-Profit Corporations

In its representation of religious organizations, the firm has represented the national organization, the congregation, and the ministers or trustees, both Christian and non-Christian, e.g., Buddhists.

The firm’s focus is business, but the business issues overlap with constitutional principles.

Recent topics of representation include:

A Church: What is it? How is it defined?

  1. The IRS requirements

Business and Contract law: The increasing application of “neutral,” i.e., non-religious principles of contract and property law.

Property: Property issues including:

  1. the use and sale of church property,
  2. authority to sell – who decides, the minister, the congregation or the national organization? What if the property is donated in trust; does that changes the rules?
  3. zoning and land use

Business and Religious Procedure: The interplay between corporate and religious procedure; which has priority and when.

Taxes: Tax issues including:

  1. the 501(c)(3) exemption and its limits
  2. related and unrelated business income, sales tax, and income tax,
  3. audits versus privilege,
  4. the treatment of subordinate organizations,

Employment: Employment law issues, including:

  1. ministers as a hybrid of employee and self-employed contractor
  2. the application of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FSLA). Minimum wage and overtime law as applied to religious organizations. Exempt?
  3. the application of age and anti-discrimination law to religious organizations,
  4. right to prefer adherents to the religion in hiring,
  5. volunteers

State Law: The approach and treatment by various states of the above, and other, issues.

Donald W. Hudspeth Attorney Photo
Donald W. Hudspeth
Principal Attorney

Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years’ experience practicing corporate and business law. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23. He was a business law professor at Arizona State University, West Campus, and has conducted classes and seminars for a number of higher institutions and organizations. Mr. Hudspeth has published two books on law and is the founder of the radio programs Law on the Edge and Law Talk.

Mark S. Hamilton Attorney Photo
Mark S. Hamilton

About Attorney Mark S. Hamilton has experience handling all aspects of civil and commercial litigation in federal, state, and tribal courts at the trial and appellate levels. Practice Areas Business litigation Commercial litigation Education University Of Hawaii Wm. S. Richardson School Of Law, Juris Doctor - 2002 University Of Hawaii, Master Of Arts in Asian…

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    2020 issue of AZ Business Leaders

Our firm now offers a scholarship program for ASU first and second year law students.

The scholarship is awarded to students for academic merit with an interest in business and business law. Candidates may have majored in fields other than business, have taken a break between college and law school, or have had exceptional life experiences.

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  • "I would recommend Mr. Hudspeth unequivocally. Not only is he an outstanding business attorney, he also provided me with access to a divorce attorney. Thanks to his skill, and resources available outside the Phoenix law family, I was successful in challenging a “family law” mediation that was particularly and grossly unfair." - Chandler, Arizona Private Individual

  • "Thank you for the work you have done in creating these documents. It is always a pleasure dealing with this firm!" - J. P.

  • "An excellent response. Masterfully prepared. Thank you." - El Paso, Texas Real Estate Investor

  • "Glad about meeting with Don. Felt so much better, better than in 15 years. Really appreciated the conversation." - RH, Phoenix Manufacturing Company

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