The annual series of car auctions recently took place in Scottsdale.  The largest auction site is conducted by Barrett-Jackson, which continues to raise great sums of money for charities nationwide.  According to Business Wire (January 20, 2019) the auction raised $9.6 million in 2019 bringing the total raised by the auction to over $114 million for charity.  

Source:  Business Wire, January 20, 2019


Like many states, California requires commercial fundraisers to file financial reports.  While the state may impose a twenty-five dollar ($25) late fee on commercial fundraisers for each month or part of the month the financial reports are past due, the state historically has not imposed such late fees.  Recently, California began sending out late fee notices to commercial fundraisers imposing late fees for late-filed financial reports.  It is important to note that California law not only allows for the imposition of late fees for late filed financial reports by commercial fundraisers, but also for the filings of other regulated entities including, but not limited to, the registration statements, renewals and financial reports of charitable organizations, fundraising counsel and commercial co-ventures.  It will be interesting to see if the state also starts imposing late fees on charitable organizations, fundraising counsels or commercial co-ventures for late filings.  


The University of Iowa announced that it was withdrawing the name of casino mogul Steve Wynn from its Vision Research Institute.  In 2013, Wynn announced a $25 million donation for the facility to be made in $5 million increments.  As a result of the action of the University, the last increment of $5 million will not be paid. (Commentary: this is just another classic example of the importance of detailed written agreements between charities and major donors when there are conditional gifts being contemplated, such as naming rights.)

Source:  Iowa City Press – Citizen, January 22, 2019


The city of Salem has come up with a rather innovative idea.  Prospective marijuana shops are being required to sign a host community agreement whereby they agree to donate to local organizations every year.  The sums are somewhat substantial.  Four prospective shops have agreed in total to donate more than $260,000 for local nonprofit organizations.  

Source: The Salem News, December 30, 2018


The Community Foundation of Central Missouri has an annual online fundraiser.  This year the campaign raised over $800,000, which represented an 11% increase over the previous year.  Likewise, the report indicated that the average donation was $121 in 2018 compared to $105 in 2017.

Source:  Columbia Daily Tribune, January 2, 2019

New Jersey:

Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, has introduced a bill that will increase penalties for those convicted of crowdfunding theft that would include mandatory fines, jail time and restitution. The bill is a result of the GoFundMe crowdfunding scandal involving Johnny Bobbitt, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, which captured international attention last year. 

Source:  NJ.com, January 2, 2019  


A number of major events are taking place at Copilevitz & Canter.  First, founding partner Mackenzie Canter III has retired.  The firm name will be changing to Copilevitz, Lam and Raney, PC.  The firm has also renewed its lease in the historic Crossroads District of Kansas City, Missouri.  

The Minnesota Continuing Legal Education program includes, as invited speaker, Greg Lam, our managing partner.  The event is hosted in part by Heidi Christianson, a former Minnesota Assistant Attorney General.  The event will take place on March 20, 2019.