Our mission is to provide grants, advocacy and education to
support impact litigation on behalf of marginalized communities
seeking economic, environmental and social justice.
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We’ve provided $5.7 million to fund public interest litigation to benefit a large number of people, lead to significant law reform and raise public consciousness. Join the fight for legal justice.
In modern litigation, the term “cy près” refers to the act of designating unclaimed class funds to public interest organizations whose work furthers the interests of the class and is tied to the purpose of the litigation. But the concept of cy près originated long ago in the law of charitable trusts in courts of equity. Today, cy près is generally used only after class funds have been distributed to class members, but it has become impossible or impracticable to distribute some remaining portion of the class funds, such as in the following situations:
Imagine receiving a notice from the IRS that your long-awaited tax refund has been withheld by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) because you were once paid Social Security benefits and SSA has identified a benefit overpayment that occurred over a decade ago — or one of your parents was once paid Social Security benefits on your behalf over a decade ago and SSA identified an overpayment. If the withheld amount was $2,100, would you go out and find an attorney to represent you in an individual case against the SSA?
For 18 months, we have been tracking the work of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, and specifically its Rule 23 subcommittee, which has been evaluating a range of proposals to amend the federal class action rule. That work was recently completed and the Committee will soon set a schedule for public comment on a series of draft amendments.
The good news is that the Rule 23 proposals are modest and are not likely to trigger significant opposition like the firestorm that accompanied the discovery rule changes.
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