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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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If monies were donated to the University of Florida, earmarked

Customer Question

if monies were donated to the University of Florida, earmarked on the donations "For Dr Clemmons Degenerative Myelopathy Research ONLY", and they forced Dr Clemmons to resign, does the University of Florida have a legal obligation to give him the money that was earmarked ONLY for his research to him, or must they return the money to our group, the Degenerative Myelopathy Support Group? Doesnt the U of Fla have a fiduciary responsibilty to give the money to him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. I would like to assist you today. Responses may have a short delay for review and research.
The university has a duty to fulfill the terms of the gift - meaning ensure that the gift funds are used for the specified purpose. If the matter were to go to court, the court would have a range of enforcement options: 1) require the university to turn over the funds to the professor for research at his new institution; 2) return the funds to the grantor; or 3) retain the funds, but ensure that they are used in the furtherance of the specific research purpose (Degenerative Myelopathy research).
This area of law is somewhat complex as there is a dislike for enforcing strict adherence to gift restrictions as they do not permit for unforeseen changes or developments that neither party could have anticipated at the time of making or accepting the gift.
(For a very good overview of this area of law, see this article: http://gvk-law.com/global_pictures/15678.pdf).
Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.