Cy Pres Awards

[t]he Court finds that EPIC’s receipt of other cy pres awards in privacy cases demonstrates that EPIC is well-suited to be a cy pres recipient in the instant privacy case. See In re Google Buzz Privacy Litig., 2011 WL 7460099, at *1 (“EPIC has demonstrated that it is a well-established and respected organization within the field of internet privacy.”). Perkins v. Linkedin Corp., No. 13-CV-04303, 2016 WL 613255, at *11, slip op. at 20-21 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 16, 2016)

Cy pres awards support EPIC's ability to advocate for consumer privacy protections and provide information about emerging privacy issues. We welcome cy pres distributions to help support our work on behalf of consumers.

The term cy pres (meaning "as near as") refers to the money that remains in a fund created by the settlement of class-action litigation, after the fund has otherwise been distributed among class members. Cy pres awards are distributed to organizations whose missions reflect the concerns of the underlying class-action case, or whose work will further the class benefits provided by a settlement. Class counsel in an individual case often has the ability to nominate charitable organizations to receive these funds.

EPIC was founded in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. Today, EPIC is one of the leading consumer privacy organizations in the country. EPIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, incorporated in Washington, DC., and receives no funding from private companies. EPIC directs 88% of revenue to program activity, a top-tier standard for non-profit management. EPIC has received top rankings from Guidestar ("Gold") and Charity Navigator ("Four Star") for transparency and accountability. Our website "epic.org" is one of the top-ranked web sites for a search on the term "privacy." We routinely advocate for consumers and we have worked since our founding to establish new measures to protect consumer privacy.

Courts have approved EPIC as a cy pres recipient in many consumer privacy cases, including:

  • Mirfasihi v. Fleet Mortgage Corp.
  • In Re: ATI Technologies HDCP Litigation
  • In re: iPod Nano
  • Desai v. ADT Security Services
  • In re: Google Buzz Privacy Litigation
  • In re: Netflix Privacy Litigation
  • Lane v. Facebook
  • Pollack v. InCrowd, Inc.
  • Aboudi v. T-Mobile USA, Inc.
  • Jay Clogg Realty Group, Inc. v. Burger King Corporation
  • Kensington Physical Therapy, Inc. v. Jackson Therapy Partners, LLC

In Mirfasihi, the court described EPIC as a "public interest research center devoted to privacy education and protection" and said that the cy pres distribution to EPIC "did cause an improvement in the settlement that provides additional benefits to the plaintiffs and to the community . . ." 2007 WL 2608778 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 6, 2007) aff'd, 551 F.3d 682 (7th Cir. 2008).

EPIC satisfies the two key requirements for a distribution of cy pres funds in consumer privacy cases: EPIC is both aligned with the interests of class members and advances the aims of the underlying litigation.

If you have questions about whether EPIC might be appropriate for cy pres in a particular case, please contact Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President & Executive Director, by phone at 202-483-1140 or by email at rotenberg@epic.org.

EPIC has recently received cy pres awards in cases involving the following law firms:

  • Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC
  • Lyngklip & Associates
  • Law Offices of Scott Z. Zimmermann
  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Broderick Law, P.C.
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