DISTRIBUTED TO CHARITY THROUGH CY PRES
About Ohio Lawyers Give Back
Learn more about how Ohio Lawyers Give Back and its mission to distribute cy pres proceeds to those in need.
About Dworken & Bernstein
As the largest law firm in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties, this law firm is about more than just practicing law.
What is Cy Pres?
Millions of dollars are donated to charities under this little understood legal doctrine.
Helping Charities in Our Community Help Those They Serve
$52,725,350.14 distributed to charities using cy pres.
Our Founding & Purpose
Ohio Lawyers Give Back was founded by Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. to distribute funds to worthy nonprofit organizations by promoting the use of cy pres in class action settlements in Ohio and across the country. When a class action is settled, the plaintiff and defendant agree to a fund amount calculated to compensate all class members. The funds are set aside, but because many class members have moved, passed away, or can’t be found millions of class action settlement dollars often go unclaimed. What should be done with the leftover monies after all claims have been paid to class members? Ohio Lawyers Give Back advocates for the what’s known as cy pres stipulations in class action suits. Under the ancient doctrine of cy pres, justice is achieved “as nearly as possible.” Since the unclaimed funds were intended to benefit the class, the next best thing is to put the funds back into the community. To make that happen, judges and the attorneys for the parties must be proactive to incorporate cy pres stipulations into the final settlement or judgment.
The Potential Impact of Cy Pres use
The potential impact on the nonprofit community is huge. Over $500 million dollars in class action settlement monies are unclaimed each year in the United States. Ohio Lawyers Give Back estimates that if cy pres stipulations were more proactively pursued, many millions of dollars wrongfully obtained by unfair business practices would be redistributed to nonprofit organizations that are delivering vital services across the spectrum of human need. Cy pres has been around for centuries, but its use in class actions has not been widespread. That may be because negotiating a cy pres distribution can hinder a quick settlement, stalling attorneys’ fees. It may also be because many judges and class action attorneys are unfamiliar with it.
Dedicated to Advancing the use of Cy Pres
Since 2003, Ohio Lawyers Give Back has distributed over $52 million dollars to hundreds of charities meeting the diverse needs of people in the community. That impact can be exponentially greater if cy pres distributions were more aggressively pursued by more class action lawyers in Ohio and across the United States. It is foreseeable that number could stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars being available each year to help deserving nonprofits serve their communities and drive their missions. Ohio Lawyers Give Back is dedicated to advancing the use of cy pres in all class action settlements where a large pool of unclaimed settlement funds is expected. How committed are we? Our attorneys will work for no charge with any attorney or law firm interested in learning how to successfully negotiate class action settlements that provide for a cy pres distribution. Connect with us to learn more.