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Wendell R. Bird, P.C.


  • University of Oxford (D.Phil., legal history);
  • Yale Law School (J.D.); Vanderbilt University (B.A., summa cum laude).


  • Born Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Visiting Scholar at Emory Law School (2012-present)
  • Board of Advisors, New York University School of Law’s National Center on Philanthropy & Law (1999-2002)
  • Adjunct Professor (Constitutional Law), Emory Law School (1985-1990)


  • Member of Board of Editors, Yale Law Journal
  • Egger Prize of Yale Law School (one of two awards then given for student publications, for "the best student Note or
  • Comment in the Yale Law Journal on current social problems")
  • Summa cum laude at Vanderbilt University (history, political studies, economics)
  • Honors Program in history at Vanderbilt University


  • Member of American Law Institute (1987-present); and Life Member (2012-present)
  • Listed in Who's Who in America (1995-present), Who's Who in the World (1995-present), and Who's Who in American Law" (1990-present)
  • Listed in America’s Premier Lawyers and in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Law clerk to Judge J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Law clerk to Judge Robert S. Vance, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth/Eleventh Circuit
  • Martindale Peer Rating: AV Preeminent (5.0 out of 5)
  • Super Lawyers (listed since inception of Georgia rating)


  • State Bars: Georgia; Alabama; California; Florida.
  • Federal Bars: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits; various U.S. District Courts.
  • Bar Organizations: American Law Institute; American Bar Foundation (Fellow); American Bar Association Section on Taxation, Section on Litigation, Committee on Exempt Organizations.


  • Non-Profit Organizations Law.
  • Estates and Trusts and Charitable Contributions.
  • Business Litigation, Securities Litigation, Constitutional Litigation.

Nonprofit Organization Law

  • Wendell R. Bird has served nonprofit organizations for three decades, and has published a score of tax articles on nonprofit organization law and half as many on charitable contributions. He has been a plenary speaker for 15 years at the leading national conference on nonprofit organizations (the Washington Non Profit Legal & Tax Conference), where he has lectured for over 25 years. He has also lectured at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' national Not-For-Profit Industry Conference in Washington, and other exempt organization programs. He has been the co-chair of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Charitable Contributions for ten years, and also has been the chair of the ABA Subcommittee on Religious Organizations, and of the ABA Subcommittee on State and Local Taxation. He has served on the Board of Advisors of New York University Law School's National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, is on the Advisory Board of Taxation of Exempts, and was on the Advisory Board of Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations. On request by the publishers, Wendell Bird wrote a chapter on exempt organization tax law for one of the three national tax looseleaf services (CCH's Federal Tax Service, a 25 vol. series) (with Russell Reach), wrote a chapter of the then-leading treatise (Federal and State Taxation of Exempt Organizations published by Warren Gorham & Lamont), and wrote a guide for accountants on tax law governing religious organizations for Taxation for Accountants (with Thomas Kotouc). His score of other articles on nonprofit organization law have appeared in Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations, Journal of Exempts, Practical Tax Lawyer, Tax Exempt Organizations, etc. He has served as general counsel to various national nonprofit organizations. He has been listed as a Georgia Super Lawyer in the nonprofit field since that rating was established.


  • Wendell R. Bird is listed in America's Premier Lawyers. He is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, of the bars of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, and of the bars of various U.S. District Courts. He is also a member of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association. Wendell Bird served as law clerk for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit, and for another judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He as lead counsel won a $55 million judgment, litigating against major Philadelphia and San Francisco firms, which was one of the largest forty judgments in 2001; and as co-counsel won one of the thirty largest judgments in United States history up to that time, for $129 million, litigating against major Atlanta and Charlotte firms, and also a settlement for $45 million, litigating against New York firms. He has served as litigation counsel or general counsel to numerous organizations.


