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The John Marshall Law School’s Pro Bono Litigation Clinic Takes on Wage Act Cases Thanks to Receiving Cy Pres Award

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES , December 18, 2018 / -- The Pro Bono Litigation Clinic at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago will now start taking Wage Act cases after receiving $125,000 in cy pres funds from a class action Wage Act case.

Julia Bikbova, a 2007 graduate of John Marshall, and Alexander Tolmatsky, a 1991 graduate of John Marshall, represented a class of workers in a claim under the Illinois Wage Act. The two attorneys worked together to prosecute a class action concerning misclassification of certain workers and unpaid wages. The Pro Bono Litigation Clinic was selected as a cy pres recipient.

Cy pres awards are residual funds in class action cases (and occasionally in other types of proceedings like bankruptcy and probate matters) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class members or beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Under the cy pres doctrine and Illinois law, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes, such as John Marshall’s Pro Bono Litigation Clinic.

“Through my practice, I see many injustices and inequities in the areas of wage, compensation and treatment of employees, particularly immigrants,” Bikbova said. “I know there is no way for a single practitioner like me to address such needs alone, and I knew that John Marshall was best positioned to undertake this mission in Chicago.”

Thanks to the cy pres award, the Pro Bono Litigation Clinic now has the funding necessary to start taking on Wage Act cases of its own.

“The Clinic is honored and thankful for being selected as the recipient of the cy pres award,” said Professor J. Damian Ortiz, Clinical Professor & Director of Pro Bono Litigation Clinic. “We believe that the cy pres award is an invaluable way to advance the interests of laborers and employees throughout Illinois. The Clinic will be able to provide employees legal representation, education, self-claim filings and continuous legal services.”

About John Marshall’s Pro Bono Litigation Clinic
The mission of the Pro Bono Litigation Clinic is to engage students, professors and graduates in pro bono practice, thereby providing legal services to the community. This allows students to develop necessary skills and values that form the basis of pro bono service and the sound practice of law.

About The John Marshall Law School
The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. The 2019 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools ranks John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program 6th, its Intellectual Property Law Program 15th and its Trial Advocacy Program 20th in the nation. Since its inception, John Marshall has been a pioneer in legal education and has been guided by a tradition of diversity, innovation, access and opportunity.

Miller McDonald
The John Marshall Law School
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