Upcoming Holiday Season Looking Brighter for Local Charities Thanks to Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. and Partner Patrick J. Perotti.

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Partner Patrick Perotti of the Northeast Ohio law firm of Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A continues to fight for the Cy Pres doctrine allowing unclaimed class action funds to be distributed to local charities. Another $250,000 is being distributed this month with more on the horizon. Perotti's Ohio Lawyers Give Back initiative benefits thousands of people in the community.

Patrick J. Perotti, Partner

My Irish Catholic mother always said "Patrick, do the right thing." Distributing these unclaimed funds to charity is the right thing to do.

Partner Patrick Perotti of the Northeast Ohio law firm Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. continues to fight for the Cy Pres doctrine allowing unclaimed class action funds to be distributed to local charities. Another $250,000 is being distributed this month from one of his settlements with more on the horizon. Perotti's Ohio Lawyers Give Back initiative benefits thousands of people in the community. This month, The Julie Billiart School in Lyndhurst, Ohio; Lakeland Community College in Mentor, Ohio; Boy Scouts of America Greater Cleveland Council; The Northern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - Northeast Ohio Chapter will each receive a check for $50,000.

Dworken & Bernstein Co., LPA, announced that it again included a “Cy Pres” clause in the settlement of three major class actions involving consumer claims. Cy pres means that money which a defendant commits for the settlement of a class action is not returned to the defendant if class members cannot be found, and instead is directed to charities and non-profits.

In a settlement, both sides reach an amount of compensation which they agree is fair. "A settlement is an agreement which has terms that are presented to the court,” explained Patrick J. Perotti, managing partner of the Class Action and Employment Group of Dworken & Bernstein. “The parties gain the court’s approval based on the agreed terms. Truth in settlement means you actually pay the agreed amount, rather than having it slide quietly back to the defendant a year later. Demanding a cy pres provision in the settlement agreement makes the full payment happen, and makes the process transparent and honest.” Mr. Perotti typically will not settle a case without a cy pres provision. “Not all cases have leftover funds, but when they do, Dworken & Bernstein wants them distributed ‘as nearly as possible' to the intended benefit."

Charities and non-profits in Ohio have greatly benefited from Perotti's creativity and hard work. To date he has directed over $22.5 million to organizations which help others. By the end of 2011, that total will exceed $23 million. To see a full list of charities and non-profits that have benefited from this doctrine, go to http://www.ohiolawyersgiveback.org and click on charities.

Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. is the largest law firm in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties, Ohio with additional offices in downtown Cleveland. Serving the community for over 50 years, Dworken & Bernstein and its 28 lawyers and staff of 65 offers a full range of legal services for businesses, individuals, and families.

Further information about Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. can be found at http://www.dworkenlaw.com or Ohio Lawyers Give Back at http://www.ohiolawyersgiveback.org.

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Barbara Marlowe
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