Wendell Bird (born Atlanta, Georgia) is the author of Press and Speech Under Assault (Oxford University Press 2016), and of legal history articles. He earned his D.Phil. in legal history at University of Oxford, and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He is a Visiting Scholar at Emory University School of Law.
After three decades practicing in Atlanta, Georgia primarily in litigation and in tax laws affecting exempt organizations, he is a senior partner at an Atlanta law firm. He graduated from Vanderbilt University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1975). While at Yale Law School, he served on the Yale Law Journal Board of Editors.
He is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the American Bar Association, and co-chair of its Subcommittee on Charitable Contributions. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
In the landmark case Edwards v. Aguillard he served as a special assistant attorney general for Louisiana and later became a staff attorney for the Institute for Creation Research and Association of Christian Schools International. Bird later authored books promoting creationism and teaching it in public schools.
Nonprofit Organization Law
He has been an annual faculty member of the Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference for over 30 years, and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the RIA Thomson Reuters publication, Taxation of Exempts. He has published three tax chapters and more than 20 articles on the laws affecting nonprofit organizations and charitable giving. He has been a member of the Board of Advisors of New York University School of Law's National Center on Philanthropy and the Law.
In litigation Mr. Bird primarily has represented securities claims, such as a suit against Merrill Lynch and its Focus Twenty Fund, or a suit against TH Lee Putnam Ventures and Merrill Lynch, both of which resulted in favorable decisions; and charitable fraud and diversion claims, such as a suit on behalf of the M. L. Simpson Foundation or a suit against the Chatlos Foundation.
In 2004, Mr. Bird represented APA Excelsior III (owned by predecessor to APAX Partners) and other large Wall Street private equity funds (managed by APAX Partners) in a federal court lawsuit alleging numerous securities law violations in connection with a sale to Healthfield Holdings, Inc.
In 2000-2002, he represented the Bengard Group in a trial and appeal, winning in excess of $44 million.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Bird worked for the predecessor to Atlanta's Womble Carlyle law firm, and also served as a special assistant attorney general for Louisiana in a case for six years. As a special assistant he defended the state's "equal time" law, which was ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals, and a rehearing en banc was narrowly denied by an 8-7 decision at the appellate level. He argued the case for Louisiana to the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed the law's unconstitutionality in Edwards v. Aguillard by a 6-1-2 vote.
Nonprofit Organization Law Chapters and Articles
- Wendell R. Bird, "Religious Organizations and Tax Law," Federal and State Taxation of Exempt Organizations, Chapter 4, Warren Gorhan & Lamont Publishers, 1994.
- Wendell R. Bird & Russell Reach, "Unrelated Debt-Financed Income," 8 CCH's Federal Tax Service J: Chapter 6 (1995).
- Wendell R. Bird & Russell Reach, "Debt-Financed Income," Bender's Federal Tax Service J: Chapter 6 (1988).
- Wendell R. Bird, "No Relief But Much Red Tape for Charities and Foundation," 17 Taxation of Exempts 201 (2006).
- Wendell R. Bird, " IRS Offers Guidance on "Election Year Issues" for Exempt Organizations," 15 Taxation of Exempts 269 (2004).
- Wendell R. Bird, "Charitable Giving Techniques and Other Estate Techniques," J. of Retirement Planning at 9 (Nov.-Dec. 2003).
- Wendell R. Bird, "The Shape of Charitable Gift Planning After 'Repeal' of the Federal Estate Tax," 14 Taxation of Exempts 114 (2002).
- Wendell R. Bird, "Political Activities and Exempt Organizations," 12 J. of Taxation of Exempt Organizations 243 (2000).
- Wendell R. Bird, “Exempt Organizations Rules on Political Activities," 7 J Tax Exempt Organizations 195, (1996). 
- Wendell R. Bird & Harvey Koning III, "Exempt Organizations Face Sales and Use Taxes in the Aftermath of Quill," 6 J Tax Exempt Organizations 16 (1994).
- Wendell R. Bird & Timothy W. Townsend, “Current Developments in the State and Local Taxation of Exempt Organizations”, 4 J. Tax'n Exempt Org. (WGL) 20 (1992).
- Wendell R. Bird & Timothy W. Townsend, "Sales Tax Relief Not Automatic for Tax-Exempt Entities," 2 J Multistate Taxation 203 (1992).
- Wendell R. Bird & T.O. Kotouc, "Exempt Religious Organizations Have Strict Limits", 48 Taxation for Accountants 207 (1992).