Wendell Bird

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Wendell Bird (born Atlanta, Georgia) is the author of Press and Speech Under Assault (Oxford University Press 2016),[1] and of legal history articles.[2][3] He earned his D.Phil. in legal history at University of Oxford,[4] and his J.D. from Yale Law School.[5] He is a Visiting Scholar at Emory University School of Law.[6]

After three decades practicing in Atlanta, Georgia primarily in litigation and in tax laws affecting exempt organizations, he is a senior partner at an Atlanta law firm.[7][8] He graduated from Vanderbilt University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1975).[7][8] While at Yale Law School, he served on the Yale Law Journal Board of Editors.[9]

He is a member of the American Law Institute,[10] a fellow of the American Bar Foundation,[11] a member of the American Bar Association, and co-chair of its Subcommittee on Charitable Contributions.[12] He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.[13]

Nonprofit Organization Law[edit]

He has been an annual faculty member of the Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference for over 30 years,[14] and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the RIA Thomson Reuters publication, Taxation of Exempts.[15] He has published three tax chapters and more than 20 articles on the laws affecting nonprofit organizations and charitable giving.[7][16] He has been a member of the Board of Advisors of New York University School of Law's National Center on Philanthropy and the Law.[17]


In litigation Mr. Bird primarily has represented securities claims, such as a suit against Merrill Lynch and its Focus Twenty Fund,[18] or a suit against TH Lee Putnam Ventures and Merrill Lynch,[19] both of which resulted in favorable decisions; and charitable fraud and diversion claims, such as a suit on behalf of the M. L. Simpson Foundation[20] or a suit against the Chatlos Foundation.[21]

In 2004, Mr. Bird represented APA Excelsior III (owned by predecessor to APAX Partners) and other large Wall Street private equity funds (managed by APAX Partners) in a federal court lawsuit alleging numerous securities law violations in connection with a sale to Healthfield Holdings, Inc.[22]

In 2000-2002, he represented the Bengard Group in a trial and appeal, winning in excess of $44 million.[23][24][25]

In the early 1980s, Mr. Bird worked for the predecessor to Atlanta's Womble Carlyle law firm, and also served as a special assistant attorney general for Louisiana in a case for six years.[26] As a special assistant he defended the state's "equal time" law, which was ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals,[27] and a rehearing en banc was narrowly denied by an 8-7 decision at the appellate level.[28] He argued the case for Louisiana to the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed the law's unconstitutionality in Edwards v. Aguillard by a 6-1-2 vote.[29]

Nonprofit Organization Law Chapters and Articles[edit]

  • Wendell R. Bird, "Religious Organizations and Tax Law," Federal and State Taxation of Exempt Organizations, Chapter 4, Warren Gorhan & Lamont Publishers, 1994.[7]
  • Wendell R. Bird & Russell Reach, "Unrelated Debt-Financed Income," 8 CCH's Federal Tax Service J: Chapter 6 (1995).[7]
  • Wendell R. Bird & Russell Reach, "Debt-Financed Income," Bender's Federal Tax Service J: Chapter 6 (1988).[7]
  • Wendell R. Bird, "No Relief But Much Red Tape for Charities and Foundation," 17 Taxation of Exempts 201 (2006).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird, " IRS Offers Guidance on "Election Year Issues" for Exempt Organizations," 15 Taxation of Exempts 269 (2004).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird, "Charitable Giving Techniques and Other Estate Techniques," J. of Retirement Planning at 9 (Nov.-Dec. 2003).[30]
  • Wendell R. Bird, "The Shape of Charitable Gift Planning After 'Repeal' of the Federal Estate Tax," 14 Taxation of Exempts 114 (2002).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird, "Political Activities and Exempt Organizations," 12 J. of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 243 (2000).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird, “Exempt Organizations Rules on Political Activities," 7 J Tax Exempt Organizations 195, (1996). [31]
  • Wendell R. Bird & Harvey Koning III, "Exempt Organizations Face Sales and Use Taxes in the Aftermath of Quill," 6 J Tax Exempt Organizations 16 (1994).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird & Timothy W. Townsend, “Current Developments in the State and Local Taxation of Exempt Organizations”, 4 J. Tax'n Exempt Org. (WGL) 20 (1992).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird & Timothy W. Townsend, "Sales Tax Relief Not Automatic for Tax-Exempt Entities," 2 J Multistate Taxation 203 (1992).[16]
  • Wendell R. Bird & T.O. Kotouc, "Exempt Religious Organizations Have Strict Limits", 48 Taxation for Accountants 207 (1992).[16]


