The Court has a large number of civil rights cases filed by incarcerated individuals. Because many of these cases implicate disputes over material issues of fact they proceed to civil jury trials. Trying a lawsuit with a pro se plaintiff, particularly one who is incarcerated, presents obvious difficulties for all parties as well as the Court.
In the majority of cases we will not ask the volunteer lawyer to step in until it has been determined that there are triable issues, dispositive motions have been ruled upon and the case is ready for trial. Volunteer lawyers will be permitted discovery as necessary to prepare for trial. The court has a fund to cover reasonable costs incurred in the representation.
In addition to providing assistance to the court, as well as an opportunity for public service, these cases are especially appropriate for young lawyers who might otherwise not have the experience of trying a civil case to a jury in federal court. If you are interested in assisting the Court in this endeavor or have any questions, please contact
Nicole Kierzek at
via email at