You’re probably already well aware that today is GivingTuesday, a day of global generosity. Falling on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, GivingTuesday is based on a simple idea: encouraging people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Generosity is more important than ever. Today is a good reminder to offer your support if you can, in any amount or form. And while you may already have an organization in mind to help today, below are three groups doing important work in the civil justice space.
Public Justice pursues high-impact lawsuits that combat social and economic injustices, protect sustainability efforts, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses. Over the past 35 years, Public Justice has stepped up to protect our country’s access to justice, gender equality measures, consumer rights, environmental laws, and much more. Currently, Public Justice is working to overturn overly broad court secrecy orders, fighting forced arbitration and preemption, and combating strategies that deny people the right to pursue class actions. They are also on the front lines battling the abuse and neglect of immigrant detainees as well as the use of excessive force in prisons.
Impact Fund provides strategic leadership and funds for litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law. The organization offers support and expertise on issues that arise in large-scale impact litigation. Members of Impact Fund serve as leaders in select class action and impact litigation with the goal of achieving broad social change. Over the past 26 years, Impact Fund has expanded to include training, advice and counseling, amicus representation, conferences, and co-counseling.
I might be a little biased with my final suggestion, but I have seen firsthand how funding families in need during the course of litigation is critical to the civil justice system. Bairs Foundation provides financial assistance to families that need help paying for basic living expenses as they pursue litigation. In contrast to many participants in the litigation finance industry that make the cost of capital exorbitant for plaintiffs, Bairs Foundation provides low-cost access to capital so families have the resources to go the distance with their lawsuit.
In addition, if you have not already joined, End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) is a nationwide movement against distracted driving that is spearheaded by Joel Feldman, trial attorney and partner at Anapol Weiss. After his daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, hundreds of members of the civil justice community stepped up to bring his important safety message into schools around the country. Thanks to their help, nearly half a million people have seen an EndDD.org presentation since the organization began. Contributions to EndDD.org are made through The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and are limited for use in EndDD’s distracted driving programs.
Deducting Charitable Donations in 2020
Charitable donations to 501(c)(3) organizations are usually tax deductible, but there are some new incentives available this year under the CARES Act (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). This year, taxpayers can still deduct charitable contributions even if they do not itemize their deductions. Those who don’t itemize deductions may take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations – meaning religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary organizations. The CARES Act has also temporarily suspended limits on charitable contributions and has temporarily increased limits on contributions of food inventory.
I hope you will consider offering support to your favorite organization today and joining the hundreds of millions of people who have participated in GivingTuesday.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).