PHOENIX — Church Executive magazine is proud to announce the addition of a dedicated risk management/legal blogger: Attorney Robert Erven Brown, Esq.
A Yale graduate, Brown received his J.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1974. As coordinator of the Nonprofit Practice Group of Ridenour Hienton & Lewis, PLLC in Phoenix, he has created a Campus Preservation Planning© initiative — a comprehensive program designed to manage the wide array of risks facing non-profit organizations. This program to protect churches’ critical assets against under-insured, uninsured or unjust claims — while improving risk management and stewardship — has been successfully implemented across the country.
Robert Erven Brown is an attorney licensed to practice in Arizona. He and his nonprofit practice group work with nonprofits and churches helping them manage key operations connected with their missions, visions and causes. As permitted by local Rules of Ethics, they collaborate with attorneys who are licensed in states other than Arizona.
His book — Legal Realities: Silent Threats to Ministries — is available for download online.
A recipient of numerous honors, achievements and recognitions, Brown is an adjunct professor and legal advisor to the board of directors at Phoenix Seminary. He has served as a trustee and legal advisor to the board of directors of Christian Education Legacy Fund; as a stewardship committee member at Paradise Valley Community Church (Paradise Valley, Ariz.); and as a board member and legal advisor to Scottsdale Christian Academy (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
“We’re delighted to have an opportunity to give back to this community,” Brown says.
His goals for the blog are three-fold. “First, we’re engaged in a cultural battle which pits an increasingly hostile litigation system against our churches’ ability to worship freely and to openly share our faith in pursuit of the Great Commission,” Brown begins. “Next, we hope to assist in creating a proactive risk management culture which protects our youth, protects our members, and preserves the use of our church campuses for worship for generations to come. Finally, we aim to provide governance resources for our church boards and administrators to lighten their load and to allow them to be more effective in serving the Kingdom.”
Read Brown’s first blog post on our website.
An all-around risk management resource
Throughout 2014, Brown will also be contributing to Church Executive’s targeted risk management series within the magazine. This series will explore several areas of risk management for churches, including disasters & emergencies, legal & finance, vehicles & drivers, staff & volunteers, children & youth, and buildings & property.
Brown’s first editorial contribution, “The airborne bounce house,” will appear in the December 2013 issue. This insightful article zeroes in on premises liability — the legal damages liability to one who’s negligently injured on the property imposed on those who “control” the use of real estate, such as the owner or the tenant of real property.
“Churches are held to virtually the same legal standard of care as their for-profit cousins who own land where the public is allowed to hang out,” Brown explains. “Nonprofit and for-profit owners have the same legal duty to exercise reasonable care to protect the people who enter the property from dangerous conditions.