8:15 AM Oversight of Charitable Entities by the Attorney General
Meghan Stoppel, Assistant Attorney General, Nebraska Attorney General's Office
This presentation will provide an overview of the Attorney General Office’s responsibility for oversight of charitable entities, highlighting best practices for the governance of nonprofit corporations and charitable trustees. The presentation will go over the common types of complaints the Attorney General receives, the type of notices the Attorney General must receive, and the powers of the Attorney General to correct wrongdoing.
9:00 AM Tricky Transitions
Anne Hindery; CEO, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM)
Britt Ehlers, Vice President of Development and General Counsel, Arbor Day Foundation
Catherine Demes Maydew, CPA
Every nonprofit board faces tricky transitions when a nonprofit can soar or sink, such as hiring a new executive director, moving from a founder-led board to a true governance board, or responding to a scandal. This panel will discuss the legal responsibilities and best practices of board members as they seek to prevent or manage potentially dangerous transitions. Panelists will draw on their personal experiences helping boards manage transitions in legal and ethical ways.
10:00 AM Break
10:15 AM Top 10 Employment Law Mistakes of Nonprofits
Sue Loerts, Jackson Lewis P.C.
Nonprofit organizations are subject to the same employment laws as other organizations, but they may be more likely to encounter certain legal issues. This presentation will remind attendees of what their legal obligations are in the employment arena, identify the most common issues faced by nonprofits and outline how they can protect their organizations from fines and lawsuits.
11:15 AM Top 5 Privacy Issues Facing Nonprofit Organizations
AriAnna C. Goldstein, Baird Holm LLP
Grayson Derrick, Baird Holm
Nonprofit organizations are faced with a number of different issues on a daily basis and privacy considerations often get lost in the mix. With the ever-changing landscape of privacy regulations, this section will discuss the top five privacy issues facing nonprofit organization and will we give you the information needed to assess whether these issues impact your organization.
12:00 PM Lunch (provided)
12:45 PM Common Pitfalls to Nonprofit Organization Sustainability
Christopher Bedient, CPA,CFP, HBE Wealth Management
Kiley Wiechman, CPA, HBE LLP
All board members have legal and ethical duties to understand and help maintain a nonprofit’s financial sustainability. This session will cover common pitfalls, including failure to monitor finances and consider “what if’s,” being too conservative with financial resources, misusing restricted funds, lack of internal controls to prevent error or fraud, and placing too much financial responsibility on a few board members.
1:45 PM Charitable Solicitation Registration – It’s Complicated
Nancy Harms, Director of Administration, Nebraska State Bar Association
If your nonprofit conducts fundraising activities, it is very possible it should be filing a registration form with any state where it is soliciting donations. Regulations vary widely from state to state. Get a quick overview of what may trigger the obligation to register and what’s involved in keeping your nonprofit in compliance.
2:00 PM Break
2:15 PM Representing a Nonprofit – Are the Ethics Rules the Same?
Jonathan R. Breuning, Baird Holm LLP
Yes, they are – but sometimes the facts are different enough to throw you off. This session will review common ethics issues which can arise whenever you have an organization as a client, with a particular view to how the issue might look when representing a nonprofit. Topics will include:
- The attorney client privilege is controlled by the rules of evidence, but counsel's duty to protect the privilege implicates several Rules of Professional Conduct including at least Rules 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6. What privilege traps exist when communicating with the Board of Directors? What about the Members if yours is a membership organization? And what if you, the organization's attorney, are also a member of the Board or even the Board Chair? Are there steps you can take to maximize confidentiality and minimize the risk of an unplanned privilege waiver?
- Doing business with clients. Rule 1.8(a) is extremely clear about what steps you must take before entering into a business transaction with a client, yet the rule itself is unfamiliar to many lawyers, and frequently overlooked. We will look at several recent cases where lawyers have violated the rule, and the problems they have faced as a result. Can this happen in representing a nonprofit?
- Who's your client? The Board? The Executive Director? It is, of course, the organization itself, but that does not always tell you who you report to or take direction from, and it can get confusing. Also, Rule 1.13(g) says that a lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the conflict requirements of Rule 1.7, but that is not always as easy as it sounds. We will look at a lawsuit recently filed against outside counsel for a major corporation, who allegedly protected the CEO's personal interests to the detriment of the company, and see what lessons it holds for anyone representing an organization, including a nonprofit.