El Paso attorney Scott Vogelmeier has designated Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) as the recipient of a $18,000 cy pres award to support providing free legal aid to low-income Texans.
The award comes as the result of a victory Vogelmeier received in a lawsuit against Tenent Healthcare. His success in the case is shared with co-counsel Daniel Edelman of Edelman, Combs, Latturner, and Goodwin. Cy pres awards are given to charitable organizations from unclaimed funds from class action lawsuits.
“Scott’s continued support of legal aid has played an important role in helping us serve the poor,” said TRLA attorney and El Paso branch manager Alberto Mesta. “His commitment to our work has allowed us to continue to serve the El Paso community.”
This is the second time that Vogelmeier has made a significant contribution to TRLA. Last June he designated that TRLA receive a cy pres award of $26,000 after a victory in another case. Because of his contributions TRLA has recognized Vogelmeier with a Champions of Justice award.
Vogelmeier’s support comes at a critical time for legal aid organizations. Drops in interest rates have had a profound effect on vital sources of funding for legal aid organizations. At the same time, increases in foreclosures and unemployment rates have led to skyrocketing demand for services. In 2008 TRLA turned away one third of the people who needed its legal services due to insufficient resources.
Added Mesta, “Now is a critical time and supporters like Scott are necessary to ensuring that legal aid survives in a tough economy.”