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Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys

The Eastern District of Wisconsin has pro bono opportunities, primarily in prisoner civil rights cases. The court recruits attorneys for limited purposes, such as representing a civil pro se litigant in mediation, as well as for full representation. 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. Below are the cases that the court is currently recruiting for. For more information on a case, please contact the court's pro se staff attorneys at ProSeStaffAttorneys@wied.uscourts.gov.

The court is currently looking for pro bono volunteers for the following cases:

Mediation Only

None currently. 

Discovery, Draft/Respond to Dispositive Motions, and Pursue Settlement

  • Eaton v. Doe, 22-cv-1459-PP. The court is looking for a lawyer to represent an incarcerated individual who alleges that the defendants forced him to submit to a blood draw and urine sample, and for collecting the samples without his consent or a court order. The lawyer would identify the Doe defendants, file an amended complaint, engage in discovery and respond to any dispositive motions. Please see Judge Pepper’s screening order for more information. (Recruiting since July 2023)

  • Johnson v. Waltz, 23-cv-1077-WED. The court is looking for a lawyer to represent an incarcerated individual who alleges that the defendant did not let him obtain medical care for his eye condition. The plaintiff has lost sight in one eye and has limited vision in his other eye. The lawyer would engage in discovery and respond to any dispositive motions. Please see Judge Pepper’s screening order and order recruiting counsel for more information. (Recruiting since February 2024)

  • Jennings v. Dombeck, 22-cv-1205-JPS. The court is looking for a lawyer to assist an incarcerated individual in conducting discovery, drafting and/or responding to dispositive motions, and possible trial/settlement discussions in connection with an Eighth Amendment denial of medical care case.  Plaintiff has serious vision issues, related to the claims in this case, and is currently scheduled to have a corneal transplant in the near future. Please see Judge Stadtmueller's screening order for more information. (Recruiting since April 2024)

  • Moore v. Schmelzle et al, 23-cv-325-SCD. The court is looking for a lawyer to assist an incarcerated person who suffers from burns on 90% of his body and allegedly was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The plaintiff also brings a related ADA/RA claim. The lawyer would conduct discovery, draft and/or respond to dispositive motions, and pursue mediation/settlement discussions. Please see the screening order for more information. (Recruting since May 2024)

Trial

  • Famous v. Jezwinski, 20-cv-510-JPS. The court is looking for a lawyer to represent an incarcerated individual who alleges that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff's risk of self-harm and/or suicide, were deliberately indifferent to his serious need for medical treatment, and were negligent for the same conduct. No motion for summary judgment was filed. The lawyer would represent the plaintiff at trial. Please see Judge Stadtmueller's screening order for more information. (Recruiting since September 2023)

  • Hewlett v. Hill, et al., 22-cv-1376-WCG. The plaintiff is proceeding on Eighth Amendment claims that the defendants ignored his threats of suicide, taunted him, and goaded him into harming himself. Plaintiff’s claims survived summary judgment.  The court is requesting a volunteer attorney for the limited purpose of assisting the pro se plaintiff present his case by responding to the defendant’s pretrial report and motions in limine prior to trial, and then at trial, conducting direct and cross-examination of witnesses, participating in a verdict and jury instruction conference, and giving an opening statement and closing argument.  Discovery is closed and will not be reopened absent compelling circumstances. The final pretrial conference (via telephone) is scheduled for September 26, 2024.  A two-day trial in Green Bay is scheduled for October 24, 2024. The plaintiff’s claim is straightforward and will largely turn on the credibility of the witnesses.  Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, will be reimbursed by the court.  This limited recruitment offers an opportunity to improve counsel’s trial skills while at the same time providing an important service to the parties and the court.  (Recruiting since April 2024)

  • Young v. Jones, et al., 22-cv-130-WCG.  The plaintiff is proceeding on a Fourteenth Amendment claim that the defendants used excessive force by unnecessarily deploying two taser shots while he was handcuffed inside his cell at the Milwaukee County Jail on January 8, 2022.  Plaintiff’s claim survived summary judgment.  The court is requesting a volunteer attorney for the limited purpose of assisting the pro se plaintiff present his case by responding to the defendants’ pretrial report and motions in limine prior to trial, and then at trial, conducting direct and cross-examination of witnesses, participating in a verdict and jury instruction conference, and giving an opening statement and closing argument.  Discovery is closed and will not be reopened absent compelling circumstances. The final pretrial conference (via telephone) is scheduled for September 26, 2024.  A two-day jury trial in Green Bay is scheduled for October 30, 2024. The plaintiff’s claim is straightforward and will largely turn on the credibility of the witnesses.  Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, will be reimbursed by the court.  This limited recruitment offers an opportunity to improve counsel’s trial skills while at the same time providing an important service to the parties and the court.  (Recruiting since April 2024)

  • Smiley v. Pach, et al., 22-cv-1158-WCG.  The plaintiff is proceeding on an Eighth Amendment claim that the defendants used excessive force during a cell-extraction at the Waupun Correctional Institution on June 21, 2022.  Plaintiff’s claim survived summary judgment, and the case is set for a two-day jury trial in Green Bay beginning August 7, 2024.  The court is requesting a volunteer attorney for the limited purpose of assisting the pro se plaintiff present his case by responding to the defendants’ pretrial report and motions in limine prior to trial, and then at trial, conducting direct and cross-examination of witnesses, participating in a verdict and jury instruction conference, and giving an opening statement and closing argument.  Discovery is closed and will not be reopened absent compelling circumstances. The final pretrial conference (via telephone) is scheduled for July 19, 2024.  The plaintiff’s claim is straightforward and will largely turn on the credibility of the witnesses.  Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, will be reimbursed by the court.  This limited recruitment offers an opportunity to improve counsel’s trial skills while at the same time providing an important service to the parties and the court.  (Recruiting since April 2024)

  • Stevens v. Ritchie, 22-cv-1451-WCG.  The plaintiff is proceeding on an Eighth Amendment claim that the defendant forced unwanted sexual contact at the Green Bay Correctional Institution between August 2018 and December 2018.  Both parties are pro se and did not file a motion for summary judgment.  The court is requesting two volunteer attorneys, one for the plaintiff and one for the defendant, for the limited purpose of assisting in drafting pretrial reports and motions in limine prior to trial, and then at trial, conducting direct and cross-examination of witnesses, participating in a verdict and jury instruction conference, and giving an opening statement and closing argument.  Discovery is closed and will not be reopened absent compelling circumstances. The final pretrial conference (in person) is scheduled for August 16, 2024.  A two-day jury trial in Green Bay is scheduled for September 10, 2024. The claim are defenses are straightforward and will largely turn on the credibility of the witnesses.  Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, will be reimbursed by the court.  This limited recruitment offers an opportunity to improve counsel’s trial skills while at the same time providing an important service to the parties and the court.  (Recruiting since April 2024)

  • Legister v. Schlei, 22-cv-1416-BHL.  The plaintiff is proceeding on a Fourteenth Amendment claim that the defendant, a Milwaukee police officer, unreasonably refused to consider alternative ways to secure the plaintiff while transporting him to and from the hospital despite the plaintiff telling him he was in excruciating pain from a shoulder injury he suffered in a recent car accident. The court is requesting a volunteer attorney to assist the plaintiff with presenting his case by responding to the defendant’s pretrial report and motions in limine prior to trial, and then at trial, conducting direct- and cross-examination of witnesses, participating in a verdict and jury instruction conference, and giving an opening statement and closing argument.  (Recruiting since May 2024)