The Law of Associations: An Operating Legal Manual for Executives and Counsel

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The Law of Associations is a one-volume handbook that will guide association executives step by step through the business, legal and tax issues encountered every day in managing an association. This one-stop guide to association management details topics such as the nature of associations, association operation, association lobbying, antitrust and employment law issues, ethical dilemmas, federal tax aspects of association activities, statistical reporting, and other legal and related problems of associations. With the proven guidelines set out by author Hugh K. Webster, a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean who specializes exclusively in the representation of nonprofit organizations, association executives will move confidently within the law and safeguard their tax-exempt status from danger.

  • Updated annually.
  • First published by the American Society of AssociationExecutives in 1971.
  • Revised Second Edition published in 1975.
  • Table of Contents

    Volume 1 Table of Contents


    Chapter 1  THE NATURE OF ASSOCIATIONS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE


    1.01  Constitutional Basis for Trade Associations


    1.02  Benefits of Association Activities


    1.03  Court Recognition of Role of Associations


    1.04  Today’s Functions of an Association


    Chapter 2  ASSOCIATION OPERATION: INCORPORATION ANDRELATED MATTERS


    2.01  Introduction


    2.02  Incorporation


    2.03  Bylaws


    2.04  Unincorporated Associations


    2.05  Federations


    2.06  Governance


    2.07  Procedural Irregularities


    2.08  Governing Law


    2.09  Freedom of Information Act Requests


    2.10  Legal Audits


    2.11  [Reserved]


    2.12  Relationship Between Parent Association and Its Chapters


    2.13  Can a Nonprofit Make a Profit?


    Chapter 2A  RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIABILITIES OF ASSOCIATION DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS


    2A.01  [Reserved]


    2A.02  Role of the Association Board


    2A.03  Fiduciary Duties


    2A.04  Sarbanes-Oxley and Best Practices


    2A.05  Examples of Why Association Directors are Sued


    2A.06  Apparent Authority


    2A.07  Protections for Directors


    2A.08  Standing to Sue


    2A.09  Applicable Law


    2A.10  Liability of a Director’s Employer for Acts of the Director


    Chapter 2B  ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP ISSUES


    2B.01  Constitutional Right


    2B.02  Relationship of Members to the Association


    2B.03  Rights of Members


    2B.04  Membership Criteria


    2B.05  Association Appointments, Awards, and Other Internal Actions


    2B.06  Termination and Other Discipline of Members


    2B.07  Membership Meetings


    2B.08  Access to Association Records


    2B.09  Ownership Rights in Association Property


    2B.10  Dues and Assessments


    2B.11  Liability of Members


    2B.12  Communication With Members


    2B.13  Members’ Relationship with the Association’s Attorney


    2B.14  Servicing Members in Restricted Countries


    Chapter 3  HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTER CONTRACTS


    3.01  Meeting Contract Issues


    3.02  Other Contractual Issues


    3.03  [Reserved]


