Time to Sever the Dead Hand: Fisk University and the Cost of the CY PRES Doctrine

18 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Melanie B. Leslie

Melanie B. Leslie

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

The Fisk litigation is just one of several recent epic battles over restricted charitable gifts and changed circumstances, but it is important because it neatly illustrates the problems that the law creates and highlights the need for legal reform. After elaborating on this point, I examine the Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”), which changes cy pres law in significant ways. I show how application of certain UTC provisions to the Fisk case would have reduced the length of the litigation and the corresponding waste of charitable assets, to some degree. I then argue that further reforms are necessary. I suggest that perhaps the time has come to consider limiting the duration of restrictions on charitable gifts. To offset any chilling effect that such a time limit might have on charitable giving, we might allow donors and their heirs to enforce restrictions during the period of enforceability.

Keywords: cy pres, charitable gifts, restrictions, Fisk, Uniform Trust Code

Suggested Citation

Leslie, Melanie B., Time to Sever the Dead Hand: Fisk University and the Cost of the CY PRES Doctrine (2012). Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 31, 2012, Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449492

Melanie B. Leslie (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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New York, NY 10003
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212-790-0205 (Fax)

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