  1. ^ https://global.oup.com/academic/product/press-and-speech-under-assault-9780190461621?cc=us&lang=en&#
  2. ^ Wendell Bird, "Liberties of Press and Speech: 'Evidence Does Not Exist To Contradict the . . . Blackstonian Sense' in Late 18th Century England?," 36 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1-25 (Spring 2016) (Copyright Oxford University Press 2015): http://ojls.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/gqv010?ijkey=RbcpZ2ZIUb8uIpP&keytype=ref
  3. ^ Wendell Bird, "New Light on the Sedition Act of 1798: The Missing Half of the Prosecutions," 34 Law and History Review 541-614 (August 2016) (Copyright Cambridge University Press 2016): http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A10JkAhxxDDneY
  4. ^ Bird, Wendell (2011). "Freedoms of press and speech in the first decade of the U.S. Supreme Court". Oxford Research Archive. 
  5. ^ http://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid%3A1a9de49a-b8c8-4500-a214-12a1719f6425
  6. ^ http://directory.service.emory.edu/?eodentry=P0300469
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Wendell Bird - Lawyer Profile". Martindale/LexisNexis. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  8. ^ a b "Attorney Profile: Wendell Bird". Bird & Associates Law Firm. 2009. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  9. ^ "The Yale Law Journal" (PDF). November 1977. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Member Directory:Search Term=Bird". American Law Institute. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  11. ^ http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/2014_roster.3.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.martindale.com/Wendell-R-Bird-PC/866649-lawyer.htm
  13. ^ http://www.martindale.com/Wendell-R-Bird-PC/866649-lawyer.htm
  14. ^ "46th Annual Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference Faculty". Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  15. ^ "Taxation of Exempts". Thomson Reuters. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NCPL Database Search Results:Search "Wendell and Bird"". National Center on Philanthropy and the Law:NYU School of Law. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  17. ^ http://www1.law.nyu.edu/ncpl/about/past_members.html
  18. ^ "Notice of Motion Admitting Wendell R. Bird and Richard L. Brittain as Counsel for Plaintiff". July 9, 2003. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  19. ^ "There Was A Discrepancy With Reality". April 4, 2006. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  20. ^ "Ministry says $80M-plus trust is mismanaged". May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  21. ^ "Joy Chatlos D’Arata vs. The Chatlos Foundation, Inc. Brief on Jurisdiction" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  22. ^ "APA Excelsior III v. Windley, Venture Capital Litigation Reporter, Vol. 2, No. 10" (PDF). Page Mill Publishing. 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  23. ^ "Orange County California Superior Court, Case No. 797567, Judgment of 1/29/01." (PDF). 
  24. ^ "Minutes 9/16/08, California State Board of Equalization:Bengard Group" (PDF). California Board of Equalization. 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  25. ^ "Partial List of Dispute Analysis and Expert Testimony". Mammoth Advisors. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  26. ^ "Education Resources Information Center entry". ERIC. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  27. ^ "Aguillard v. Edwards, 765 F.2d 1251". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  28. ^ "Aguillard v. Edwards, 778 F.2d 225". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  29. ^ "Edwards v. Aguillard , 482 U.S. 578". Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  30. ^ http://www.birdlawfirm.com/pdf/ACharitableGiving2003.pdf

External links[edit]