Nonprofit Organizations

The Graber Law Firm has significant experience representing type A and B charities and member not-for-profit corporations with governance issues, claims of fraud and self-dealing by executives and attorney general investigations. We have advised distressed organizations, defended against criminal charges and civil compliance actions by the attorney general, and brought derivative actions seeking to reform distressed organizations on behalf of members.

The Graber Law Firm was retained to pursue derivative claims on behalf of Tau Epsilon Phi (TEP), a national fraternity founded at Columbia in 1910, against its board of directors after the organization refused to hold an annual meeting and election for more than a decade while the officers’ salaries more than doubled.  Despite the fact that similar claims brought by a different law firm had been dismissed less than 2 years earlier, we persuaded the court to appoint former Attorney General Robert Abrams as receiver, resulting in a settlement which provided for the resignation of the full board and recovery of monetary damages for the fraternity.  The firm is particularly proud of the results in this matter of first impression, and as Daniel Graber was quoted by the New York Times: “All I can say is this a great achievement for TEP, which has emerged from its death bed to look forward to 100 more years of greatness.”

The Graber Law Firm was hired by a large nonprofit foundation to defend a lawsuit brought by New York’s Attorney General alleging mismanagement and fraud, and asked the court to immediately shut down the organization. The AG attempted to litigate the case in the media, including at a press conference held by AG Andrew Cuomo himself. After a multi-day hearing which was televised live, we persuaded the court to deny the AG’s request.