Cy Près Awards

Invest in a Future that is Fair for All!

Cy Près: nurturing the growth of legal non-profits serving marginalized communities 

Cy Près: nurturing the growth of legal non-profits serving marginalized communities 

cy près [siː ˈpray] n. The legal doctrine that allows funds remaining after the distribution of a class action settlement to be given to a charitable organization (or more than one) whose mission dovetails with the original purpose of the case. Cy près is an important source of funding for non-profits and legal services.

Important Change to California, Code of Civil Procedure § 384

Effective, 07.01.18, the 2017 cy prés set aside provision was removed from CCP 384.  If you have a cy prés calculation that was made based on the 2017 law, a worthy organization would have received an allocation subject to a 50% cut. The Impact Fund and other precious organizations could stand to lose monies intended for them if class counsel mistakenly continue to apply the 50% set-aside.


Our Mission: As one of the nation’s few foundations providing broad support for complex public interest litigation, we are committed to the idea that ordinary people should be able to join together and use the courts to protect their jobs and communities. Our unique ability to use public interest litigation as a tool to secure economic, environmental and social justice makes us an effective charitable investment.

Our Reach: We provide training and technical assistance to over eighty legal services programs in California. We also present a national class action conference and host a listserve for a network of plaintiff-side class action practitioners. We present an annual three-day training institute for practitioners seeking practical and strategy skills for litigating public interest class actions. We also provide hundreds of hours of pro-bono consulting to those working in the field.

Our Distinct Programs: Through our Grants Program, we’ve provided over $5.7 million to advocates to bring cases advancing economic, environmental and social justice. We also provide litigation and consulting services – counseling, advice, and assistance on complex litigation issues.

We serve as counsel and file amicus briefs every year. We present a wide variety of training programs to support practitioners and our curriculum includes topics such as new case developments, legal writing, and appellate practice.

Our Proven Track Record: We have been approved as a cy près recipient in more than sixty-five cases in both state and federal courts. We ensure good stewardship of funds that we receive.  

Our Impact: Because we support litigation in many substantive areas (e.g., employment, civil rights, disability access, consumer, poverty, environmental, and criminal justice), we have a nexus to many kinds of class actions.

Cy près funds allow us to continue this vital work.  Help us continue to make a real impact!

For more information contact: 

Teddy Basham-Witherington

510.845.3473 ext. 302

We thank the following firms for naming us as Cy Près beneficiaries during 2017:

Law Office of Joseph Antonelli

Law Office of Peter Fredman

The Gardner Firm, P.C.

Hoyer & Hicks

Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams, LLP

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Law Office of Sheila Thomas

Zelle, LLP