Skip to main content

Nonprofit Organizations 2016: Governance, Form 990 Reporting, and Compensation Issues


Speaker(s): Dahlia Doumar, Dana Brakman Reiser, David G. Samuels, J.J. Harwayne Leitner, Karen I. Wu, Seth Perlman
Recorded on: Dec. 14, 2016
PLI Program #: 150574

Dahlia Doumar concentrates her practice in tax law. Her practice is broad and sophisticated including both domestic and foreign for-profit companies, exempt organizations and high net worth individuals.

Ms. Doumar works extensively in the exempt organizations area counseling clients on unrelated business income tax issues, investment structuring, rules governing the maintenance of donor advised funds, reporting regarding foreign investments and grants, self dealing, intermediate sanctions and excise tax issues generally.

In the corporate area, Ms. Doumar has advised clients on numerous matters, including corporate reorganizations and recapitalizations, restructuring of distressed companies, business acquisitions and dispositions, partnership and limited liability company investments.

Ms. Doumar also works with members of the employee benefit and executive compensation group on tax aspects of employee benefits. Further, Ms. Doumar has represented clients, both for-profit and not-for-profit, before the Internal Revenue Service, New York State and New York City involving audits and private letter ruling requests.

In addition, working with lawyers in the trusts and estates group, Mrs. Doumar has advised on the domestication of foreign trusts.


Dana Brakman Reiser is Professor of Law and former Vice Dean at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches courses in Corporations, Nonprofit Law, Social Enterprise, Property, and Trusts and Estates.  Her recent scholarship focuses on law and finance for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises – businesses that pursue a social mission.  In 2017, she published SOCIAL ENTERPRISE LAW: TRUST, PUBLIC BENEFIT, AND CAPITAL MARKETS (Oxford University Press) (with Professor Steven A. Dean).  Her scholarship also has appeared in Boston College Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. 

Professor Brakman Reiser is a member of the American Law Institute and was an Associate Reporter for its project on the Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.  She is also a member of the American Association of Law Schools, a member of the executive committee of its Section on Business Associations and past-Chair of the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School.


David G. Samuels joined Duval & Stachenfeld LLP as a partner in 2006.  He is Chair of the Firm’s Tax Exempt Organizations Practice Group and a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department and its Employment Practice Group.  Mr. Samuels has, since 2007, been named annually as one of the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers in the New York metropolitan area in the category of Non-Profit/Charities Law.  He was named by Best Lawyers as its New York City Non-Profit/Charities Law Lawyer of the Year for 2016 and again for 2018.

Mr. Samuels has extensive experience representing numerous public charities and private foundations, including social service agencies, grant-making foundations, mental health facilities, educational organizations, and religious institutions.  His clients include New York University, Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, Atran Foundation, Bone Marrow Foundation, Board of National Missions, Social Science Research Council, the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, and the YWCA of the City of New York. 

Mr. Samuels is a recognized expert on a wide range of issues involving charitable organizations, including compensation, governance, fiduciary duty, self-dealing and conflict of interest, prudent investments, and endowments and restricted funds.  He represents targets of investigations and inquiries from government agencies (including the New York Attorney General).  He frequently deals with the Attorney General on regulatory matters, including sales, mergers, dissolutions, and cy pres applications.  He teaches the course on Charitable Organizations as an adjunct professor at New York Law School.  Mr. Samuels is former chair and a member of the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  He has chaired and participated in numerous continuing legal education and accounting education programs on nonprofit issues.  Mr. Samuels is the lead editor and co-author of a treatise, Nonprofit Compensation, Benefits, and Employment Law, and has written extensively on nonprofit issues with numerous articles published in the New York Law Journal and elsewhere.  He is also an experienced civil and appellate litigator and employment lawyer.

Mr. Samuels received an A.B. degree (cum laude) from Harvard College in 1974, a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1978, and an LL.M. from NYU School of Law in 1985.  Mr. Samuels was Deputy Chief of the New York AG’s Charities Bureau from 1987 to 1995.  He was previously a partner at Perlman & Perlman and at Butler, Fitzgerald & Potter. Mr. Samuels is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York.


