The Dworken & Bernstein firm in Ohio inspired a judge to create a funding program for local charitable organizations.
When the Ohio Attorney General brought a class action against several large insurance companies, the case settled and there were class members who could not be located (for example, they may have moved or died). Instead of that unclaimed settlement money going to back to the insurance companies, the judge, John Russo, created “The Honor Project Trust” to redirect the money — $6.3 million — to Ohio charities that needed it.
Judge Russo had previously attended an event hosted by Dworken & Bernstein where the firm distributed over $14 Million dollars to local charities following a case against a large insurer that had overcharged people for uninsured motorist coverage. That event, and the concept of redirecting the money, stuck with the judge. When he had the opportunity after the Attorney General’s case, he moved forward with “The Honor Project Trust” and asked the Dworken & Bernstein firm administer the distribution of funds, which the firm did for free.
Attorney Patrick Perotti heads the class action division of Dworken & Bernstein. He has taken the lead in founding and operating Ohio Lawyers Give Back through which he uses the doctrine of cy pres to direct millions of dollars each year to charities and nonprofits.
Mr. Perotti is a member of the American Association for justice (AAJ) and and was a nominee and finalist for AAJ’s 2014 Trial Lawyers Care Award. On November 7, 2014, Mr. Perotti will be presented with The Ritter award from the Ohio Bar Association. The Ritter is the highest honor awarded by the Foundation, given to recognize a lifetime of service. The award recognizes the accomplishments of the honoree in attaining and promoting the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethics in the practice of law while assisting other attorneys, the courts, and the public to envision and cause changes which improve the justice system in Ohio.