Publicity/Press Releases

Cy Pres Designations Totaling $118,834 Timely Benefit Legal Aid Programs in Broward

PLANTATION, FL (February 23, 2017) –Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) are extremely pleased and privileged to announce that they were the recipients of significant cy pres monies earlier this week. Seth Lehrman of Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL and Scott Owens of Scott D. Owens, P.A. have once again successfully advocated to direct cy pres awards to Legal Aid programs in Broward. 

“At a time when programs and services that reflect the bedrock of American values flirt with disaster, it is comforting to know that all is not lost within the halls of justice,” said Dorian Lange, Director of Development for both Legal Aid programs in Broward. “The Farmer Jaffe team, together with Scott Owens, has worked hard alongside a few others in our legal community to ensure Legal Aid programs are top of mind as logical and deserving designees for cy pres funds. They have turned the tide for us repeatedly over the last 3 years, directing in excess of $325,000. This enables us to continue to provide critical legal remedy to stabilize families and communities and close the justice gap for those in dire need. We are immensely grateful.”

The cy pres doctrine (from the French cy pres comme possible meaning as near as possible) is a court-approved method of distributing a damage fund. Certain cases and estates produce remaining funds or penalties that are appropriate for allocation to a public purpose under the cy pres doctrine. In class action lawsuits, if there is to be a payment of damages to class members, a fund is created. After class members’ claims are paid, there often is an amount remaining. Under the doctrine of cy pres, judges and class counsel can recommend that residual funds be distributed to the next best use. The cy pres remedy can also be used for the entirety of a statutory damage award when the amount of damages to each class member is too small to warrant distribution. In cases when the stated beneficiary no longer exists, cannot be located, or the original bequest cannot be honored, the attorney can recommend the direction of the remaining monies to help fund legal service programs.

Every dollar spent on civil legal aid to low income Floridians yields more than seven dollars in economic benefits. In 2015 alone, Florida civil legal aid organizations turned $85 Million in funding into more than $600 Million in economic impacts and benefits to clients, families and communities.

Annual sponsors of CCLA and LAS include CopyScan Technologies; Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL; Florida Power & Light; Kelley/Uustal; Kim Vaughan Lerner, LLP; Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen, P.A.; Scott D. Owens, P.A.; Talenfeld Law; US Legal Support; Valley National Bank and Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L.

For more information about the work of LAS or CCLA visit www.legalaid.org.

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Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 2003 and funded, in part, by the Legal Services Corporation.  Our mission is to improve the lives of low income persons in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment.

Legal Aid Service of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 1974.  Our mission is to provide high quality free civil legal advice, representation and education to the poor of Broward County so as to improve the lifestyle and living conditions of the low-income community and to encourage self-sufficiency.

Legal Aid Service of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) corporation registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services #SC-02337. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the state OR VISITING WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM/DIVISIONS-OFFICES/CONSUMER -SERVICES.  Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.

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