The United States District Court
District of Colorado

Hon. Philip A. Brimmer, Chief Judge
Jeffrey P. Colwell Esq., Clerk of Court

Our mission is to serve the public by providing a fair and impartial forum that ensures equal access to justice in accordance with the rule of law, protects rights and liberties of all persons, and resolves cases in a timely and efficient manner.

Civil Pro Bono Panel - Details, and Available Cases

ADOPTION OF A PERMANENT PROGRAM FOR COURT APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL

  • Download Civil Pro Bono Application
  • Download Local Rule LAttyR 15 - Civil Pro Bono Representation
  • Download Civil Pro Bono Panel Description
  • Download Limited Representation Guide
  • Download Attorney Motion for Panel Appointment
  • Download 2017 Annual Report of the Civil Pro Bono Panel
  • Download 2018-2019 Annual Report of the Civil Pro Bono Panel
  • Download 2019-2020 Annual Report of the Civil Pro Bono Panel
  • Download Spring 2019 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Download Winter 2019 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Download Spring 2020 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Download Fall 2020 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Download Winter 2020 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Download Spring 2021 Civil Pro Bono Panel "Panel Periodical" Newsletter
  • Cases Available TO ALL ATTORNEYS for Pro Bono Representation
    [Per LAttyR 15(f), at least four Civil Pro Bono Panel attorneys have reviewed each of these cases and opted not to accept representation]:
    Case Number Case Name Cause of Action Plaintiff/Defendant Complaint
    18-cv-00320-WJM-STV Samuel O.P. Yeiser v. DG Retail, LLC, et al. Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights (Complaint alleges racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1982, premises liability, gross negligence and negligence, and defamation of character) Plaintiff Complaint
    18-cv-02578-PAB-SKC Brooks v. Colorado Department of Corrections et al Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights (Deliberate indifference, 14th amendment special relationship doctrine, civil conspiracy, equal protection and obstruction to court access) Plaintiff Complaint
    20-cv-00659-DDD-NRN Martinez v. Allstate Insurance Company Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Insurance Contract
    Nature of Suit: 110 Insurance
    (breach of contract, fraud, torts, and bad faith claims)
    Plaintiff Complaint
    20-cv-02074-KMT Banks et al v. Jackson Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Libel,Assault,Slander
    Nature of Suit: 320 Assault Libel & Slander
    (Defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and outrageous conduct.)
    Defendant Complaint
    20-cv-00037-RM-MEH Johnson v. Giles et al Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights
    Nature of Suit: 550 Prisoner - Civil Rights (U.S. not a defendant)
    (Cruel and unusual punishment)
    Plaintiff Complaint
    20-cv-01242-MEH Bradley Crow v. Quarles Leto, Dr., in her individual capacity, et al. Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights (Delay in medical treatment resulting in loss of the use of a limb) Plaintiff Complaint
    20-cv-03502-DDD-SKC Kem Fredrick Kershaw et al v. Governers Office et al Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights
    Nature of Suit: 550 Prisoner - Civil Rights (U.S. not a defendant)
    (Requesting injunctive relief re: coronavirus conditions at the El Paso County Jail)
    Plaintiff Complaint
    18-cv-00570-RBJ-SKC Alphonso Blake, Jr. v. USA Cause: 42:1983 Prisoner Civil Rights (Complaint alleges retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress) Plaintiff Complaint

    Please email COD_ProBonoPanel@cod.uscourts.gov for more information on the available cases.

    Effective December 1, 2014, the U.S. District Court adopted Local Attorney Rule 15, titled Civil Pro Bono Representation, which implements the court's Civil Pro Bono Panel Plan.  The Plan is a program consisting of volunteer attorneys willing to represent individuals of limited financial means (not strictly limited to the “indigent”) in civil matters whenever requested by the Court and without compensation.  As a means to assist attorneys in providing pro bono services, the court has established a panel of attorneys who are members in good standing of the Bar of the district court and who have agreed to accept pro bono appointments to represent pro se litigants (plaintiff or defendant) in civil cases.

    The following are some of the unique aspects of the Panel program:

    Individual lawyers, law school clinical programs, or law firms can join the Panel.

    Participants can specify how many cases will be accepted per year, and no more than that amount will be assigned – either on an individual basis, or as a law firm.

    If a law firm joins the program, it can assign to the individual cases that it accepts any attorney or attorneys from within the firm that it chooses, as long as the attorneys are members of the District Court bar and in good standing.

    A Panel member (Individual or Law Firm) can specify which types of cases/causes of action he/she/it will accept, from the following categories:

    Civil rights cases
    Consumer rights/ credit reporting/ foreclosure cases
    Employment discrimination claims
    FOIA/Privacy Act cases
    Prisoners' rights cases (42 U.S.C. § 1983 or Bivens)
    Social Security appeals
    Other categories (counsel can choose from approximately 100 different specific causes of action listed on the Civil Pro Bono Panel Application, The Causes of Action on the Pro Bono Application form are also listed on the U.S. District Court's Civil Cover Sheet located on the Forms page)

    The clerk strictly limits case assignments to those specified by the Panel member.

    If one case has already been accepted by counsel, a new one will not be assigned unless specifically permitted by counsel or law firm in the Panel application;

    Counsel may choose to have additional co-counsel assigned to assist him or her, or counsel may request a mentoring attorney – or may serve as a mentoring attorney;

    The Court initiates the appointment process by granting a pro se litigant's (prisoner or non-prisoner) motion for appointment of counsel, and after the case has undergone initial review for merit through the process required under D.C.COLO.LCivR 8.1 and 28 § 1915A. Cases are randomly assigned by the clerk, according to counsel's preferences.  Appointed Panel members have a five-day period of time to run a conflicts check, review the case, gain internal approval, etc., before contacting the Clerk's office and accepting or rejecting the case.

    After a Notice of Appointment is entered in the case by the clerk, indicating the draw of the name of the appointed attorney (as an individual or as the coordinating attorney for a law firm), the attorney then has 30 days to formally enter an appearance in the case, or file a Notice Declining Appointment.

    Please note that Reimbursement funding for costs incurred by counsel (not attorney fees) will be available from the Faculty of Federal Advocates, derived from the 2013 Renewal fee for district court bar members. Visit the Faculty of Federal Advocates website for more information HERE.

    Please also be aware that under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 2(b)(1), effective December 1, 2016, counsel are permitted -- either on a pro bono basis, or for a fee -- to represent both incarcerated individuals and "pro se" non-prisoner unrepresented parties on a limited basis, following the procedures set forth in Local Attorney Rules 2(b)(1), 5(a) and 5(b). For more information on Limited Representation, including an Instruction Guide with the applicable rules, forms, checklist, and FAQs, visit the Limited Representation page HERE.

    With adoption of the Civil Pro Bono Plan, the Court now seeks applicants to the Civil Pro Bono Panel – attorneys, law firms, non-profit organizations, and clinical legal education programs at law schools that are willing to accept appointment to represent pro se parties of limited financial means in civil actions may apply to join the Panel. The Application Form can be found through a link to the Forms page on the Court's website HERE. You 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 you may submit the application as a pdf document by e-mail to: COD_ProBonoPanel@cod.uscourts.gov.

    Sample forms that unrepresented parties may use to submit a motion (request to the court) for appointment of counsel from the Civil Pro Bono Panel can be found on our Forms Page under the heading "Civil Pro Bono."