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Advising Nonprofit Organizations 2020

Speaker(s): Ahsaki E. Benion, B. Holly Schadler, Elizabeth M. Guggenheimer, James G. Sheehan, Marcus S. Owens, Pamela A. Mann
Recorded on: Feb. 27, 2020
PLI Program #: 276453

Ahsaki Benion is a Counsel in the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group at Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP.  She focuses her practice on representing public charities, private foundations, trade and professional associations, religious organizations, educational organizations, arts organizations, and other nonprofits. Ms. Benion advises clients on a broad range of regulatory, tax, governance, and general corporate matters, including but not limited to obtaining and maintaining exempt status, charitable solicitation, corporate governance, fiscal sponsorships, grant-making, unrelated business income tax, excess benefit transactions, reorganizations, contracts, and audits.

Prior to joining Carter Ledyard, Ms. Benion was the Assistant General Counsel at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), one of the largest charities in the United States.

Holly Schadler concentrates her practice on representing tax-exempt organizations, including private foundations, public charities, 501(c)(4) organizations and PACs, in connection with tax; federal, state and local campaign finance; governmental ethics; lobbying and corporate matters as well as advising on the Foreign Agents Registration Act.   Her clients include many of the nation’s largest advocacy and grantmaking organizations.  She defends clients facing audits, examinations and complaints by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Election Commission and other government bodies.  Holly successfully litigated the Sierra Club’s landmark case through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding treatment of royalty income from mailing lists and affinity credit cards and unrelated business income tax.

Her prior experience working for tax-exempt organizations as a CEO, political director and lobbyist has proven particularly useful in representing organizations in every aspect of their work.  For complex organizations with affiliated 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and political organizations, she provides the guidance and training necessary for legal compliance.  Her legal guide, The Connection, (published by the Alliance for Justice), now in its fourth edition, addresses the complexities of managing networks of tax-exempt and political groups.

James Sheehan is the Chief of the New York Attorney General's Charities Bureau, which oversees compliance and regulation of the nation's largest Charities sector.

Prior to this role, he was the New York City Human Resources Administration's first Chief Integrity Officer. From 2007 to 2011, he was New York's first Medicaid Inspector General, overseeing the country's first mandatory compliance program, and New York's' leading role in health care data analytics.

Prior to his New York public service roles, Mr. Sheehan was an Assistant and Associate US Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he developed a nationally recognized program working with whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.

He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School.

Liz Guggenheimer became Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance in 2019, building on her twenty-plus year commitment to strengthening nonprofits through pro bono legal assistance.  During the past year, Liz and Lawyers Alliance have focused on legal help to nonprofits improving the lives of low-income New Yorkers and working for equity and justice during the pandemic.  In 2021, Lawyers Alliance expects to mobilize 2,000 volunteer attorneys to advise hundreds of nonprofits on corporate, real estate, tax, intellectual property and other timely issues.  Liz and the Lawyers Alliance staff also coordinate Exponentum®, a national network of fifteen business law pro bono providers serving different geographic regions around the United States.

Liz’s current legal practice focuses on corporate governance, fundraising law and regulation, legal ethics, and risk management.

Before joining Lawyers Alliance in 1999, Liz worked at the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office, where she oversaw major enforcement actions and managed regulatory reviews as Deputy Bureau Chief and Acting Bureau Chief.  She also was a litigator at Dewey Ballantine LLP.  She received a joint J.D./M.P.A. from New York University School of Law and Princeton University and an A.B. from Harvard University.

Marc is a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm, Loeb & Loeb, LLP, where he specializes in federal tax issues relating to tax-exempt organizations, including charities and issue advocacy groups.  Prior to joining Loeb & Loeb, he spent 15 years in private practice and 25 years with the US Internal Revenue Service, including serving as Director of the Exempt Organizations Division from 1990 until 2000.  As Director of the Exempt Organizations Division, he was responsible for the design and implementation of federal tax rulings and enforcement programs for charities and other tax-exempt organizations.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and Florida Bars and he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pemsel Case Foundation, a Canadian foundation focusing on the development of the law of charity.  He is also co-chair of the Subcommittee on Audits and Appeals of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section.  Chambers USA ranked him as a “Top Lawyer” in 2009-2012; he is also named to “Best Lawyers of America” for Nonprofit/Charities Law and Tax Law for 2008-2020.  Thomson Reuters identified him as a “Washington, DC Super Lawyer” in 2012-2018; and The Legal 500 US named him as a “Leading Lawyer” in Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Organizations 2016-2019.

Pamela A. Mann is Chair of the Tax Exempt Organizations Group in the firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, with a practice concentrated in the representation of tax-exempt organization.  She is counsel to numerous public charities and private foundations and advises clients in a wide range of governance, regulatory, tax, and general corporate matters.  From 1996 to December 2012, she was the principal in the Mann Legal Group, LLC, a boutique law practice serving tax-exempt organizations.  From 1985 to 1995, Ms. Mann was Chief of the Charities Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office, directing scores of important cases and initiatives and influencing the adoption of significant legislative changes affecting tax exempt organizations.  Her diverse background includes clinical teaching at Rutgers University School of Law’s Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the litigation of employment discrimination and other employment related matters at the National Employment Law Project.

Ms. Mann has been recognized in New York Magazine’s Best Lawyers in New York and in Super-Lawyers Magazine in the category of lawyers specializing in Nonprofit/Charities Law.  Ms. Mann was Chair of the Committee on Nonprofit Organizations of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1998-2001 and has served as President and Vice-President of the National Association of State Charities Officials.  She has written many articles for professional and lay publications and is a frequent lecturer on non-profit issues.  She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  More information about the Tax Exempt Organizations practice at Carter Ledyard & Milburn is available at