Available Pro Bono Cases

Wisconsin SCR 31.05(7) states that an attorney may claim one CLE credit for every five hours of pro bono work, up to six credits per reporting period. The Western District of Wisconsin is looking for attorneys to volunteer to assist pro se parties with legal services on a pro bono basis. If an attorney, or firm, would like to volunteer legal services, but these cases are not a good fit, the Court will keep your name, or the name of your firm, on a list to contact about future representation.

These cases have passed screening, and the Court is requesting volunteers to represent on a limited or full-case basis, as identified. Please contact Melissa Hardin at 608-261-5718 with interest or questions.

  • Juan Nieto


    Plaintiff Juan Nieto is an inmate at Stanley Correctional Institution. Several Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference and medical malpractice claims survived summary judgment and are headed to trial. They concern prison staff’s failure to diagnose two broken toes for several years. His first language is Spanish and he doesn’t appear to be fluent in English, so a Spanish-speaking attorney would be helpful.

  • Anthony Heard Jr.


    Looking for counsel since 11/15/2021.

    Plaintiff Anthony Heard, Jr. was granted leave to proceed on claims that prison medical staff at WSPF delayed in treating his severe leg swelling, exacerbating the problem and caused him pain.  Heard is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, which while not part of the case, is limiting his ability to litigate it.  Currently pending are defendants motions for summary judgment.  The court will reset the case schedule, including briefing deadlines after counsel has been recruited.   Attached are the complaint, screening order and order granting recruitment of counsel

  • Patrick S. Tate


    Looking for counsel since 2/11/22

    Plaintiff Patrick Tate was allowed to proceed on claims relating to his allegation that when he was incarcerated at Fox Lake Correctional Institution, he was drugged and sexually assaulted by an as-yet-unidentified correctional office, then later physically assaulted by another inmate after he complained about the sexual assault.   The court stayed the case before the scheduling conference and to recruit counsel for the limited purpose of identifying the Doe defendant.  Attached is the order for recruitment of counsel.   

  • Vance Smith-Hernandez


    Plaintiff Vance Hernandez-Smith is currently a prisoner at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. Hernandez-Smith is a member of a group called the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE), also known as the Five Percent Nation or the Five Percenters. Hernandez-Smith considers the NGE to be his religion; the Wisconsin Department of Corrections considers the NGE to be a “security threat group,” DOC’s term for a gang. Hernandez-Smith brought a variety of claims about prison officials confiscating NGE materials that Hernandez-Smith sought to obtain. The court granted summary judgment to defendants on all of those claims except Hernandez-Smith’s claim for injunctive relief under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act challenging the DOC’s blanket ban on all NGE materials; the court concluded that the state failed to establish that their complete banning of NGE materials is the least restrictive means to further their interests in security and rehabilitation, particularly given that NGE materials are allowed to some degree in various other states’ prison systems. After counsel is recruited, the court will hold a scheduling conference to prepare for a bench trial on the RLUIPA claim. Attached is the court’s summary judgment order.