THE CHURCH ATTORNEY
NEWS & INFO
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Erika E. Cole, Esq., the “Church Attorney”, has assisted churches and ministries for over 17 years in all aspects of their applications for 501(c)(3) status before the IRS, with a 100% success rate! She is known to represent small and medium-sized churches with the same diligence she provides to her mega-church clients. Mrs. Cole has successfully
defended several churches in well-noted court cases, protecting both their property and integrity, with her
victories being reported locally and nationally.
Mrs. Cole is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the D.C.
Bar Association and the Baltimore County Bar Association. She received her Bachelor of Science
degree in Political Science with a minor in Communications from James Madison University and her
Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Mrs. Cole served as an Adjunct
Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law teaching “Legal Analysis and Writing” and at
Loyola College of Maryland in the MBA program. She is frequent lecturer and invited guest for
both businesses and churches.
Mrs. Cole is a former Clerk to Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and the founding member of The Law
Offices of Erika E. Cole, LLC, a full-service law firm representing church and tax-exempt clients.
As the founder of The Church Compliance Conference, an annual event for pastors, trustees,
church officers, and administrators, she is the go-to person for church and ministry matters. Mrs.
Cole was admitted to Strathmore’s Who’s Who in 2008, and shares her expertise each month on
WEAA-FM in the segment “A Moment with the Church Attorney”.
In August 2011, Mrs. Cole was appointed to the Panel of Legal Experts for the Commission on Accountability
for Religious Organizations, and in January 2013, Mrs. Cole was overwhelmingly selected to serve on
the Board of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
In June 2013, The Law Offices of Erika E. Cole, LLC was selected to serve as the
General Counsel for The Wesleyan Church of North America.
On July 1, 2013, The Law Offices of Erika E. Cole, LLC opened its second location at
the National Harbor. This location serves clients in Prince George’s County,
Maryland and surrounding counties, as well as the District of Columbia, and
Mrs. Cole is happily married to Brien Cole, and they have one fantastic son, Erik.
The staff of The Law Offices of Erika E. Cole, LLC is committed to providing excellent legal representation with competence, character, and compassion. We provide the following legal services:
Whether you are renovating your existing Church building, or purchasing land for the construction of a new facility, we can answer your questions and guide you through the complex process from loan acquisition to settlement.
Establishing a properly functioning governing body is an integral part of your Church or non-profit. And while Board Members may be more than willing to fulfill their obligations, they often need instruction and guidance to best carry out these duties. Mrs. Cole is highly experienced and much sought after in this capacity, and can guide your Trustees and Officers to a greater understanding of their role.
Mrs. Cole has over 17 years of experience in obtaining tax-exempt status for Churches and other non-profit organizations with a 100% success rate! Our office has a thorough understanding of the IRS requirements and process for tax-exempt status, and we see each application through to completion.
The Church Charter is a key first step in answering the call to start your Church. We can draft and finalize this crucial document that will help establish your Church as a legal entity. Also, we can assist in the preparation of By-Laws to avoid costly litigation.
Over the past five years, lawsuits against churches have increased dramatically. Larger churches face an even greater risk of litigation. It has been reported that churches with more than 1,000 members have a 1 in 12 chance of being sued. Most lawsuits regard church employees, church property matters, church governance, or allegations of inappropriate relations.
This distressing trend means that church leaders must assess their risk, implement appropriate policies, and if necessary, vigorously defend the church in litigation. Mrs. Cole has successfully represented churches to ensure their continuity and protection.
LEGAL NEWS & INFORMATION |
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9433 Common, Suite 208
Owings Mills, MD 21117
137 National Plaza, Suite 300
Owings Mills, MD 20745
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