    3.04  Contracts With Convention Centers


    3.05  Performance of Copyrighted Music


    Chapter 4  ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION


    4.01  Introduction


    4.02  Level of Compensation


    4.03  Employment Contracts


    4.04  Principles Applicable to Employment Contracts


    4.05  Employment Contract Provisions


    4.06  Tax Treatment of Certain Business Expenses


    4.07  Deferred Compensation Agreements


    4.08  Retirement Plans


    4.09  Cafeteria Plans


    4.10  Insurance Benefits


    Chapter 5  SUBSIDIARY ENTITIES


    5.01  For-Profit Subsidiaries


    5.02  Association Foundations


    5.03  Maintaining Control of the Subsidiary


    5.04  Ensuring Treatment As A Separate Legal Entity


    5.05  Transfers of Revenues to the Parent Association


    5.06  Fiduciary Duties of Subsidiary Boards of Directors


    5.07  Antitrust Issues


    5.08  Other Subsidiary Entities


    Chapter 6  RESERVED


    Chapter 7  GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITY


    7.01  Introduction


    7.02  First Amendment Considerations


    7.03  Legislative Activity—Tax Issues


    7.04  Legislative Activity—Registration


    7.05  Legislative Activity—Tort Liability


    7.06  Legislative Activity—Federal Funds


    7.07  Antitrust Implications of Legislative and Political Activity


    7.08  Political Activity—501(c)(3) Associations


    7.09  Political Activity—501(c)(6) Associations


    7.10  Federal Election Campaign Act Limitations


    7.11  Advantages of a Political Action Committee


    7.12  Formation of a PAC


    7.13  Solicitation


    7.14  Legal Restrictions on Contributions to a PAC


    7.15  PAC Contributions and Expenditures


    7.16  FEC Requirements


    7.17  Tax Status of PACs and Other Political Organizations


    7.18  Miscellaneous Requirements


    7.19  House and Senate Rules on Lobbying


    7.20  Foreign Agent Registration Act


    Chapter 8  INFORMATION GATHERING AND REPORTING


    8.01  The Importance of Competitive Information


    8.02  The Legality of Information Exchanges


    8.03  Antitrust Overview


    8.04  Rule of Reason Analysis


    8.05  Key Considerations


    8.06  Specific Issues


    8.07  Providing False Information in an Information Exchange Program


    8.08  Department of Justice/Federal Trade Commission Guidelines


    8.09  Conclusion


    Chapter 9  SELF-REGULATION: CODES OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF PRACTICE


    9.01  Introduction


    9.02  Why Self-Regulation is Legally Sensitive


    9.03  Extent of Involvement of the Courts


    9.04  Discipline of Members


    9.05  Appeals Procedures


    9.06  Flexibility


    9.07  Discipline Less Than Expulsion


    9.08  Suspension Prior to Decision


    9.09  Effect of Deviation from Association Rules


    9.10  Legal Relief Available to Members


    9.11  Enforcement of Association Codes By Members


    9.12  Regulation of Member Conduct


    9.13  Free Speech Challenges


    9.14  Self-Regulation and Liability of Members


    9.15  Defamation of Fellow Members


    Chapter 10  ANTITRUST CONSIDERATIONS


    10.01  Introduction


    10.02  General


    10.03  Association Meetings


    10.04  Unlawful Agreements


    10.05  Concerted Conduct Seeking Governmental Action


    10.06  Invitations to Engage in Antitrust Violations


    10.07  Economic Vigilantism


    10.08  Social Welfare Justification


    10.09  Association Antitrust Policies


    10.10  Online Discussions


    10.11  Model Contracts


    10.12  Parallel Behavior by Competing Firms


    10.13  Anti-Competitive Conduct by the Association Itself


    10.14  Past and Prospective Unlawful Conduct


    10.15  Personal Liability for Antitrust Violations


    10.16  Limiting Services to Members Only


    10.17  Antitrust and Professional Societies


    10.18  Collective and Cooperative Buying and Selling


    10.19  The Federal Antitrust Laws


    10.20  Enforcement Mechanisms


    Chapter 11  EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES


    11.01  Introduction


    11.02  Employment Issues Unique to Associations


    11.03  The Concept of At-Will Employment


    11.04  Employment Laws


    11.05  The Hiring Process


    11.06  Discrimination


    11.07  Federal Contractors and Other Recipients of Federal Funds


    11.08  Other Unlawful Practices


    11.09  Family, Medical and Parental Leave


    11.10  Overtime Pay Issues


    11.11  Defamation


    11.12  Electronic Mail and Harassment


    11.13  Personnel Manuals


    11.14  Practical Tips


    11.15  Liability Waivers


    Chapter 12  STANDARD SETTING, CERTIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION


    12.01  Standards Setting


    12.02  Certification of Products


    12.03  Product Liability


    12.04  Certification of Individuals


    12.05  Accreditation


    Chapter 13  TORT AND OTHER LIABILITY


    13.01  Introduction


    13.02  Negligent Promulgation of Standards


    13.03  Product Certification


    13.04  Personnel Certification


    13.05  Support of Association Sponsors and Other Suppliers


    13.06  Information Liability


    13.07  Association Journals


    13.08  Other Torts


    Chapter 14  RESERVED


    Chapter 15  FEDERAL TAX ASPECTS OF ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES


