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About Nicholas P. Cafardi

Nicholas P. Cafardi holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Doctor of Canon Law degree from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He has served as General Counsel for Pittsburgh’s two largest Catholic organizations: The Diocese of Pittsburgh itself and Duquesne University. He is a former assistant dean at the University of Pittsburgh Law School and a former Dean of Duquesne University School of Law. Cafardi was the founding chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Gender Bias and was a guiding co-author of its massive Report on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System. Cafardi was also an original member of the United States Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth and served as its chair from 2004-2005. He is also a co-author of the National Review Board’s Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States. Cafardi is one of the foremost lay canon lawyers in the United States. He is the co-author with Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit of Church Property, Church Finances and Church Related Corporations, which is the basic book in its field. Cafardi is also the author of Before Dallas, published by Paulist Press in 2008, a history of the child sexual abuse crisis in the American church. As a canon lawyer, Cafardi has represented dioceses, archdioceses and religious orders across the nation. He is the founder of Duquesne Law School’s Summer Study of Law at the Vatican, and taught the canon law course in that program for a decade. Cafardi is also a former member of the Board of Governors of the Canon Law Society of America. In additional to his canonical expertise, Cafardi is also an acknowledged authority in the law of nonprofit, tax exempt organizations. His casebook, Tax Exempt Organizations, and his hornbook, Understanding Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Organizations, both co-authored with Professor Jaclyn Cherry of the University of South Carolina Law School, are published by LexisNexis.
At the Law School, Cafardi teaches the first year course in Legal Process and Procedure, and upper level courses in Family Law, Tax Exempt Organizations and Canon Law. Cafardi is currently serving as the elected President of the Faculty Senate of Duquesne University.


Present Dean Emeritus, Duquesne University School of Law
Present Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law



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  • Cannon Law
  • Family Law
  • Legal Process
  • Tax Exempt Organizations

Articles (3)

Books (11)

Contributions to Books (3)