Cy Pres

Cy Pres awards are funds in class action cases that, for a variety of reasons, cannot be distributed to the members of a class action who were the intended beneficiaries. In most instances, these funds consist of residual or unclaimed settlement funds.

VLSP has been fortunate to receive periodic donations resulting from Cy Pres distributions. These donations have been essential to maintaining and expanding the services VLSP provides to our indigent clients throughout the California central valley. Grants alone do not pay the expense of maintaining a pro bono organization. If you are counsel for the plaintiff or defense in a class action case pending in state or federal Court in California, we would greatly appreciate your consideration of the Voluntary Legal Services Program as a beneficiary of a Cy Pres distribution.

The California Legislature has explicitly endorsed the use of Cy Pres Awards in class action litigation through the enactment of section 384 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which allows the payment of any class action settlement residue with interest to “nonprofit organizations providing civil legal services to the indigent”. This is precisely the mission of the Voluntary Legal Services Program. We help clients in many areas of the law that would match the interests of the class in most types of class action cases.

As a result of this provision of the law, VLSP has been fortunate to receive Cy Pres distributions resulting from the settlement of class action cases involving consumer and employment issues. These distributions have enabled VLSP to maintain and expand our assistance to the indigent in these areas of law.

VLSP was founded in 1981 as a project of the Sacramento County Bar Association. We are a 501 (c)(3) organization. Our mission is to utilize volunteer attorneys, law students, paralegals and interpreters to provide free civil legal services to the indigent. We do not engage in any class action or impact litigation. The majority of our clients receive assistance from our Pro Per Legal Clinics, where our volunteers donate their time.

Our mission is simply to provide help to those clients who cannot afford a lawyer. We believe that our long history of service to the indigent and our positive relationships with the Courts and the legal community make VLSP the perfect match for Cy Pres Awards.

If we can provide any further information to you, as counsel in a class action case, about our organization, please feel free to contact our Managing Attorney, Vicki Jacobs, at (916) 551-2102.