    15.01  Introduction


    15.02  The Term “Trade Association”


    15.03  Tax Exemption Under Section 501(c)(6)


    15.04  Tax Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3)


    15.05  Summary of Key Distinctions Between Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) Associations


    15.06  Not Organized for Profit


    15.07  Illegal Activity


    15.08  Certain Specific Association Activities


    15.09  Inurement


    15.10  IRS Audits


    15.11  Third Party Standing to Challenge Tax Exempt Status


    15.12  Why Retain a Federal Income Tax Exemption?


    15.13  Foreign Conventions


    15.14  State Tax Treatment of Non-Profits


    15.15  Sales Tax Exemptions for Educational and Charitable Organizations


    15.16  Deductibility of Dues and Other Payments to Associations


    Chapter 15A  UNRELATED BUSINESS INCOME TAX (UBIT)


    15A.01  Introduction


    15A.02  Defining Unrelated Business Income


    15A.03  Factors in Determining Unrelated Business Income


    15A.04  Exemptions from UBIT Applicability


    15A.05  Particular Activities


    15A.06  How Much UBI Is Too Much?


    Chapter 15B  TAX PROCEDURE AND FORMS


    15B.01  Introduction


    15B.02  Filing the Exemption Application


    15B.03  IRS Form 990 Information Return


    15B.04  Other Relevant Tax Forms and Issues


    15B.05  Group Exemption


    15B.06  Toward Full Disclosure: Inspection of Tax Forms and Reporting of Salaries


    15B.07  Acknowledgements to Donors


    15B.08  Revocation of Exemption


    15B.09  Effect of Loss of Exemption


    15B.10  IRS Audits and Tax Litigation


    Chapter 15C  OTHER TAX-EXEMPT ASSOCIATIONS


    15C.01  Introduction


    15C.02  Social Welfare Organizations—Section 501(c)(4)


    15C.03  Agricultural and Horticultural Associations and Labor Unions


    15C.04  Social Clubs—Section 501(c)(7)


    15C.05  Holding Companies—Section 501(c)(2) and 501(c)(25)


    15C.06  Section 501(c)(8) Fraternal Beneficiary Societies


    15C.07  Section 501(c)(10) Domestic Fraternal Societies


    Chapter 16  ASSOCIATIONS AND COPYRIGHTS


    16.01  Introduction to Copyright


    16.02  Association Works That May (and May Not) be Copyrighted


    16.03  Copyright Ownership


    16.04  Copyright Infringement


    16.05  Fair Use and Other Defenses


    16.06  Special Association Issues

    Appendix to Chapter 16


    Chapter 16A  ASSOCIATIONS AND TRADEMARKS


    16A.01  Introduction


    16A.02  Obtaining Trademark Rights


    16A.03  Common Issues with Association Marks


    16A.04  Special Kinds of Association Trademarks


    16A.05  Guidelines for Selecting a Trademark


    16A.06  Trademark Infringement


    16A.07  Association Chapter Issues


    Chapter 17  OTHER LEGAL AND RELATED ISSUES FOR ASSOCIATIONS


    17.01  Legal Services by Business and Professional Associations


    17.02  Mergers Involving Associations


    17.03  Immunity of Associations from Liability


    17.03A  [Reserved]


    17.04  Reserve Funds


    17.05  Charitable Solicitation Registration


    17.06  [Reserved]


    17.07  [Reserved]


    17.08  Postal Rates


    17.09  [Reserved]


    17.10  Record Retention Policies


    17.11  Court Jurisdiction Over Associations


    17.12  Trade Shows


    17.13  [Reserved]


    17.14  Association Building Purchases: A Primer


    17.15  Raffles, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance


    17.16  Association Research Activities: Joint Ventures


    17.17  Dissolution

    General Appendices

    Articles of Interest

    Index