The OPIA Blog

California Legal Aid groups see a positive cash flow

The Recorder recently wrote about new money coming into California Legal Aid organizations as well as positive recent developments for the various groups, like balanced budgets.

Some of the good news:
*A check for $800,000 came to the California Rural Legal Assistance about a week ago. The organization was facing a shortfall that could have possibly forced them to cut pay and cut staff attorneys.
*The Asia law Caucus received a check for $400,000 which helps an organization that already had a surplus. The money will allow the organization to hire two new staffers and handle the growing demand for housing and elder law services.
*The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles received $700,000 which will allow them to consider hiring a lawyer for housing work and an intake screener for domestic violence complaints.

Why did these various legal aid organizations receive the money, you ask? The money came from a 2002 case filed against U.S. Tobacco, the maker of Skoal and other brands of chewing tobacco. Under the terms of the settlement approved last year, money that went unclaimed by consumers would be distributed to various charities.