When class action lawsuits result in an award for the plaintiffs, there are funds that go unclaimed by the class in almost every case. These funds are often not distributed as additional funds to the members of the class who filed claims. Instead, they become a residual fund that is available for another use. Broadly speaking, cy pres is the term for finding another appropriate use for the funds. How those funds are used is usually determined by counsel and the court, most typically in the context of a settlement agreement. Cy pres awards are an ideal way to advance the goal of ensuring equal access to justice.
Why is the SC Bar Foundation a perfect fit for a cy pres award?
As we do not file lawsuits or represent parties in court, there is no possibility for a conflict of interest for the court or the defendant.
With a solid history as a grant making organization, we are structured to ensure accountability for the expenditure of funds.
We have a 40-year history as a well-situated Foundation. We also have a strong affiliation with the South Carolina Bar. The Foundation has provided more than $47.6 million in grants and is a proven collaborator and leader in the justice community.
Our network of grantees promote, preserve and protect the justice system. Through our funded entities, the Foundation can serve any constituency that would be as near as possible to the original purpose. Foundation grantees have demonstrated experience in areas where cy pres awards are made.
Funds can be used to target a specific project if desired, allowing for consensus between the plaintiff, defendant and the court.