Seminar examines legal issues affecting religious institutions

Arizona Religious Institutions Law Day ideal for religious organization administrators, clergy

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PHOENIX – Faith-based organizations serve a higher calling, but they also must comply with myriad laws and regulations. The second annual Arizona Religious Institutions Law Day is designed to offer guidance on the complexities of legal compliance while remaining true to an organization’s beliefs.

Arizona Religious Institutions Law Day will be hosted by Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP on Oct. 13 at Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix. The program is open to those in administrative positions with religious organizations, as well as clergy, board members and others of all faiths.

Sessions will cover liability concerns for church activity participants, human resource compliance issues, payroll and recordkeeping, Supreme Court ruling effects on faith-based organizations, and understanding responsibilities and policies for misconduct allegations.

“This seminar is ideal for clergy of all faiths, other religious leaders, board members and anyone involved in administration of a religious institution,” said Martin Nussbaum, a partner in Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s Religious Institutions practice group.

The full agenda and registration are available at A $25 registration fee includes lunch and all seminar materials. Session highlights include:

  • Church Activities – Permission Slips and Releases: A discussion of Arizona law that applies to releases and consents, how to adequately describe activities and risks participants are likely to encounter, and what to do when something goes wrong. Presented by Scott Brown, a partner with Lewis Roca Rothgerber whose practice includes advising religious institutions.
  • Three Most Expensive but Overlooked Compliance Issues in HR: Learn best practices for engaging independent contractors, reviewing work eligibility documents (I-9s) and exemptions from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Presented by Joan Rennekamp, a human resources consultant to religious organizations with more than 35 years of experience.
  • Wages, Overtime, Exemptions & Special Cases: Covers FLSA basics and other hot topics, including proposed new exemption rules that would expand overtime protections for white collar workers, and interns (and whether you should pay them). Presented by Ian Speir, an attorney with Lewis Roca Rothgerber who regularly advises nonprofits and religious organizations on employment law, corporate governance, intellectual property and religious liberty.
  • The Supreme Court Rulings and Their Aftermath: Recent court decisions involving same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act raise many more questions than they answer for churches and faith-based organizations. Presented by Bob Schaffer, a partner and member of Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s Religious Institutions Group. Schaffer is former law clerk to U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and provides legal counsel to religious institutions in civil litigation matters.
  • Managing the Risk of Sexual Misconduct: Mismanaging the risk of sexual misconduct and reporting abuse constitute both the greatest underinsured risk and greatest cause of scandal for churches, denominations and other ministries.  In this presentation, Martin Nussbaum, co-chair and co-founder of the Lewis Roca Rothgerber Religious Institutions Group, will discuss preventive strategies, misconduct policy design, child abuse reporting, insurance, and investigations in the church context.

Arizona Religious Institutions Law Day will be held Oct. 13 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 pm at Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, Ariz. 85013. For the complete agenda and registration information, visit

About Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP
Lewis Roca Rothgerber offers legal and strategic industry experience to help clients realize business value, provide informed counsel on the issues that matter most. With more than 250 attorneys in eight cities across the western U.S., the firm assists organizations with a wide range of business matters including litigation and commercial transactions. Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s lawyers practice in the areas of complex commercial litigation, finance, tax, insurance, intellectual property, regulatory, government relations, and labor and employment law. Learn more at



Keith Jones

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