Religious Institution Litigation
Our attorneys litigate conflicts involving religious institutions and offer seasoned judgment in counseling religious institutions, leaders, and members involved in disputes. Legal issues concerning church, congregation, synagogue, mosque, and other religious institutions include such matters as governance, property, employment matters, and institutional dissolution.
Todd & Weld attorneys offer expertise and sensitivity to solving these issues through consultation, mediation, or trial if needed.
Our representative matters include:
- After an evidentiary hearing, the firm prevailed on a motion for preliminary injunction in a case in which control of a church and its $30 million building were in dispute. The court held that the senior pastor and one church faction had wrongfully seized control of the church in violation of by-laws. After the decision, the firm's clients were able to reach a successful, global settlement of then pending claims and counterclaims in federal and state court.
- After three years of litigation in federal and state court, the firm prevailed in defense of a church in its dispute with the national organization of churches with which it had been affiliated for more than 200 years. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the ownership rights of the congregational church after the church disaffiliated from the national organization.
- Litigation over the estate rights of property and publications of a world-renowned Rabbi.
- Successfully represented a Boston-area Islamic group post-9/11 in litigation involving religious freedom and civil rights concerning the group's efforts to construct a mosque and cultural center in Roxbury.
- Litigation concerning the right to control an investment account of an orthodox Jewish school/yeshiva.