On behalf of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, I ask all attorneys admitted to practice in this Court to consider volunteering to represent pro se prisoners whose civil rights cases have survived dispositive motions and are likely to go to trial. The need for qualified representation in such cases is pressing and continuing as their numbers grow. The assistance of counsel in these cases would be of tremendous benefit not only to the plaintiffs but also to the Court.
While such representation would be on a pro bono basis, the Court has set aside a limited amount of funds to cover expenses such as depositions and expert witnesses. Furthermore, given that these cases have survived dispositive motions, there is the possibility that the plaintiff may prevail on the merits, particularly with the proper representation. In such cases, an award of attorneys fees may be possible. In any case, the representation would give an attorney valuable trial experience and would offer an excellent opportunity to provide a necessary public service.
The Court is in the process of compiling a list of attorneys who would be willing to consider appointment to represent indigent prisoners with potentially meritorious civil rights claims. If you are interested in volunteering for such appointments, please fill out the form on the Court’s website and return it to one of the Federal Bar Association members listed on the form.
Thank you for your assistance in this important endeavor.
The Honorable Joe Heaton
Chief Judge of the District Court
See , Authorization For Reimbursement of Certain Expenses From the Non-Appropriated Fund – dated February 21, 2012.