Cy Pres

San Diego County Bar Foundation strongly believes that cy pres awards are an invaluable way of providing access to justice for the underserved by investing in sustainable results and advocacy for people and communities in our region who are impacted by poverty, abuse and discrimination.

What is a cy pres distribution?

The term cy pres is derived from a French phrase meaning “as near as.” When class actions are settled or tried, there are times that it’s not possible to distribute all the money recovered to some or all the class members. They may be difficult to identify or find or it may not be economically feasible to distribute the funds to them. (For example, the cost of distributing 50 cents to each of 6 million class members may preclude individual distribution, even though the defendant has been held accountable for cheating the class out of $3 million.) When that is so, the cy pres doctrine allows the funds to be distributed to a nonprofit charitable organization to support work that indirectly benefits the class and advances the public interest.

Because of our wide-range to provide access to justice, the San Diego County Bar Foundation is an excellent steward of cy pres awards. If you, your firm, or someone you know is party to or counsel on a class-action case involving potential cy pres awards, you can designate the San Diego County Bar Foundation as a cy pres beneficiary.

If you have any questions, need documents or information, or are interested in designating San Diego County Bar Foundation as a cy pres award recipient, please contact Marcel Bourdase, Director of Administration, at or 619-231-7015.