On September 27, 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court adopted Rule XLIII, which names the Louisiana Bar Foundation as a permissible recipient of Cy Pres funds. The LBF is the only organization specifically identified in the rule. We thank the Court for their continued commitment to ensure access to equal and fair representation of the poor in Louisiana. The Cy Pres doctrine is a legal theory that allows courts to put residual class action funds to their “next best use” to support the aggregate, indirect, prospective benefit of class members by awarding residual funds to third parties.
In recent years, courts have awarded Cy Pres funds to programs that provide free civil legal aid to low-income persons. They have found that legal aid providers are appropriate recipients of these funds because they often represent the next best use of unclaimed funds to indirectly benefit members of a class.
Because of the tremendous need for civil legal services in Louisiana, Cy Pres awards can go a long way toward helping to meet that need. Unnamed members of the class in a class action lawsuit generally have the same characteristics as legal aid clients – they are unrepresented and unable to assert their rights. So, it is particularly appropriate to direct Cy Pres funds to an organization whose mission is to protect a similar class of persons.
Cy Pres awards
LA Norplant Litigation, 2014
Memorial Class Action, 2014
New Orleans Tank Car Litigation, 2012
Jerry Cooper Inc, d/b/a Color One Photolab v Lifequotes of America, Inc., 2012
Vulcan Litigation, 2008
Chippewa Street Chemical Spill, 2003