The Commission led a successful effort to encourage funding of civil legal aid through the distribution of residual funds left over in class action settlement funds. The effort began with the development of a fact sheet on the voluntary use of what is called cy pres to direct unclaimed class action settlement funds to support civil legal services to the indigent in Wisconsin. We also filed Petition 15-06, which the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted, amending the rule governing state class actions and directing 50% of unclaimed class action settlement funds to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation to support civil legal aid.
If you are involved in a federal class action case, consider designating a civil legal aid recipient beneficiary for any unclaimed funds as outlined in our fact sheet. When an award is distributed this way, you can rest assured the funds will be used in a manner consistent with the intent of the award. And you can make a significant difference in the lives of Wisconsin residents who desperately need access to civil legal assistance with issues related to safety, housing, employment, health-care and consumer protection.