Cy pres awards are residual funds in class action cases (and occasionally in 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 or beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Under the cy pres doctrine and Illinois law, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes, and the CBF and the legal aid organizations and related initiatives the CBF supports are appropriate beneficiaries.
The CBF's mission of improving access to justice for those less fortunate makes it an ideal match for class action cy pres awards, 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. Cy pres awards have made possible a number of successful projects and initiatives over the past several years and enable the CBF to provide ongoing support for these efforts. Click here for more information on the CBF and how we put cy pres and residual funds to work in our community.
The links on the left of this page have more information about the impact that cy pres awards to the CBF already have had over the past several years as well as a variety of helpful resources on how you can help direct a cy pres award or other award of residual funds to the CBF or one of the many outstanding pro bono and legal aid organizations supported by the CBF.