Entries by Liza Farrow-Gillespie

Guidelines for a Nonprofit Board of Directors

Charities are required by state and federal law to have board members, also called “directors.” The purpose of the board is to ensure integrity and accountability in the organization.  It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to serve as a director of a nonprofit, but board membership carries significant responsibilities.  DUTIES OF […]

FGHW is now a member of NAMWOLF

Farrow-Gillespie Heath Witter LLP is now a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms. Membership in NAMWOLF is highly selective and offered only to the most qualified and successful minority-owned and woman-owned law firms in the nation. For more information, visit www.namwolf.org.

Can my Nonprofit Organization Conduct Lobbying Activities?

A Section 501(c)(3) tax–exempt organization may conduct limited lobbying activities without jeopardizing the organization’s tax–exempt status, so long as lobbying does not form a “substantial part” of the organization’s overall work. An organization that intends to lobby and wants to be tax-exempt can apply either as a 501(c)(3) public charity or as a 501(c)(4) organization.  […]

Fooling Mother Nature Requires a Texas License

By Maria Folkerth July 27, 2016 Maria Folkerth was a summer intern at Farrow-Gillespie Heath Witter LLP. Section 301.11 of the Texas Agricultural Code provides that a person must have a license and fill out an application for a permit to modify the weather. Cloud seeding is the most common form of weather modification in the […]

Forming a 501c3: The “Texas Three-Step”

Individuals and families may establish a 501c3 tax-exempt charitable organization to accomplish substantive philanthropy while receiving very favorable tax treatment. The degree of maintenance such an organization requires depends whether the organization can be classified as a public charity or is instead a private or family foundation. Either way, forming a 501c3 is a three-step process. Step One: […]

Dallas Zoning 101

What is zoning?  Zoning is the division of land into districts. These districts have zoning regulations and limitations on land use, building height, setbacks, lot size, population density, coverage, and floor-area ratio.  The purpose of zoning is to facilitate the organization of the city and its neighborhoods, and to promote good urban planning. Before a person […]

Advantages of Trial by “Special Judge”

Under Chapter 151 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, parties to any civil litigation, including probate litigation, may choose to retain a “Special Judge” instead of proceeding to trial before the court or a jury. In a 2015 article appearing in Headnotes, published by the Dallas Bar Association, Judge Marty Lowy (Former) analyzed […]