Ellis Carter - Fennemore Craig, P.C.

Contact Information

Ellis Carter

Fennemore Craig, P.C.

3003 N. Central Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85041

602-916-5493

Practice Areas
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Counsel
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Ms. Carter is a lawyer practicing in Phoenix, Arizona. She advises non-profits, tax-exempt organizations, and social enterprises with respect to corporate, tax and regulatory issues. She represents non-profit organizations in matters such as qualification for tax exemption, conversions to and from tax-exempt status, mergers and restructuring, joint ventures and entrepreneurial activities, creation of supporting organizations, unrelated business income tax, advocacy issues, charitable solicitations, endowment management, governance issues, compensation matters, unusual and complex grants, mission related investments, intermediate sanctions, audit defense, complex gifts, and gifts with tax shelter implications.

Ms. Carter understands the fast moving social enterprise movement and the nuances of nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid legal structures.  She represents social enterprises in entity selection, formation, and operational issues. Ms. Carter has particular experience in economic development entities,  health care/scientific research institutions, grant-making foundations, trade associations and educational institutions.

Ms. Carter represents clients all over the United States and beyond with respect to Federal tax issues. Ms. Carter’s state law practice is limited to the jurisdictions of Washington and Arizona where she is licensed to practice.

Representative Transactions

  • Restructured a grant-making foundation formed out of the proceeds of the sale of a tax-exempt hospital to qualify for public charity status in a manner that saved the foundation over $200,000 annually.
  • Successfully represented a consortium of health and human service agencies in the appeal of an adverse modification of its tax-exempt status, saving the consortium over $100,000 per year.
  • Advised a major hospital system regarding structuring its activities and policies to ensure it meets the community benefit standard applicable to tax-exempt hospitals.
  • Represented a number of tax-exempt entities in mergers and acquisitions of tax-exempt entities as well of the sale of the tax-exempt entities’ assets to for-profit purchasers.
  • Restructured a large foundation to save over $80,000 annually.
  • Served as borrowers counsel to tax-exempt and governmental organizations in tax-exempt bond issuances.
  • Structured several economic development and community development corporations in a manner that qualified for 501(c)(3) status.
  • Successfully obtained 501(c)(3) status for several organizations that promote the of electronic medical records and/or exchange healthcare data.

Articles and Presentations

  • Co-Instructor, ASU Lodestar Center’s course on Non-profit Law, Summer 2009;
  • Presenter, Association of Scholarship Tuition Organizations, Maintaining Tax-Exempt Status, June 5, 2009;
  • Co-Presenter, The New IRS Guidelines for Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations, national teleconference sponsored by Lorman, May 6, 2009;
  • Co-Presenter, Best Practices in Charter School Governance, Arizona Charter School Association Board Retreat, April 18, 2009;
  • Co-Author, Fennemore Craig Non-profit Update: New Law Permits Increased Flexibility in Expending and Managing Charitable Funds; March 20, 2009;
  • Presenter, Legal Issues for Professionals Serving on Non-profit Boards, Business on Board Program, sponsored by Arts & Business Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, March 4, 2009;
  • Co-Presenter, Obtaining and Sustaining Tax-Exempt Status, national teleconference sponsored by Lorman, February 18, 2009;
  • Co-Instructor, ASU Lodestar Center’s course on Non-profit Law, Spring 2009;
  • Panelist, Conversions: Where to we Stand?, American Bar Association Exempt Organizations Committee of the Section of Taxation, 2009 Mid-Year Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana January 9, 2009;
  • Presenter, Governance and Best Practices for Non-profits, Arizona Grantmakers, November 20, 2008, click here to watch the video;
  • Co-Presenter, The New IRS Guidelines for Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations, national teleconference sponsored by Lorman, November 13, 2008;
  • Co-Presenter; Best Practices in Charter School Board Governance; Arizona Charter Association’s 2008 Arizona Charter Schools Conference, Excellence By Design; November 11, 2008;
  • Presenter, Navigating the Waters: Charter School Compliance, sponsored by Fennemore Craig, P.C, June 6, 2008;
  • Co-Instructor, ASU Non-profit Management Institute’s course on Non-profit Law, Summer 2008;
  • Presenter, Association of Scholarship Tuition Organizations, What’s New with Form 990, June 6, 2008;
  • Presenter, State Bar of Arizona Section of Taxation, A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Tax-Exempt Organizations, April 23, 2008, at the State Bar of Arizona;
  • Co-Presenter, Navigating Legal and Ethical Issues, Arizona Grantmaker’s Forum in cooperation with the Southwest Conference of Foundations, March 27, 2008, at the Flinn Foundation;
  • Presenter, Legal Issues for Lawyers Serving on Non-profit Boards, Business on Board Program, sponsored by Arts & Business Council, Phoenix, Arizona, March 7, 2008;
  • Instructor, ASU Non-profit Management Institute’s course on Non-profit Law, Session Spring 2008, at A New Leaf;
  • Co-Instructor, ASU Non-profit Management Institute’s course on Non-profit Law, Spring 2008; and
  • Presenter, Legal Issues for Professionals Serving on Non-profit Boards, Business on Board Program, sponsored by Arts & Business Council, Phoenix, Arizona, February 29, 2008.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, State Bar of Arizona
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Tax Law Section and Committee on Exempt Organizations, American Bar Association
  • Founding Director, Diversity Leadership Alliance, 2004 to present
  • Director, PAFCO Advocacy, 2004 to 2008
  • Director, Awakening Seed School, 2008 to present
  • Honorary Board Member, YWCA of Maricopa County, 2005 to present

Admissions

  • Arizona, 2000
  • Washington, 1997

Education

  • LL.M., University of Washington, 1998
  • J.D., cum laude, Seattle University, 1996
  • B.A., cum laude, Northeastern University, 1993

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America, Non-Profit/Charities Law, 2007-2010
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” (the highest rating available), by Martindale Hubble
  • Phoenix Magazine, Top Lawyers, Nonprofit-Charities Law, 2007
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program, Non-Profit Advocate of the Year, 2002

Professional
 
Undergraduate: Northeastern University
Law School: Seattle University
Admitted to Bar: 1997
Practice Areas: Business > Tax-Business
Business > Corporate Counsel
Business > Corporate Governance
Organizations: American Bar Association, Tax Section, Exempt Organizations Committee
   
Personal
 
Gender: Female
Status: Married
Children: 2 Children
Age: 41
City of Residence: Phoenix
Home Town: Little Rock
Home State: AZ
   
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