Anglican Legal Society

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Uniting those interested
in Anglican canon law

The Anglican Legal Society (ALS) brings together diocesan chancellors, attorneys, and others who are interested in Anglican canon law and related legal issues. Its gatherings, whether in person or by Zoom, offer instruction, fellowship, and an opportunity to learn from each other about wise practices and good order for Anglican parishes and dioceses. ALS is open to lawyers and non-lawyers, to lay people and to clergy—to anyone who shares an interest in Anglican governance and canon law.

Upcoming events

chancellor's CONFERENCE

Please join us for the first Anglican Legal Society Conference, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 to Friday, April 19. This is for anyone who is interested in learning more about how ACNA churches and dioceses govern themselves, what are the canonical principles that shape our church laws, and how to best serve your church and/or diocese as a Chancellor.  Our speakers will address the following topics:

  • Introduction to Canon Law
  • Constitutional Government in canon law
  • Seven canons all vestries should know
  • Parish By-Laws—What keeps Canon Lawyers up at night
  • Recent developments in ACNA
  • How to be a good (or bad) Chancellor

In addition, Theresa Sidebothom of Telios Law will present a seminar on best practices to help leaders respond to misconduct allegations well, care for all involved, and preserve the Church’s testimony.  The church’s response must be appropriate spiritually, legally, and practically, and there are many pitfalls to avoid. The seminar will address responding initially to an allegation: how to respond appropriately, meet legal standards, care well for those who may be victims, keep everyone safe, and provide a fair process for those who are accused. Then it will review when investigations are needed, whether they should be internal or external, and what standards should be put in place. It will cover ongoing care for everyone involved during the investigative process. Lastly, it will cover appropriate wrap-up: needed decisions, possible discipline, needed communications, and follow-up care.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS
 
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey

Canon Phil is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Anglican Council. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1988, and spent twenty years leading Episcopal and Anglican congregations of all sizes in California, Virginia and Pittsburgh—thirteen as a Rector and Church planter, and seven as a Senior Associate. In 2015 he received his LLM in Canon Law from Cardiff University (Wales UK) and now serves the province through directing the ACNA Governance Taskforce, in addition to his role in the AAC.

Theresa lynn sidebotham

Theresa Lynn Sidebotham founded Telios Law in 2012, where she advises organizations in the USA and abroad, with a focus on 1st Amendment protections, international law, religious / nonprofit law, employment law, child safety, and investigations—including large historical investigations. Telios law also coordinates legal audits and assists with internal investigations, including sexual harassment, child abuse, and other alleged misconduct investigations. Theresa directs Telios Teaches, an affiliate company that provides online training for organizations that are pressed for time & talent for response and prevention. Telios Teaches specializes in sexual harassment prevention, child protection, and other HR issues.

The Hon. George Peagler

During his distinguished career of 41 years in Georgia’s legal profession and justice system, Judge Peagler was engaged in the private practice of law for more than two decades prior to joining the Superior Court bench for the Southwestern Circuit, covering Lee, Macon, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, and Webster counties, in 2000. He is also a past president of the Southwestern Circuit Bar Association and the Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and a recipient of the Chief Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. He is also a director of the Anglican Legal Society.

The Rev. Andrew Rowell

Fr. Andrew is the second Rector of Christchurch, Montgomery. He serves as the Dean of the Western Deanery of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese and is on the Board of Trustees for the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Relief and Development Fund. Andrew received his undergraduate degree from Duke University (1995), his law degree from the University of Virginia (1999), and his Masters of Divinity from the Duke University Divinity School (2008). In his prior professional life, Andrew served as a homeless shelter manager, a speechwriter for the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a tax attorney at Hogan Lovells LLP in Washington, D.C. 

The Rev. William Barto

Deacon Barto is an experienced executive, litigator, and judge with over 30 years of public-sector legal experience. He is a skilled educator with years of teaching experience at an ABA-accredited law school and numerous publications on criminal law and procedure, administrative law, jurisprudence, and the judicial process. His specialties include the judicial process, judicial administration, ethics and standards of conduct, mediation, administrative law, litigation, training, investigations, criminal law and procedure, and military law. He is currently an assistant minister at Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, and serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of the Central States. He also assists the Bishop and Chancellor as necessary with various legal matters relating to the Constitution, Canons, and Bylaws that affect the parish. 

Resources from our latest Annual Meetings

Contemporary Issues
in Canon Law

The 2020 and 2021 annual gatherings of the Anglican Legal Society were held at the annual meeting of the Christian Legal Society. These gatherings aimed to develop interest in Anglican canon law, to facilitate communication between members, to share best practices, and to learn more about topics such as the relationship of law and religious liberty. Sessions were held in person and by Zoom, and they included panel presentations on Title IV Ecclesiastical Discipline, the implications of the ABA Model Rule 8.4G for Christian attorneys, and paper presentations covering a variety of topics pertinent to Anglican canon law. We have been able to post segments of these gatherings below.

Anglican legal society 2020

Play Video
The Vision of the Anglican Legal Society – Canon Phil Ashey
Play Video
Title IV of the ACNA Canons – Scott Ward, Esq.

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