The United States District Court for the District of Colorado announced formal adoption of a pilot program that creates a panel of attorneys who agree to accept pro bono appointments to represent pro se litigants of limited financial means in civil cases before the court. Common case types include employment discrimination, Social Security disability appeals, prisoner’s rights (§ 1983 or Bivens), civil rights, and consumer rights/credit reporting/foreclosure cases. Attorneys can choose which types of cases they are willing to take. Appointment orders to members of the Panel will begin July 1, 2013.
The court is seeking applicants to the Civil Pro Bono Panel — attorneys, law firms, and clinical legal education programs at law schools — that are willing to accept appointments in these cases. The Application Form is attached to the end of the Civil Pro Bono Pilot Program Plan. Interested attorneys may submit a completed application either by mail to the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court, Attn: Edward Butler, Legal Officer, Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse Annex, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80294; or may submit the application by e-mail to: COD_ProBonoPanel@cod.uscourts.gov.
As a means to reimburse attorneys who accept cases as volunteers, the Pilot Program includes provisions for the Faculty of Federal Advocates (FFA) to manage the reimbursement of expenses, funded in part by grants to the FFA from the court. Funding for the grants will derive from an increase in attorney admission fees and a one-time renewal fee for current members of the Bar. Reimbursement of expenses is not guaranteed.
Members of the U.S. District Court Bar may submit payment of the one-time $50 renewal fee and completion of the Court’s Renewal Application Packet beginning July 15, 2013. Additionally, the attorney admissions fee increase to $211 from $186 will commence on that date. Check the U.S. District Court website for more information regarding completion of the Renewal Application Packet (Renewal materials and payment of the fee will be completed electronically through the website). All members of the U.S. District Court Bar are expected to pay the renewal fee by August 15, 2013.