“Cy pres” (pronounced sigh-pray) is a French term meaning, “as close as possible.”
When a class action is settled, the plaintiff and defendant agree to an amount to pay all the class members. If there are class members who cannot be located (for example, they may have moved or passed-away) there is settlement money that is unclaimed.
The defendant corporations want the unclaimed money back, and cy pres allows the plaintiffs’ attorneys to make sure the money goes to a charitable cause often involving access to justice.
Cy pres is a way to get as close as possible to the original intent of the settlement.
See how Ohio lawyers Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. give back.
Lawyers at Feldman Shepherd in Philadelphia have facilitated two donations of nearly $46,000 each to the state IOLTA board and a local public interest firm. Read more.