The Florida Bar Family Law Section made a $75,000 donation in February in support of the Foundation’s Children’s Legal Services grant program. The section has now given $500,000 total in lifetime giving to the Foundation (see page 15 for a chart of all section giving).
“The funds are needed more than ever now, as availability of grants has dropped by 40% this year,” said Maria Gonzalez, Foundation board member and former Family Law Section chair.
“We truly believe it is our responsibility as Family Law practitioners to help the Foundation fill this critical need. It’s a testament to the continued commitment of the Family Law Section’s leadership to support the Foundation’ efforts to promote access to justice for children, and we’re incredibly grateful that the Section has contributed $500,000 so far.”
The Foundation also received $8,662 from the Maher Law Firm in Winter Park in September. The donation was interest earned on a private Qualified Settlement Account in connection with the national Actos Multidistrict Litigation settlement.
“As lawyers and advocates for Florida residents, we are proud to support The Florida Bar Foundation and its mission to provide access to justice for everyone,” firm shareholder Jason Fraxedas said.
The Foundation also received a $7,418 donation related to Coastal Wellness Centers, Inc. vs. Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance Company, a class action lawsuit resolved in Broward County. The amount donated represented claim payments that were returned uncashed or undeliverable. The parties and the trial court agreed to donate the funds to the Foundation under the Cy Pres doctrine.
“The Parties, Class Counsel and Defendant’s counsel are pleased to support the important work performed by The Florida Bar Foundation in providing Floridians with greater access to legal representation and improving the administration of justice,” wrote plaintiff’s attorney and former Bar president Tod Aronovitz, who worked on the case with his partner Barbara Perez, who was instrumental in the resolution of the case.
The Foundation encourages counsel and courts to consider making provisions for possible cy pres awards or distributions during the settlement approval process rather than afterward to allow parties more control over the process involving recipients of settlement funds to lessen the burden on the Court and save judicial time and resources.
The Foundation is extremely grateful for these gifts.