Rocky M. Cabagnot, Nonprofit & Public Charity Lawyer
Licensed to Practice Law in North Carolina and Florida
Rocky has built his legal practice to help nonprofit organizations with a full range of legal issues. He has a passion for serving nonprofits and he has worked with tax-exempt organizations of all types, including:
- social services
- community & economic development/affordable housing
- arts & culture
- family and community foundations
- trade associations
- neighborhood & homeowner associations
Throughout his career, Rocky always been involved in the nonprofit sector. Rocky began his legal career as a legal services attorney in north central Florida (Gainesville, Tallahassee). For almost ten years, Rocky provided access to the civil justice system for low income Floridians, who could not afford an attorney. During his legal aid career, Rocky moved deeper into the nonprofit sector by developing a community economic development practice, which provided direct legal services to local nonprofits, particularly those with missions of developing low-income housing. In 2011, Rocky returned home to North Carolina and brought his passion for serving the less fortunate and the nonprofit sector by starting the Community Economic Development Clinic at the Charlotte School of Law. For over five years, law students under Rocky’s supervision represented local nonprofits and entrepreneurs who could not afford legal fees.
Rocky not only provides legal advice and counsel to nonprofit clients and teaches nonprofit courses (at both the law school and graduate level), he currently serves as the Executive Director at a local nonprofit community action agency. Because of his unique professional background, Rocky can provide legal services to the ‘whole nonprofit.’ Rocky understands the ‘ups and downs’ that come with running a nonprofit. He further understands that nonprofit budgets for legal services are generally lean. Because of your nonprofit’s mission and service to the public, Rocky will work with you and your organizational budget to develop an appropriate fee for value!
In short, Rocky is the unique ‘one of a kind’ lawyer and counselor who can truly add value to your nonprofit’s goal of achieving its mission. After developing a keen understanding of your nonprofit (your mission, culture, board, staff, programs, operations, budget), Rocky applies creative thinking and problem-solving skills to devise the best legal and common-sense solutions to help your nonprofit meet its goals.
Rocky offers tax exempt organizations comprehensive legal advice in areas including:
- Entity choice and formation
- corporate governance (including board training and development services)
- obtaining and maintaining tax exempt status
- mergers & other affiliations (including fiscal sponsorships)
- directors’ & officers’ liability/fiduciary obligations
- compliance (including fundraising licenses)
- commercial contracts, leases
- review of RFPs and existing grant agreements
Rocky speaks regularly to professional and industry groups and volunteer boards of directors about issues facing nonprofit organizations, serving as both educator and advisor. Rocky serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Access to Justice (Salisbury NC), and the Southeast Asian Coalition (Charlotte NC). He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Florida’s Center for Governmental Responsibility and Law School Transparency.
Rocky is a proud North Carolina Tar Heel (Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and a proud Florida Gator (JD and MAMC from the University of Florida). He is licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and Florida.