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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cy Pres Award to Advance UC Hastings Privacy & Technology Project

UC Hastings’s Privacy & Technology Project has been given a $112,786.35 cy pres award from a class action against satellite radio giant Sirius XM. The suit alleged Sirius XM illegally recorded customers’ phone calls and invaded their privacy.

The case, Batmanghelich v. Sirius XM Radio, was settled in 2011 for $9.5 million. When funds from a class action suit cannot be distributed directly to the class, they can be distributed to a non-profit charitable organization whose work advances the public interest and indirectly benefits the class members.

“Facilitating cy pres awards to UC Hastings is a great way for alumni to promote the real interests of the class members of cases in which they may be involved while also supporting the law school beyond their personal philanthropy,” said Shino Nomiya, Assistant Dean for Institutional Advancement.

Ken Gaines ‘70, of Gaines & Gaines in Los Angeles, worked on the case with his son and law partner, Daniel. Gaines said the groundbreaking Privacy & Technology Project is an ideal choice for the remaining settlement funds.

“I wanted to support the leading role that the law school is taking in the privacy and technology field,” he says. “But I also wanted to take the opportunity to give back to my alma mater. UC Hastings gave me a fabulous education, and I wanted to say thank you.”

The Sirius XM cy pres award will be used to support UC Hastings’ Privacy & Technology Project in its research, advocacy and community outreach. Its goal is to help alter the relationship individuals have with their own information so that they may exercise some measure of authority and control.

“With the funding, our students and faculty can help develop cutting edge solutions to the privacy challenges of modern life. It allows us to teach law in action and law in context,” said Professor Robin Feldman, co-director of the Project.

For more information on how to designate a cy pres award to UC Hastings or its research projects, please contact Beverly Parayno, Grants Writer, at paraynob@uchastings.edu or 415.581.8820.

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