Legal Aid Receives $150,000 from Class Action Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – December 7, 2010 – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) is proud to announce the receipt of a cy pres award totaling more than $150,000 to be used to provide free legal services to low-income Texans.

The award comes from a settlement from a class action lawsuit against United SA Federal Credit Union.  TRLA was designated as the recipient of the award by San Antonio attorneys Benjamin R. Bingham of Bingham & Lea, PC and solo practitioner H. Anthony Hervol.  Cy pres awards are funds from class action lawsuits that cannot be distributed to their intended recipients and are given to charitable organizations.

According to TRLA Executive Director David Hall, “These funds could not have come at a more critical time. The support of private attorneys, whether through pro bono work or cy pres awards, is crucial to promoting access to justice for low-income Texans.”

Every year TRLA serves more than 20,000 low-income Texans with their civil legal needs.  But with a tough economy taking its toll, demand for free legal services has skyrocketed. On average, TRLA has to turn away one-third of the people who need its services solely due to lack of resources. Increased funding resources such as cy pres awards are vital to meeting the legal needs of more low-income Texans.

Added Hall, “This award will allow us to help people we would have turned away. The value of saving someone from homelessness, keeping families together, and getting people the aid they need this holiday season is priceless.”

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services.

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