Pursuant to Rule 83.6 of the Local Rules of Procedure for the United States District Court for the District of Montana, the Court maintains a Civil Pro Bono Panel of volunteer attorneys. The Civil Pro Bono Panel is the court’s resource for identifying those members of the bar of this Court who are willing to make a pro bono contribution to the District of Montana.
The purpose of this panel is to identify attorneys willing to represent pro se litigants in the prosecution and/or defense of civil actions before the Court. Attorneys are appointed pursuant to Local Rule 83.6, which also details the expense reimbursement procedures for appointed attorneys.
The Court frequently has a need for attorneys to contribute their time by representing pro se plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging conditions of confinement or alleging unconstitutional treatment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court typically would only assign cases where the pro se litigant has survived screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, survived summary judgment, or where the legal importance or difficulty of the issues is evident. In addition to providing 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. Reasonable costs expended may be reimbursable pursuant to Local Rule 83.6. In addition, if the plaintiff obtains a favorable judgment, the attorney may seek attorneys’ fees from the defendants.
Application forms are available at the Clerk’s Office or the link below. In addition, there is a link below that contains a list of pending requests for pro bono representation. If you have any questions regarding the Civil Pro Bono Panel, please contact the Court’s Pro Bono Coordinator, Michelle Badaruddin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-542-7277.