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Written by Soo Yeon Lee, Esq. Buying and selling a house is one of the largest transactions in anyone’s life. In most instances, you will work with a real estate agent who will list your property, and an attorney who will guide you through the legal process. This article guides you through the  selling process, from having a prospective buyer to a successful closing. Once you receive an offer, there are five stages to go through: Contract (Offer/Acceptance) Attorney Review Inspection Contingency Financing Contingency Closing 1. Contract (Offer/Acceptance) When a potential buyer makes an offer, they will send you a…
A number of you have inquired about the recently enacted LGBT History mandate in public schools and are wondering what can be done to protect students. You, like many Christian parents, are concerned about your children being indoctrinated with the belief that a homosexual lifestyle is desirable and perfectly good. Although we don’t know the specifics of the curriculum at this time, the law does require all schools in the state include “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State” in official textbooks. This likely means we can…
Soo Yeon Lee, of counsel attorney with Mauck & Baker, has made the welcome transition to becoming a partner at the firm. The attorneys at Mauck & Baker take their mission to do work for the Kingdom and make disciples very seriously. Rich Baker said it this way: “Practicing law in this firm is ultimately a spiritual calling and challenge. With our firm it can often be spiritual warfare! To truly achieve God’s purpose for this firm, a deep active faith that sees law as a calling and being equally yoked with all involved is crucial. 2 Corinthians 6:14 states,…
There is war being waged in our country. Every day, battles for religious liberty are being fought over zoning laws, unjustified criminal prosecution, employee discrimination, municipalities violating First Amendment rights to evangelize in public areas, and state laws that ban counseling for people wanting to be free from unwanted same-sex attraction. People may protest and petition to show their discontent with these laws, but who actually steps onto the frontlines to make sure they get changed? Just like any other kind of battle, a legal one involves strategy. Public interest groups such as Illinois Family Institute, One Nation Under God Foundation,…
Written by Sorin A. Leahu Is the law settled when it comes to eliminating religious symbols from public places? Or are we still awaiting a case with broader implications for religious exercise? On June 20, 2019 the United States Supreme Court issued an important decision finding that the State of Maryland did not violate the establishment clause by allowing the Bladensburg Peace Cross on public land. Nor did the State violate the establishment clause by using public funds to maintain the cross. By way of background, the cross is a 40-foot Latin cross erected in 1925 to pay tribute to World…
What kind of house has no walls, no doors, and no roof, but restricts the speech of those who dwell within it? Apparently Millennium Park, which Chicago authorities have recently divided into “rooms” to suppress free expression. On March 17, a student from Wheaton College made efforts to spread the gospel in Millennium Park while standing near Cloud Gate (commonly known as The Bean) by respectfully speaking about Jesus and distributing free religious literature. The student peacefully interacted with other park visitors without causing a disruption, but they were stopped by a park authority that claimed it was against the…
When the Foundations Are Being Destroyed, What Can the Righteous Do? The Equality Act and What it Means for You Written by Richard C. Baker At a time of great turmoil in Israel’s history, the psalmist wrote in Psalm 113, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” We are faced with a similar question today in our nation. On March 13, 2019, a bill labeled H.R. 5 and known as the “Equality Act” was introduced into the House of Representatives. This bill was an urgent priority to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House’s Democratic majority. It…
Written by Soo Yeon Lee Having an estate plan can make a big difference when it comes to preserving your legacy. Not sure if you need one? Comparing and contrasting can be an effective way to see the benefits and reasons to have an estate plan. Because everyone is different, pay special attention to the numbered items that are particularly relevant to your circumstance. If you are a young parent with young children see numbers 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, and 14 If you are a parent with special needs children (or if you have special needs) see…
Written by Whitman H. Brisky Divisions in the church are like fires. If not properly contained and handled, they can destroy the fellowship and witness of entire congregations, not to mention the faith of those involved. Many of those burnt by divisions in the church leave and never come back. However, if properly handled, divisions can refine a congregation and, in some cases, even help build the Kingdom. For better or for worse, church splits and divisions happen. While pastors may be equipped to handle the spiritual and personal dynamics that fuel division in the church, they are likely not…
For a church leader to be fully ministry-minded they must be vigilant to protect their flock from things that can detract from the Gospel and divide their congregation. This involves being constantly aware of potential legal pitfalls within their church. These pitfalls can take the form of unexpected encounters with the authorities. Although the government cannot infringe upon religious liberty, churches are still subject to many legal stipulations like other nonprofit organizations. If not in careful compliance, you may see your church involved in an unfortunate legal situation. Many times, churches are also responsible for the care of those involved…
Attending law school is not a spontaneous decision. There is much time spent balancing on the fence, trying not to fall prematurely on either side of the decision. Well, let me nudge you a little. If you’ve been thinking about going to law school, then go. Spiritual warfare comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they take the shape of legal battles and Christian lawyers are on the front lines. A law degree opens the door to glorifying Jesus in an extremely fruitful way. There are not many careers that provide better opportunities to spread Gospel than the law. Legal…
New Parking Ordinance Helping Churches Written by Richard C. Baker The author of Ecclesiastes wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. So just as the Jews returning from Babylon after the Exile found their building project for a new temple mired in red tape and neighbors’ objections for many years (Ezra 4:4; Nehemiah 4:1-9), so too every pastor or church board looking to purchase, build, renovate or expand a church in Chicago knows, it can be extremely hard to find the right property given the City’s zoning process. While there are many written and unwritten rules governing the…
The Controversy Over Custody Modified excerpt from pages 96-99 of Jesus in the Courtroom by John W. Mauck When Bethany Christian Services’ announced their plans to compromise with the state of Michigan by not discriminating against LGBT couples who wanted to adopt and foster children through their organization, many Christians responded with conflicting views. Some expressed anger at the government’s infringement on religious liberty, while others decried BCS for “giving in.” But in this controversy over custody, what many are forgetting are the overall best interests of the child. A child’s biological parents are, generally speaking, best qualified and most…
Mission Trip Do’s and Dangers Written by Attorney Sorin A. Leahu If you work in ministry, you know that some of the most exciting times of the year involve mission trips and outings. These events, however, should not be rushed into without careful legal planning. Unfortunately, you can never fully remove the risk associated with these events, but you can plan accordingly should the unexpected happen. The basic starting point for any trip or event should be the assumption of risk form. Adults who participate in these events should be required to sign a form assuming risks which are clearly…
I am sure you might wonder why a man at the time having been in ministry for over 29 years, a candidate for pastorate at three different churches, and preaching across the country weekly killed his wife in a sudden unanticipated moment of passion. It is a haunting question I seek to answer daily. I cannot honestly say my life was a sinless life, which to a degree contributed to my fall from grace. I lived in fellowship with peers in ministry that condoned the practice of sin. Many of the pastors I associated with practiced fornication and adulterous behavior.…