Cy Pres Awards

Studies estimate that fewer than one in five of the poor who have immediate legal problems are able to get help. Cy pres awards can help close this “justice gap” by providing additional resources to expand services that afford equal access to justice to people who otherwise will go unrepresented.

In class action litigation, under the cy pres doctrine, unallocated, unclaimed or undeliverable funds are directed to the next best use. California Code of Civil Procedure § 384(b) authorizes the trial court to direct residual funds to nonprofit organizations providing civil legal services to the indigent, or nonprofit organizations to support projects that will benefit the class or similarly situated persons.

Because the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles combats harms similar to those litigated in class action lawsuits, LAFLA is a singularly appropriate recipient of cy pres funds. With over 2 million people in our service area who are income-eligible for assistance, there is a huge unmet need for the kind of services LAFLA offers. Many of our clients are low-income consumers who are victims of unfair, deceptive, discriminatory or predatory practices involving trade schools and student loans, mortgage lending and home equity, insurance and health care, and banking and credit.

For more information, please contact Lynn Etkins, Chief Development and Marketing Director, at 323-801-7929 or letkins@lafla.org.

Office Locations

We also have three Domestic Violence Clinics, located at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Courthouse and the Long Beach Courthouse.

LAFLA operates four Self-Help Legal Access Centers located in the Inglewood, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Torrance courthouses.