David Thompson of Scarfone Hawkins in Hamilton, Ontario recently wrote a paper entitled “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act”.  If anyone is wondering how can people believe the ridiculous proposition that you one can invest $1000 dollars and get a $5000 official donation receipt from a registered charity they may want to read this article.  It discusses the role of some major law firms in providing “legal opinions”, marketing support, and ostensible legitimacy to these sordid schemes. Mr. Thompson is presently acting for plaintiffs in a number of class action lawsuits including claims against Banyan Tree Foundation/Rochester Financial Limited/Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.

{**UPDATE**] David will be presenting a webinar for the Charity Law Information Program “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act. The webinar is free and will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm EST Here is the URL to register:
https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/k2/j.php?ED=143635057&UID=961489907&RT=NCMxMQ%3D%3D&FM=1

Here is an free archived version that can be downloaded: “Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act” that was recorded on March 23, 2011
https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=TC&rID=3323852&act=pb&rKey=5b53242806610e43

Here is David Thompson's paper
Dangerous Opinions – Legal and Ethical Issues with Legal Opinions on Charity Law and the Income Tax Act by David Thompson