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Montgomery McCracken Nonprofit Lawyers Advise on How to Steer Clear of Nonprofit Law Pitfalls

April 25, 2012


Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP attorneys Karl E. Emerson, Donald W. Kramer, and Virginia P. Sikes were course planners and  panelists for an ALI-ABA video web cast production presenting “The Top Ten Pitfalls of Nonprofit Law.”   The two-hour session addressed issues faced by nonprofit organizations and how to avoid to pitfalls associated with each, such as governance issues, including membership, diversity, active participation, and bylaws formation; registration and gift annuities; taxation and reporting; Unrelated Business Income tax (“UBIT”); indemnification and insurance; excess benefits and inurement; star employees; donor intent; independent contractors and the new IRS program; and volunteers.  The web cast aired live on April 5 and the recording is now available through ALI-ABA.

Don Kramer has more than 35 years of experience in the concerns of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania, not only as a lawyer, but also as a teacher, writer, publisher and board member.  He counsels on a wide range of nonprofit corporate structure and governance, private and community foundations, continuing care retirement communities, exempt organization taxation, low income housing tax credit transactions, real estate, charitable giving and other nonprofit issues.  Mr. Kramer is the editor and publisher of Don Kramer’s Nonprofit Issues®, a national newsletter of “Nonprofit Law You Need To Know.”

Karl Emerson provides legal counsel and advice to nonprofit organizations, including advising charitable organizations and their fundraisers on compliance with state charitable solicitation statutes, conducting charitable organization compliance assessments, and conducting internal investigations for charitable and other tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Emerson is a former Director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations where he was responsible for administering and enforcing Pennsylvania’s charitable solicitation law.

Virginia Sikes is a partner in, and the chair of Montgomery McCracken’s Tax Section and serves as the firm’s Financial Partner.  Her practice concentrates on tax controversies, state and local taxation, and tax-exempt organizations where she represents national corporations in matters concerning Pennsylvania sales tax, corporate net income, and franchise controversies. She has served as counsel to other law firms on tax-exempt and state and local tax issues.  Ms. Sikes lectures frequently on tax-related matters, and particularly on issues related to exempt organizations.  For five years she taught in Temple University Law School’s master’s program in taxation, and for four years in Drexel University’s Master of Science Program in Arts Administration.