Support Legal Aid through a Residual Funds Award

Cy Pres awards are residual funds in class actions (and occasionally other types of proceedings like bankruptcy and probate matters) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class members of beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Under the cy pres doctrine and Massachusetts Court Rules, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes.  The Massachusetts IOLTA Committee as well as the legal aid organizations and related initiatives they support are appropriate beneficiaries.

The IOLTA Committee’s mission of improving access to justice for those less fortunate makes it an ideal match for class action residuals, as one underlying premise for all class actions is to make access to justice a reality for people who otherwise would not be able to obtain the protections of the court system. Residual funds are used to support the work of legal aid organizations.

Actions you can take:

  • Please look for opportunities in your class action cases to apply this doctrine to civil legal aid.
  • Talk with opposing counsel and your colleagues about class action residuals and their application to civil legal aid organizations
  • Look for opportunities to have information about cy pres publishing in local and special purpose legal publications and

Contact the MA IOLTA Committee at 617-723-9073 if you have any questions or would like to arrange to award residual funds to sustain legal aid in the commonwealth.

Thank you for your support.