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Old 06-18-2018, 07:44 AM
 
103 posts, read 44,205 times
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A non-profit (501c3) I'm part of is missing a legal officer. This executive office is one of 5 that makeup the non-profits leadership group. The former legal officer is an attorney (although a licensed lawyer is not required) however he moved on as his tenure has expired. During the voting time to elect replacement officers nobody agreed to the nomination of legal officer

So how do we deal with this as an organization? Does the president pickup the duties of the Legal Officer, does the organization split the duties amongst the existing officers, or do we budget funds to use and hire an attorney as the need arises?

Please share your thoughts. I would certainly be happy to crowd-source the solution to this issue.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
57 posts, read 46,484 times
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The answer SHOULD rest in the bylaws and other organizational documents of the entity. If they do not, then (since it is a non-profit) the only answer is that which is agreed upon by the executive team and agreed upon by the Board.

Good governance requires that an executive team have a plan of succession or some kind of continuity plan so I'm gathering that there is not much oversight by the Board (or the Board is largely composed of the executive team and they thus control the whole thing [which itself is not great governance]).

The entity almost certainly (or should) have outside counsel on retainer that the Legal Officer would liaise with when taking actions. If the absence of a dedicated officer and any bylaws governing how the absence of an executive officer is governed; I'd think that the highest ranking executive officer would consult with outside counsel on all matters requiring expert legal opinions until such time as a new Officer is named. Alternatively, the former Legal Officer could act as this counselor.

But; that's all assuming this is a "full time" entity. I'm reading your question like this entity is a "part-time" non-profit that has no full-time employees of its own and the purpose of which does not require daily activities to support its mission.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:11 PM
 
103 posts, read 44,205 times
Reputation: 128
Thanks for responding Midas. Indeed it is a "part-time" non-profit that has no full-time employees. I believe our best option in the interim would be to consult with outside counsel for expert legal opinions. However, for the routine day-to-day legal tasks which are very much standardized across all non-profits it's ok to just use the guidance of documents with instructions on each area (e.g. registering managers of the non-profit with the secretary of states office)
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,046 posts, read 11,316,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheuss View Post
A non-profit (501c3) I'm part of is missing a legal officer.
When I misplace a legal officer, I just retrace my steps from the last time I definitely had my legal officer. I usually find the missing legal officer along the way.
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