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





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 charitable planning through charitable trusts, private foundations, supporting organizations, and other structures designed to accomplish clients’ philanthropic goals. He advises 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.

Click here for John's complete biography.



Brown & Streza LLP, Irvine, California: Partner, 2021-Present

The Busch Firm, Irvine, California

Chief Executive Officer, 2016-2020

Attorney and Shareholder, 2015-2020

Attorney, 2010-2014

Baker McKenzie, San Francisco, California

Senior Associate Attorney, 2014-2015

Associate Attorney, 2008-2010

Dowling Aaron & Keeler, Fresno, California: Associate Attorney, 2006-2008

O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Los Angeles, California: Litigation Paralegal, 2001-2003

Juris Doctor, cum laude, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana, 2006

Master of Arts, Religious Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2000

Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Classical Studies and English, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, 1998


2023-2024 “Southern California Super Lawyer”

Published by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, The New York Times (Los Angeles and Orange County distribution), Los Angeles magazine and The Journal for Law & Politics. Only 5% of the attorneys in Southern California (excluding San Diego) receive this prestigious honor.

2015 “Southern California SuperLawyers - Rising Star”

Published by Los Angeles magazine and The Journal for Law & Politics. Only 2.5% of Southern California lawyers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties receive this honor.


Napa Legal Institute, August 2020, White Paper

“Toward a Spirituality of Compliance”

Napa Legal Institute, revised July 24, 2020

Co-author, “Sample Employee Handbook for Catholic Schools”

Napa Legal Institute, White Paper

“Why a Religious Corporation?”



First American Trust, Santa Ana, California, May 1,2, and 3, 2023

Philanthropic Strategies for Successful Families

ProVisors Estate & Succession Planning Affinity Group, Irvine, California, April 27, 2023

Philanthropic Strategies for Successful Families

Napa Legal Institute Continuing Legal Education, New York, New York, October 11, 2022

Model Rule 2.1: Understanding and Fulfilling the Duty of the Lawyer as Counselor 

Napa Legal Institute Conference, Washington, DC, September 23, 2022

Model Rule 2.1: Understanding and Fulfilling the Duty of the Lawyer as Counselor 

Napa Institute Conference, Napa, California, July 29, 2022

Co-Presenter, Bracing for Impact: Protecting Faith-Based & Pro-Life Organizations Post Dobbs

Napa Institute Conference, Napa, California, July 28, 2022

Co-Presenter, Creative Generosity: Effective Multi-Generational Philanthropy

16th Annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics and Culture, Live Interactive Webinar, May 2, 2022

Aim Small, Miss Small: Lessons for Life and Liberty

Napa Institute Principled Entrepreneurship Conference, New York, New York, October 13, 2021

Panelist, Faith, Family, & Charitable Giving

Napa Legal Institute, Napa, California, July 23, 2021

Moderator, Panel Discussion, Cancel Culture: How to Protect Your Nonprofit Against Big Tech

Stand Together, Live Interactive Webinar, March 30, 2021

Co-Presenter, Strategic and Personalized Approaches to Family Philanthropy

Napa Legal Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, October 12, 2020

Co-presenter, Practice What You Preach: Securing and Communicating Religious Identity in Cancel Culture

OSV Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, September 30, 2020

Co-presenter, Human Resource and Employment Considerations for Religious Organizations

Napa Legal Institute, Live Interactive Webinar, August 13, 2020

Co-presenter, Hardening the Target: Protecting Your Lay Apostolate in the Next America

Napa Legal Institute Webinar, recorded September 16, 2019

Co-presenter, Steps for Success for Catholic Lay Apostolates, Part I

Napa Legal Institute Webinar, recorded October 3, 2019

Co-presenter, Steps for Successor for Lay Apostolates, Part II: Becoming and Staying Exempt

EWTN Catholic Radio Conference, Birmingham, Alabama, November 8, 2018

Bylaws Tune-ups: Principles and Proposals



Napa Legal Institute: President and General Counsel


TEGE Exempt Organizations Council: Member

California Lawyers Association, Trusts & Estates Section: Member

California Lawyers Association, Business Law Section: Member

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