Publications on Legal History

  • Press and Speech Under Assault: The Early Supreme Court Justices, the Sedition Act of 1798, and the Campaign Against Dissent (Oxford University Press, New York 2016)
  • "Liberties of Press and Speech: 'Evidence Does Not Exist To Contradict the...Blackstonian Sense' In Late Eighteenth Century England?," 36 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1 (2016) (copyright Oxford University Press 2015, )
  • "Reassessing Responses to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: New Evidence from the Tennessee and Georgia Resolutions and from the Other States," 35 Journal of the Early Republic 519 (2015).
  • "New Light on the Sedition Act of 1798: The Missing Half of the Prosecutions," 34 Law and History Review 541-614 (2016) (copyright Cambridge University Press 2016,

Publications on Nonprofit Organizations

  • "Religious Organizations and Tax Law," Wendell R. Bird, Chapter 4 in Federal and State Taxation of Exempt Organizations (Warren Gorham & Lamont, Boston 1994)
  • "Unrelated Debt-Financed Income," Wendell R. Bird*, Chapter 6 in 8 CCH Federal Tax Service (CCH, Chicago 1995).
  • "Debt-Financed Income," Wendell R. Bird*, Chapter 6 of Bender's Federal Tax Service (Matthew Bender, New York 1988).
  • "Pension Protection Act and Nonprofits," Charitable Giving 719, May 2007.
  • "Guidance on 'Election Year Issues' for Exempt Organizations," Wendell R. Bird, 15 Taxation of Exempts 269, May-June 2004.
  • "Charitable Gift Planning after 'Repeal' of the Federal Estate Tax," Wendell R. Bird, 14 Taxation of Exempts 114, Nov.-Dec. 2002.
  • "Donor Advised Funds and Community Foundations," Wendell R. Bird, 13 Taxation of Exempts 68, Sept.-Oct. 2001.
  • "Political Activities and Exempt Organizations," Wendell R. Bird, 12 Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 243, Mar. 2000.
  • "The Employee/Independent Contractor Test," Wendell R. Bird, Journal of Asset Protection 39, Mar.-Apr. 1999.
  • "Foundation for New Era Philanthropy Scandal," Wendell R. Bird, 8 Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 69, 1996.
  • "Exempt Organization Rules on Political Activities," Wendell R. Bird, 7 Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 195, 1995-1996.
  • "Exempt Organizations Face Sales and Use Taxes," Wendell R. Bird, 6 Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 16, 1994.
  • "Current Developments in the State and Local Taxation of Exempt Organizations," Wendell R. Bird, 4 Journal of Tax Exempt Organizations 20, 1992.*
  • "Sales Tax Relief Not Automatic," Wendell R. Bird, 2 Journal of Multistate Taxation 203, 1992.*
  • "Exempt Religious Organizations Have Strict Limits," Wendell R. Bird & Thomas O. Kotouc, 48 Taxation for Accountants 207, 1991.
  • "Taxable Subsidiaries," Wendell R. Bird, 4 Practical Tax Lawyer 53, 1990.
  • "Exempt Organizations and Publishing," Wendell R. Bird, 1 Tax-Exempt Organizations 3024, 1989.

Publications on Estate Planning and Charitable Giving

  • "Congress Offers No Relief but Much Red Tape for Charities and Foundations," 17 Taxation of Exempts 201, Mar.-Apr. 2006.
  • "The Charitable Techniques Most Charities Overlook," 16 Taxation of Exempts 260, May-June 2005, reprinted in "Charitable Giving Techniques," Charitable Giving 599 (¶507), Aug. 2005.
  • "Charitable Giving Techniques and Other Estate Techniques," Wendell R. Bird, 5 Journal of Practical Estate Planning 17, Oct.-Nov. 2003.
  • "Charitable Gift Planning after 'Repeal' of the Federal Estate Tax," Wendell R. Bird, 14 Taxation of Exempts 114, Nov.-Dec. 2002.
  • "Family Limited Partnerships and Marketable Securities," Wendell R. Bird, 27 Tax Management's Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal 131, May 2002.
  • "Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs) and Estate Planning," Wendell R. Bird, 25 Estate Planner's Alert (CCH) 3, Nov. 2000.
  • "Charitable Gift Annuities," Wendell R. Bird, Charitable Giving 712, 1998.
  • "Estate Tax Savings for Retirement Plan and IRA Assets," Wendell R. Bird & David O. Treadwell, Jr., 1 National Lawyers Association Review 5, 1997.
  • "Methods of Estate and Gift Tax Savings," Wendell R. Bird, 57 Taxes 247, 1979.
  • "Estate and Gift Tax Savings for Medium-Sized Estates," Wendell R. Bird, Federal Estate and Gift Tax Reports (CCH) 10,802 (1979).

*For marked articles, was primary author with a co-author


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