Dana M. Stayton


Dana M. Stayton provides legal counsel to clients in the formation and ongoing management of nonprofit organizations and charitable trusts. Her expertise includes advising clients on tax-related matters, such as obtaining and maintaining exemptions from federal and state taxes. She also serves as general counsel to many nonprofit organizations, offering guidance on issues related to employment, intellectual property, collaborations, and real estate.

Ms. Stayton collaborates with colleagues from Whitley Penn LLP and JP Morgan Chase Bank to host Lunch and Learn events for nonprofit professionals in Fort Worth. These events are a community service aimed at providing education and support to the Fort Worth nonprofit community. Ms. Stayton has moderated and participated in panel discussions on topics such as program effectiveness and the future of fundraising.

In addition to her work with nonprofit organizations, Ms. Stayton focuses on private equity business, including the drafting and negotiation of confidentiality agreements. Ms. Stayton represents clients in the buying and selling of art in both domestic and international transactions. She advises clients on complex acquisition, sale, and auction transactions, as well as claims related to the return of stolen or illegally exported art. She also offers estate planning guidance to high net worth individuals and counsels clients on charitable giving. Furthermore, Ms. Stayton handles marital property matters, including premarital agreements, partitions of community property, and post-nuptial agreements.

  • Sought issuance of Texas Attorney General Opinion OR 2020-07079 regarding whether a client is a governmental body for purposes of the Public Information Act
  • Represented Texas Christian University in its collaboration with the University of North Texas Health Science Center to create the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
  • Represented Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth in the formation of the entity to operate Dickies Arena
  • Represented a Code Section 501(c) entity in the audit of its Form 990-T and a submission of an offer in compromise with regard to the tax imposed
  • Represented the Trustees of a charitable trust to judicially modify the terms of the trust
  • Represented a donor in structuring a multi-million dollar gift to a university
  • Converted a for-profit drug counseling entity to a non-profit entity and obtained Code Section 501(c)(3) exemption for the same
  • Obtained a private letter ruling for a private foundation client regarding a Code Section 507(b)(2) transfer
  • Obtained an advance ruling that a private foundation commencing a 60-month termination would be treated as a public charity during the 60-month termination period
  • Represented a nonprofit cancer care provider in the sale of substantially all of its assets and the sublease of its real properties to another cancer care provider
  • Assisted two nonprofit youth and family service providers in the combination of their assets and programs
  • Represented a nonprofit autism therapy provider with its merger into another nonprofit service provider
  • Represented a business in forming an employee hardship assistance organization and obtained Code Section 501(c)(3) exemption for such organization
  • Form and maintain State and Federal political action committees
  • Represent numerous charitable organizations in significant corporate governance issues such as interpretation, drafting and amendment of charter and bylaw provisions, conflicts of interest, and executive compensation arrangements
  • Tarrant County Probate Bar Association
  • Tarrant County Bar Association, Tax and Estate Planning Section
  • Assistant Secretary, Performing Arts Fort Worth, Inc.
  • Assistant Secretary, Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth
  • Leadership Fort Worth
  • Junior League of Fort Worth, 2004-2010 (Active), 2018-2022(Sustainer)
  • Junior Woman’s Club of Fort Worth, 2005-2008
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
    • District 7 Membership Selection Committee, 2009
    • District 7 Membership Selection, Chair, 2010
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2023
    • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Top Attorney, 360 West magazine, 2017-2023
    • Attorneys for Nonprofits
  • Top Attorney, Fort Worth Magazine, 2005-2011, 2014-2022
    • Nonprofit Law
  • Great Woman of Texas, Fort Worth Business Press, 2017
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, 2008-2013
  • 40 Under 40 honoree, Fort Worth Business Press, 2009
  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2000
    • Order of the Coif
  • Texas Tech University, B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1997
  • State Bar of Texas, 2000
Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2023