Robinson Bradshaw Wins Unanimous Court of Appeals Ruling



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Sept. 7, 2016

Robinson Bradshaw attorneys Julian H. Wright Jr. and Matthew F. Tilley secured a unanimous victory from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in a case involving First Amendment limitations on courts’ authority to hear church disputes. In Azige v. Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, the court held the First Amendment prevented courts from hearing claims by former church members challenging the authority and election of a local church’s leadership. The judges reasoned the claims raised core ecclesiastical issues and that intervening in the church’s internal governance would violate the separation between church and state. The Charlotte Observer’s coverage of the case with a quote from Wright can be found here.

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