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The Office of General Counsel acts as the source of legal advice to the USCCB and its Committees. It also supports the work of diocesan attorneys, State Catholic Conferences, and other national, regional, and local Catholic entities by providing uniform assistance on constitutional, tax, (including the administration of the Group Ruling), litigation and other matters.
OGC attorneys have special expertise in tax exemption and associated lobbying and political activity restrictions, Church-related social security and pension plan issues, immigration, international aspects of Church interests, education, civil rights, pro-life, and communications. These areas are practiced in the context of church-state relations, and with particular attention to their impact on not-for-profit entities.
OGC assists the USCCB in its legislative activities (by analyzing and drafting legislation, and preparing testimony), and participates in rulemaking and other federal agency proceedings. OGC also represents USCCB in litigation as a party or as amicus curiae and coordinates and supports the efforts of diocesan counsel in matters potentially affecting the Church.
OGC attorneys also publish scholarly works and engage in public speaking on issues of law and policy. Finally, OGC provides a framework for direct information, a series of regional consultations with these attorneys, and a national meeting for continuing education and discussion on the legal affairs of the Church.
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