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Engle Grant Program
The Engle Grant is a competitive grant program which will provide funding to qualified legal aid organizations in the Middle District of Florida to assist litigants in obtaining representation in court. Recipients of this grant funding must provide direct legal services to clients in litigation matters, either active or in pre-suit.
The total grant funding available is $3,548,987. The Foundation will allocate these funds in rough proportion to the number of Engle cases that emanated from the respective divisions of the Middle District. The proportions are outlined below:
Jacksonville Division: 60%
Baker, Bradford, Clay, Colombia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Union.
Orlando and Ocala Divisions: 22%
Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia, Citrus, Lake, Marion, Sumter.
Tampa Division: 15%
Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota.
Fort Myers Division: 3%
Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, and Lee.
Grant applications were made available by July 1, 2019 at https://form.jotform.com/91556571169163
Online grant applications were due on or before August 1, 2019. Grant decisions were made on September 13, 2019. The Grant funding period is October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020.
The Foundation shall make grants to organizations, not individuals. To be considered a qualified legal aid organization for the purposes of this grant, an applicant must:
- Be a non-profit entity, tax-exempt and qualified to receive charitable donations within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code; and
- Have a primary purpose of providing direct legal services to low-income Floridians; and
- Provide direct legal services to litigants primarily in one or more of the counties of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida (which includes the following Florida counties: Baker, Bradford, Clay, Colombia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Union, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia, Citrus, Lake, Marion, Sumter, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, and Lee); and
- Have an audit mechanism that tracks, describes and provides accountability of grant funds received and used; and
- Agree to satisfy all Foundation reporting requirements, including the submission of audited financial statements; and
- Be current in all filings required to be made by it with any applicable local, state or federal governmental authority; and
- Maintain open records as required by law while protecting and preserving all applicable client privileges; and
- Be an equal employment opportunity employer; and
- Be able to demonstrate that it can use any funds granted to it in a manner consistent with rules and policies adopted by the Board of Directors of the Foundation; and
- Agree to use the funds only in the manner prescribed by the terms of the grant and agree to enter into a memorandum of understanding or grants contract confirming and regarding the specific the use of such funds.
Additional eligibility requirements may be included in the application.
The Florida Bar Foundation received $3.6 million from a four-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the result of a case in which sanctions against two law firms were levied. United States District Judges Roy B. Dalton, Timothy J. Corrigan, Marcia Morales Howard and William G. Young presided over the case which stemmed from the Engle tobacco litigation. The Court had found that certain lawyers had engaged in unethical and unprofessional conduct, thus resulting in a sizeable sanctions award.