Pro Bono Representation
In an average year, more than 350 cases are filed in the Western District of Wisconsin by plaintiffs representing themselves. The great majority of these cases are filed by prisoners alleging denial of their civil rights. In some cases, the court has determined that obtaining representation for the plaintiff is important. Over the past decade, attorneys admitted to practice in this district have contributed many hours to pro bono representation of these indigent plaintiffs. The attorneys listed here have been specially recognized by the court for their voluntary contributions.
A number of firms that regularly appear in the Western District, listed here, have committed to representing at least one indigent plaintiff per year. The Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Pro Bono Committee also maintains a list of attorneys who are willing to serve as pro bono counsel, and helps the court find lawyers who are willing to volunteer in appropriate cases.
The Pro Bono Committee administers a fund for reimbursing volunteer attorneys for some of their out-of-pocket costs. Attorneys who agree to take a pro bono appointment should fill out this form for approval of reimbursement by the presiding judge. The court's procedures for reimbursement of expenses are available here, and the form for seeking reimbursement is available here.
Staff Attorneys for the District Courts of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit have put together a Guide for Attorneys Recruited to Represent Plaintiffs in Section 1983 Cases. This Guide gives basic information regarding prison litigation under section 1983, and claims about inadequate medical care, conditions of confinement and those claims arising under the fourth amendment (non-prisoners).