The New York Bar Foundation has been awarded $17,500 in leftover proceeds from a class-action lawsuit to distribute to law-related charities around the state.

Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently signed an order authorizing a cy pres distribution to the Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association.

The award represents a financial distribution from the case of Charles Milo v. Barney's Inc. (10-CV-3133), in which a Barney's customer alleged the retailer violated the Truth in Lending Act by not clearly listing the standard annual percentage rate on applications for Barney's New York credit cards.

The Bar Foundation will use the money to fund charitable and educational projects that meet the law-related needs of the public and legal profession.

"Settlements such as the Charles Milo v. Barney's fund expand grant opportunities for the Foundation to support more projects and residents throughout the state," said Foundation President Cristine Cioffi of Schenectady (Cioffi, Slezak, Wildgrube). "We are pleased to receive this distribution to assist and oversee law-related charitable work in New York."

Cy pres is a legal term used to describe an alternate appropriate use for unclaimed funds that remain after the proceeds from a class action settlement are distributed among the members of the class. This is the fifth cy pres settlement the Foundation has been awarded in the past four years.

"The Foundation is honored to be entrusted with these funds, which it will distribute to worthy law-related charities to continue their good works," said Lesley Rosenthal of New York City (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), chair of the Cy Pres Committee of The Foundation.

The New York Bar Foundation has been entrusted by federal judges with distributing and overseeing more than $1 million in cy pres grants for charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession. 

One grant, made with residual settlement funds from Grinnell v. City of Detroit, provided funding for antitrust and technology law research, fellowships and conferences at the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition (CTIC).  Another grant, to Syracuse University's Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), provided training for disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to start their own small businesses. Syracuse University reported that because of the Grinnell settlement funds, awarded by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and administered by the Foundation, EBV has been able to provide additional educational opportunities to disabled military veterans, free of charge, and has added a business ethics component to the curriculum. 

To learn more about The New York Bar Foundation and how cy pres settlements and other contributions can support its charitable programs, go to, phone 518-487-5651 or email [email protected].


Contact: Deborah Auspelmyer
Foundation Administrator
[email protected]