John C. Peiffer II, J.D., A.M.

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John Peiffer is a partner with the Orange County, California law firm of Brown & Streza LLP. John counsels a wide range of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, including both public charities and private foundations, with a particular emphasis on religious organizations. He advises dioceses, religious orders, private religious schools, and other religious institutions on mission-focused corporate restructuring, governance, and compliance. John has negotiated and documented numerous pledges, endowments, and other major gifts to charitable, educational, and religious organizations.

John also regularly counsels business owners and their families on succession and charitable planning through irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, private foundations, supporting organizations, and other structures designed to accomplish clients’ estate planning and philanthropic goals. He advises for-profit and nonprofit clients on business transactions, entity structures, and corporate formation and governance.

John received his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies and English from Santa Clara University and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

John also co-founded and serves as President and General Counsel of the Napa Legal Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on providing corporate, tax, philanthropic, and other non-litigation legal and financial education for faith-based nonprofits.

  • Exempt Organizations
  • Corporate Formation and Governance
  • Charitable Planning and Planned Giving
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Succession Planning and Transactions
  • Brown & Streza LLP, Irvine, CA – Partner – 2021-Present
  • The Busch Firm, Irvine, CA
    • Chief Executive Officer – 2016-2020
    • Attorney and Shareholder – 2015-2020
    • Attorney – 2010-2014
  • Baker McKenzie, San Francisco, CA
    • Senior Associate Attorney – 2014-2015
    • Associate Attorney – 2008-2010
  • Dowling Aaron & Keeler, Fresno, CA – Associate Attorney – 2006-2008
  • O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Los Angeles, CA – Litigation Paralegal – 2001-2003
  • Juris Doctor, cum laude, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, IN – 2006
  • Master of Arts, Religious Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – 2000
  • Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Classical Studies and English, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA – 1998
  • 2015 “Southern California SuperLawyers - Rising Star”
    • Published by Los Angeles magazine and The Journal for Law & Politics. Only 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 and/or in their first 10 years of practice in Los Angeles and Orange Counties receive this honor.
  • “Toward a Spirituality of Compliance”
    • Napa Legal Institute, August 2020, White Paper
  • “Sample Employee Handbook for Catholic Schools”
    • Co-author, Napa Legal Institute, revised July 24, 2020
  • “Why a Religious Corporation?”
    • Napa Legal Institute, White Paper
  • Napa Legal Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, October 12, 2020
    • Practice What You Preach: Securing and Communicating Religious Identity in Cancel Culture
    • Co-presenter
  • OSV Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, September 30, 2020
    • Human Resource and Employment Considerations for Religious Organizations
    • Co-presenter
  • Napa Legal Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, August 13, 2020
    • Hardening the Target: Protecting Your Lay Apostolate in the Next America
    • Co-presenter
  • Napa Legal Institute Webinar, recorded September 16, 2019
    • Steps for Success for Catholic Lay Apostolates, Part I
    • Co-presenter
  • Napa Legal Institute Webinar, recorded October 3, 2019
    • Steps for Successor for Lay Apostolates, Part II: Becoming and Staying Exempt
    • Co-presenter
  • EWTN Catholic Radio Conference, Birmingham, Alabama, November 8, 2018
    • Bylaws Tune-ups: Principles and Proposals
  • Napa Legal Institute - President and General Counsel
  • California Lawyers Association; Trusts & Estates section - Member
  • California Lawyers Association; Business Law section - Member