Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the Pastors’ Forum as part of the 2019 Christian Legal Society Conference in Chicago, IL. Dozens of pastors from around the Chicago area came to hear about how they can better prepare their congregations to address the most pressing legal issues of the day. Every year, Church Law & Tax, a publication which provides churches with great information on legal, tax and risk management matters, identifies the top five reasons why churches ended up in court during the preceding year. For the last decade, property disputes and zoning matters have consistently been at or near the top of the list. Since we at Dalton & Tomich are actively litigating numerous property and zoning cases on behalf of churches in courts across the country, the top five list comes as no surprise to us. Thankfully, I was privileged to have Matt Branaugh, the Editor of Church Law & Tax, in attendance for my presentation and there to confirm the top five list for any pastors who might not realize the importance of knowing their rights in these two areas. Far too many churches lose valuable properties and opportunities each year because they (and even their local attorneys) fail to understand their rights.
I was also thankful for the opportunity to listen to a distinguished panel of religious liberty attorneys discuss the major religious liberty cases that are currently before the United States Supreme Court. Attorney Luke Goodrich, VP and Senior Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, highlighted six key cases that will greatly shape the religious liberty landscape in America. He also spoke about his recently published book Free to Believe which provides a helpful primer on why religious liberty matters and how we can best fight to secure it for future generations. Though I’m only half way through the book, I can already highly recommend it.
Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the national leader in successfully helping churches, other religious institutions and their insurers defend their rights in land use and zoning matters under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. We have helped clients win cases against municipalities and other local government bodies from coast to coast, with experience serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.
In 2015, Hope Rising Community Church experienced extreme opposition, the kind that would force it to close its doors and leave behind the families and youth it was so passionate about reaching. As the lead pastor I felt helpless, inferior and as if I had no […]Read More
Dalton & Tomich’s assistance in our RLUIPA matter has paved the way for our church to continue serving the community and for new churches in the area to thrive in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your stand for religious […]Read More
The Urban Church will be forever grateful to Dalton & Tomich plc for navigating it through a difficult land use issue. Let them give you honest and caring advice because that’s exactly what they’ll do.Read More
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Dalton & Tomich, PLC helped us immensely in the areas of litigation and negotiation! Their professionalism and understanding of church policy helped our church be victorious in a modern day religious land use battle. RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Lighthouse Community Church of GodRead More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC serves as General Counsel for the 144 churches within the Church of God in Michigan. The firm provides the legal expertise we need in dealing with the issues that arise during the course of fulfilling our ministry.Read More
I met Dan Dalton during a dark time for our church. He was recommended as the leading RLUIPA attorney in the nation. He demonstrated wisdom, expertise, a gentle nature, a calming inter-relational skill, genuineness, and a humble demeanor, while at the same time, being sharp, […]Read More
Mr. Dalton’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. His personal interest in helping our church went “above and beyond” just the call of duty. His understanding of both legal and spiritual matters seems to uniquely […]Read More