Consumer Attorneys Advancing Access to Justice

CLSMF promotes equal access to justice by providing civil legal aid to help low-income people protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. We make it easier for our vulnerable population to access information, receive legal assistance and representation, and to know and understand their rights. Because of the breadth of public interest legal work we are involved in, CLSMF is an ideal recipient of both Cy Pres and court settlement funds.

Cy pres is French for “as close as possible.” These awards allow unclaimed settlement funds from class-action suits to be distributed to organizations that are most likely to benefit or pursue the interests of the class. Sometimes the funds are described as residual funds.

Court settlement awards come about when parties in a case agree that as part of the settlement one party will make a specified dollar contribution to a specific charity and the court approves the settlement.

Attorneys involved in class action lawsuits or other litigation matters that could result in a cy pres or court settlement awards can consider designating these funds to CLSMF and help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Central Florida residents.

In 2018, CLSMF has received three cy pres awards totaling $479,315. Funding will be used to increase direct services in matters related to Consumer Issues, Children’s Rights and Education, Domestic Violence, Elder Advocacy, Family Law, Fair Housing, Food Assistance, Reemployment, Public Benefits and support for Veterans.

Additionally, contributions of this kind can be applied towards the expansion of the organization’s innovative helpline. Serving as the main point of entry to the law firm, the attorney staffed hotline receives more than 200 calls for help per day and acts as the triage center for low-income Central Floridians facing civil legal problems.

“We are incredibly grateful to the attorneys and law firms involved in the litigation of these class action suits for their efforts protecting consumers in Florida. This funding will help expand and sustain the work of CLSMF lawyers and staff who help vulnerable communities access justice, giving a voice to the voiceless” said CLSMF CEO Kimberly Sanchez, Esq.