Church Law

Steven Wee Law Office has made it our business to help navigate the many obligations, duties and needs faced by our religious organizations, their spiritual leaders, and members.

Churches, temples, and mosques and our religious leaders have long enjoyed a privileged position throughout our nation's history. In part, this status has derived from the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, but also from long-standing public deference.

However, in the latter half of the 20th century -- and now into the 21st century -- a profound change has occurred.  Nearly every privilege enjoyed by places of worship and by our religious leaders under federal, state, and local law has been challenged in our courts (usually under the First Amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause).  Over time, many of these challenges have been successful and today our religious organizations and their leaders find themselves subject to many laws and regulations that did not previously apply to them. Predictably, there is confusion and uncertainty surrounding the application of many of the rules and regulations that our government imposes.

The litany of issues about which to be concerned is long and includes (but is not limited to):

  • termination of clergy and religious leaders
  • clergy compensation
  • clergy-penitent privilege
  • malpractice
  • housing allowance
  • incorporation (and dissolution) of churches
  • managements of church records
  • discipline and removal of members from religious organizations
  • property disputes
  • overage of religious organizations under the minimum wage law
  • termination of employees
  • copyright law
  • judicial resolution of disputes
  • administration of private schools.

Recently, additional issues have received considerable attention, including:

  • diversion of church funds
  • state regulation of religious/pastoral counselors
  • legal liability of the organization’s officers
  • the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • negligent selection and supervision of workers
  • denominational legal liability
  • child abuse reporting obligations and child care facility regulation have received considered attention.  

The experience of Steven Wee in both working with and in churches, across denominational boundaries, affords us an unparalleled vantage point from which to provide your religious organization legal counsel.

Contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can exercise our knowledge and experience in resolving the issues you or your church is facing.

Steven Wee Law Office, P.S. is conveniently located in Spokane Valley, WA, near the I-90/Argonne intersection. We have had the privilege to serve clients from our own neighborhood as well as from distant communities throughout Eastern Washington and beyond.

**Disclaimer: The free information and help contained in these web pages is not intended to be legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with an attorney before taking any legal action.

© 2018 Steven Wee Law Office, P.S.
708 N. Argonne Rd., Ste. 1-B, Spokane Valley, WA 99212
| Phone: (509) 315-8087

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