Many attorneys learned this doctrine while still in law school, but without regular reminders, we tend to forget it exists.

According to http://dictionary.law.com, cy pres doctrine originates from the French meaning “as close as possible.” Wikipedia notes that as “as near as possible” or “as near as may be.”

The concept allows for distribution of funds in class actions where it is not possible to determine actual damages, when plaintiffs fail to collect the award or when fund recipients cannot be located. Under the cy pres doctrine, courts order these unclaimed funds to be put to the next best use for the benefit of the class and may approve a charitable donation to an entity whose work indirectly benefits members of the class.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s purpose is to improve access to justice for all South Carolinians. The South Carolina Bar Foundation funds the Commission and other entities engaged in the pursuit of justice for all South Carolinians regardless of income. The Foundation’s mission is to fund the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability.
In order to ensure that the pursuit of civil legal justice continues in South Carolina, please consider the South Carolina Bar Foundation for a cy pres award. Rest assured that justice will be served!
To support the Foundation, visit http://www.scbarfoundation.org/support.asp.

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