The Florida Bar Foundation has been the recipient of two generous donations recently.
In 2022, lawyer Matthew Weidner of Weidner Law in St. Petersburg donated $15,523. Weidner incorporated Florida Consumer Justice Advocates in 2013 and raised money from defense lawyers to support consumer efforts. Their efforts wound down, so Weidner donated their remaining funds.
In January of 2023, the Foundation received a $59,662.54 cy pres award that resulted from the matter of Guidry v Penn Credit Corporation.
In 2019, the plaintiff filed a class action complaint against Penn, alleging that Penn violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by making cellular telephone calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or pre-recorded voice to the plaintiff and members of the putative class to which they did not consent.
A settlement was reached, and $4,675,000 was to be issued to members of the class. After attempts to distribute all of the funds to class members were exhausted, just under $60,000 remained. At the final hearing, the parties proposed the Foundation as a cy pres recipient, and the court agreed.
Lawyers John Yanchunis, Octavio Gomez and Patrick A. Barthle II of Morgan and Morgan, P.A. represented the plaintiff. Dale Golden of Golden Scaz Gagain, PLLC, in Tampa represented Penn Credit Corporation.
Under cy pres, courts can approve a charitable donation out of unclaimed class action funds or a direct grant in lieu of damages to an organization that could vindicate class member rights in the future.