Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"We imagine that the first hurdle the three plaintiffs will face is a challenge by Brandeis University to their standing"

The Charity Governance Blog's Jack Siegel on the recently filed Rose lawsuit:

"Under general principles of charity law, the [plaintiffs] probably lack standing: Donors lack standing. ... The donors may ... be able to argue special interest standing, but the Massachusetts Attorney General is aware of and, according to the plaintiffs' own pleadings, has been involved in the dispute. Attorney general involvement can undercut a claim to special interest standing. The three plaintiffs will undoubtedly argue that their status as members of the Board of Overseers of the Rose Museum provides them with standing. As we understand the board’s legal status, it is advisory. That fact may undercut their claim. At this point, all we can say is that both sides have sufficient facts to keep the battle over standing going for several rounds of court decisions. In the end, we bet the three will lose on the standing issue, but there are cases where donors have prevailed. See, for example, Smithers v. St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, 281 A.D.2d 127 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001)."

My initial reaction to the complaint was similar.