Casner & Edwards

Robert E. Cowden III

Bob concentrates his practice on the affairs of nonprofit organizations. He serves as counsel to operating charitable organizations, many of which are educational or social services organizations, to trade associations and to grant-making foundations. His work for these organizations includes the following subject areas:

  • Business and corporate matters: initial organizational issues and incorporation; structuring multi-corporate arrangements; mergers, acquisitions and affiliations; purchases and sales of assets; conventional and tax-exempt bond financing; corporate governance, including fiduciary duties of directors and officers; executive compensation and employment agreements; insolvency and receiverships; structuring and modification of charitable gifts, including cy pres petitions; management of charitable funds; and real estate projects for operating entities.
  • Tax matters: securing and maintaining tax-exempt status; unrelated business income tax; intermediate sanctions; legislative and political activities; private foundation excise-tax rules; tax-deductions for current charitable gifts; state sales taxes; and local property taxes.
  • Governmental affairs: government grants, contracts and competitive procurements; compliance with charities laws; licensure requirements; rate regulation for educational and social services programs; audits and related protests; exemption from local zoning requirements; drafting legislation and associated legal memoranda; testimony on government regulations; and lobbyist registration and reporting.

As an outgrowth of this work, Bob has served as an expert witness in matters involving charitable organizations.

Bob also represents closely-held businesses in the fields of architecture and publishing.




Bob is a cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard Law School.

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