Civil litigation defense attorney for Oregon churches and religious schools - Kaempf Law Firm

Churches and Religious Schools

John Kaempf defends churches and religious schools against civil claims, including child sex abuse lawsuits, as well as employment disputes and claims by students and church members. John has 25 years of experience in obtaining the pretrial dismissal of claims against religious organizations based on the Free Exercise of Religion clause of the First Amendment. He also has extensive experience with vicarious liability and statute of limitations defenses.

John successfully defended a religious high school in a lawsuit where the plaintiffs, a former student and his parents, sued for readmission to the school and sought money damages after the school expelled the student for misconduct. The trial court granted John’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case, holding that it was (1) barred by the First Amendment's Free Exercise of Religion clause; (2) the school’s student handbook granted it the sole discretion to decide disciplinary issues that could not be challenged in court; and (3) the claimed damages were speculative and thus not recoverable.

This early dismissal allowed the school to avoid the time, stress, expense, risk, and negative publicity associated with a trial.

John won a case for a Christian high school where a religion teacher it fired for living with her boyfriend in violation of its religious doctrine sued the school, seeking reinstatement to her job and money damages. The court dismissed the case because, as John argued, the Free Exercise of Religion clause of the First Amendment prohibits secular courts from second-guessing these types of faith-based employment decisions.