E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC Receives Generous Cy Pres Award

We are delighted to announce that PJC is the recipient of a generous cy pres award of $202,000.

The PJC was one of 13 organizations to receive a portion of the $2 million in unclaimed funds from a successful consumer class action lawsuit. The PJC will use the money to support ongoing projects. “We appreciate that the Court directed the unclaimed funds to nonprofit legal services organizations,” said John Nethercut, Executive Director of the PJC. “The PJC and the other recipients will put the money to good use in enforcing laws on behalf of consumers and other people, especially those living in poverty.”

The class action lawsuit, Matinrazm v. Cellular One, was originally filed in 1999 against Cellular One (now a division of AT&T) and claimed the wireless carrier overcharged late fees to customers in violation of Maryland law.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Durke Thompson ordered that the unclaimed funds would be given to “cy pres” organizations, a Middle French term that means to give to a organization with a mission and practice “as near as possible” to what the victims needed. Judge Thompson set the criteria for recipients and formed a committee that made final recommendations to the court.

The groups sharing the unclaimed funds are Maryland Legal Aid ($911,000), the University of Maryland School of Law clinics ($395,000), the Catholic University of America law clinics ($222,000), the Public Justice Center ($202,000), the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition ($152,000), Civil Justice ($133,000), Habitat for Humanity Montgomery Co. ($126,000), Maryland PIRG Foundation ($71,000), Public Justice Foundation ($66,000), Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County. ($62,000), Georgetown University Law Center law clinics ($46,000), Montgomery Co. Bar Foundation ($15,000) and the Mental Health Assoc. of Montgomery Co. ($10,000).

Plaintiffs’ counsel included John Beins and Seth Goldberg, partners in the law firm Beins, Goldberg & Hennessey, LLP and Paul Gleiberman, a principal of the firm Gleiberman & Associates, P.C

« Back