J.J. Harwayne Leitner has a multi-disciplinary practice representing tax-exempt organizations of all types and sizes, including private foundations, private operating foundations, public charities, supporting organizations, "friends of" organizations, donor advised funds, social welfare organizations, and trade associations. She counsels on all tax laws pertaining to nonprofit organizations, including private foundation excise taxes, taxation of unrelated business income, private benefit and inurement, intermediate sanctions, and lobbying and political activities. J.J. also has extensive experience with the New York not-for-profit corporation law and handling transactions for New York charities that involve the oversight of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.

As outside general counsel to many of her clients, J.J. regularly reviews and drafts contracts, both routine and extraordinary, and she counsels those clients on a wide variety of legal issues, including employment, real estate, intellectual property, and litigation matters. J.J.'s practice also includes the formation of new organizations and obtaining federal and state tax exemptions; corporate governance matters; complex corporate transactions, including joint ventures, spin-offs, mergers, conversions, and asset sales; and nationwide state charitable solicitation issues including cause marketing and other fundraising transactions and methods.

Additional Qualifications

  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, N.Y., 2008-2014
  • Holland & Knight LLP, New York, N.Y., 2001-2008
  • Gilbert, Segall and Young LLP, New York, N.Y., 2000-2001
  • LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP, New York, N.Y., 1998-2000

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 2016; Member, Nonprofit Committee, 2016 – American Bar Association Business Section

Education

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1998

  • Award for Excellence in “Subordination: Traditions in Thought and Experience”
  • Georgetown Journal on Fighting Poverty

B.A., Mathematics, Brown University, 1994

Related Practices

Tax-Exempt Organizations Tax: Federal

Corporate Governance Executive Compensation

Admitted to Practice

New York, 1999


Seth Perlman is Senior Partner at Perlman & Perlman, LLP, the country’s leading law firm serving nonprofits, fundraising professionals and social enterprises.  Mr. Perlman has litigated in several state and federal jurisdictions on issues relevant to the philanthropic community.  In addition, he has worked with the Hungarian Government on the initial formation of its not-for-profit sector and has been invited by Congress and State governments to advise on legal and regulatory issues relevant to philanthropy.

Mr. Perlman serves as General or Special Counsel for several nonprofit industry trade associations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He is a founding member of Charity Defense Council. He also was instrumental in helping to form the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Mr. Perlman advises a broad range of U.S. nonprofit boards and also holds international board positions with philanthropic organizations in Canada, France, and Germany. 

Mr. Perlman received the Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association in 2009 for distinguished service by an attorney practicing nonprofit law.

Mr. Perlman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on charitable solicitations law, cause-marketing and nonprofit law. He is a regular speaker at several philanthropic-related conferences including the Practicing Law Institute, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the joint conference of the National Association of Attorneys General/National Association of State Charity Officials.

Mr. Perlman is the author of Fundraising Regulation, a two-volume handbook that explains the regulatory requirements and procedures for nonprofits soliciting contributions on a state-by-state basis. He has written several articles on fundraising regulations for publications including The Nonprofit Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and has authored the fundraising chapter of The Nonprofit Handbook.

Mr. Perlman is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Bar Association’s Exempt Organizations Committee and Business Law Committee, and the New York City Bar Association. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1985. He received a J.D. degree from the University of Houston Bates College of Law in 1984 and a B.S. in Geology from Beloit College in 1977.       


Karen I. Wu is a partner at Perlman & Perlman, LLP, a nationally recognized law firm serving the philanthropic and social enterprise sector. Karen leads the firm’s Washington, DC office.  Karen advises nonprofit organizations on corporate governance, federal tax law compliance, fundraising regulation, contract negotiations, and intellectual property matters. She also counsels a broad range of for-profit businesses, including Fortune 500 and start-up companies, on emerging issues involving corporate philanthropy and cause marketing, including corporate sponsorships, commercial co-ventures, crowd-sourced fundraising, and social media campaigns. Karen is a frequent author, blogger, and speaker on legal issues affecting the philanthropic sector.  She received the Outstanding Young Lawyers Award from the New York State Bar Association in 2012, the Nonprofit Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association in 2013, and the Best Lawyers Under 40 Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in 2015. These awards honor young attorneys who have a distinguished record of service within the legal profession and the community.