Latest from Mauck & Baker Blog

Written by attorney Terry S. Lu
William Dukes was incarcerated for 15 years, 6 months, 2 days, and 45 minutes for a crime he didn’t commit. 
In 1993, a grandmother and her granddaughter were discovered dead in a bathtub. Based upon questionable witness testimony, the police focused their investigation on William. The police repeatedly pulled him into the station for questioning, interrogated him, dropped in on him unannounced at work, talked with the people who lived and worked around him, and generally made his life difficult. As a result of their investigation and these constant disruptions, William lost his job
Continue Reading The Perseverance of William Dukes

Written by attorney Richard C. Baker 
It’s that time of year again and high on the list among the things that a church should be considering at year’s end is the housing allowance for its ministers for the next calendar year, 2020. The housing allowance is a very important tax benefit for ministers but, without proper attention, can be lost or diminished for a specific year.
By way of review, in cases where the church does not provide a parsonage, the IRS’s Code allows a church to provide for a housing allowance to both ministers who own their residences and
Continue Reading Important Year-End Reminder for Clergy

Charitable solicitation is more complex than just asking for donations. In fact, there are a number of essential regulatory procedures that nonprofits must stay up to date with to stay off the charitable solicitation “naughty list.”
Currently 39 states and the District of Columbia have charitable solicitation laws requiring a nonprofit organization to register prior to soliciting or accepting donations from residents in that particular state. To ensure that your nonprofit organization is good this holiday season, keep the following information in mind as you plan and develop the organization’s fundraising activities.
Registration Prior to Solicitation
Most states define solicitation
Continue Reading Stay Off the Charitable Solicitation Naughty List

Our firm is comprised of many diverse lawyers. On this page, you’ll learn the languages, cultural backgrounds, and voices of Mauck & Baker through popular Christmas songs. Enjoy!
Sorin A. Leahu – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (in Romanian)
[embedded content]“What I like about that song is that it is one of the most, if not the most, theologically rich and gospel centered Christmas songs. ‘Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.’”
Soo Yeon Lee – It Came Upon a Midnight
Continue Reading Christmas Songs in the Languages of Our Firm

The Twelve Days of Lawyers for Jesus
Podcasts You Need to Hear this Christmas
Mauck & Baker produced a record amount of 113 Lawyers for Jesus shows this year! We’ve appreciated the support of our listeners every step of the way, and had a lot of amazing guests. Although every interview was special, we’ve chosen the “12 days of Lawyers for Jesus” that will be especially inspiring to you this Christmas season.
In the first month of 2019…
We listened to the riveting testimony of Louis Dooley, author of “Prison Saved My Life.” Louis told us his radical
Continue Reading The Twelve Days of Lawyers for Jesus

Having allies can make all the difference when it comes to quick action in a critical situation. We witnessed one such example of this recently when our firm and several others were contacted by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) regarding a situation where a young woman was in need of protection from her parents who were coercing to get an abortion. When she went to stay at the home of her boyfriend’s parents to escape the coercion, her parents reported her missing to the police. Thus, ADF needed a local attorney to intervene so she could legally remove herself from the
Continue Reading Cooperation Saves a Life from Abortion

What can Christian evangelists, petition passers, and Trump protesters all get behind?
The answer would be free speech, as yet another group has now objected to the City of Chicago’s rules in Millennium Park where officials continue to violate this fundamental right. The City is now fending off legal action from three different groups whose rights have been infringed:
1. On September 18, the firm of Mauck & Baker filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of their clients, four Wheaton College students, who were repeatedly prevented from sharing the Gospel in Millennium Park due to new rules that
Continue Reading Preachers, Petitioners, and Protesters

In conjunction with AM 1160’s FREE annual pastors’ conference, Mauck & Baker is hosting a panel on Friday, November 15, to discuss common crises that occur within churches, and how to both prevent them and navigate them if they occur. The panel will consist of four knowledgeable Christian professionals, each experienced in a different area crucial to the well-being, accountability, safety, and compliance of your congregation.
Meet the panelists:
Richard Baker – Partner attorney with Mauck & Baker specializing in nonprofit, employment, and church law. 
Tom Ciesielka – Founder of TC Public Relations skilled in crafting important messages, especially in
Continue Reading Avoiding and Navigating Legal Crises in Your Church

Are you ready to buy your very first home? Or maybe you’ve found a low-cost property that you want to wisely invest in. Whatever your reason for purchasing real estate, this article will guide you step-by-step through the process to a successful closing. Once you identify real estate you are interested in, many times with the help of a real estate agent, there are five stages until the ownership officially transfers and you receive the keys to your new property:

  • Contract (Offer/Acceptance)
  • Attorney Review
  • Inspection Contingency
  • Financing Contingency
  • Closing
  • 1. Contract (Offer/Acceptance)

    The contract formation begins with a buyer sending an
    Continue Reading The Simplest Guide to Buying Real Estate

    On Wednesday, September 18, Mauck & Baker hosted a press conference in Millennium Park to announce its lawsuit against the City of Chicago on behalf of four Wheaton College students (and inevitably all Americans) who want the freedom to exercise their First Amendment rights in a traditional public forum.
    The cameramen and reporters from Fox, ABC, Chicago Tribune, WORLD radio, and WBBM weren’t the only ones in attendance, however. Many members of our law firm also came to show support and join in prayer—which was exactly how John Mauck opened before announcing the details of the lawsuit.
    [above] Attorney
    Continue Reading Making Headlines for the Gospel

    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
    Continue Reading 5 Steps to Successfully Selling Your Home

    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
    Continue Reading LGBT History Concerns Illinois Public School Parents

    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,
    Continue Reading Mauck & Baker Gains a Partner

    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,
    Continue Reading What Goes on Behind the Scenes of Religious Liberty?

    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
    Continue Reading Are We Done Taking God Out of Government?

    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
    Continue Reading Chicago Slamming the Door on Evangelism