Disputes Involving Religious Institutions

By their nature, religious organizations bring an additional, unique set of complexities into the courtroom. Representing religious entities in litigation requires sensitivity to hierarchical and congregation governance models, canonical codes, traditions and histories as well as an understanding of secular law.

Over the years, Hemenway & Barnes has represented dioceses, churches, synagogues, universities and schools, and nonprofit institutions in a wide variety of cases, including:

  • First Amendment issues
  • Property disputes
  • Disaffiliation
  • Employment law
  • Land use and zoning

Clients have also sought our attorneys' highly regarded counsel for cases involving the Dover Amendment, RLUIPA, education law and tax at both trial and appellate levels.

Representative Experience

  • The Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts engaged us to represent them in a First Amendment case which established clear limits for court involvement in disputes involving hierarchical churches.
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