United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
November 3, 2005.
DAVID WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
ILLINOIS DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLIFFORD PROUD, Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff David Williams appeared on October 28, 2005, for a
final pretrial conference. At that time, Williams orally moved
for appointment of counsel, citing his limited formal education
and the fact that his case is set to be tried before a jury.
There is no constitutional or statutory right to appointment of
counsel in a civil case, although the Court may in its discretion
appoint counsel to represent indigent civil litigants. Jackson
v. County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1071 (7th Cir. 1992);
see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d). Nevertheless, the Court also
has inherent authority to appoint counsel to ensure the orderly
prosecution of litigation in the district. Members of the bar of
this Court are obligated to accept appointments, provided an
appointment is not made more than once during a twelve-month
period. Local Rule 83.1(i). The Court must inquire whether,
"given the difficulty of the case, [does] the plaintiff appear to
be competent to try it himself and, if not, would the presence of
counsel [make] a difference in the outcome?" Farmer v. Haas,
990 F.2d 319, 322 (7th Cir. 1993); see also Greeno v.
Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 658(7th Cir. 2005).
The facts and issues in this case are not so complex that
plaintiff could not adequately present his case without counsel, however the Court appreciates
that Williams has received extensive assistance from "jailhouse
lawyers" who obviously cannot assist him at trial. In the
interest of judicial economy, counsel will be appointed to
represent plaintiff for trial only. Discovery is not reopened,
and no dispositive motions will be permitted at this juncture.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's oral motion for
appointment of counsel (Doc. 79) is GRANTED; attorney JULIE
A. BRUCH, O'Halloran, Kosoff, 650 Dundee Road, Suite 475,
Northbrook, IL 60062, 847-291-0200, is APPOINTED to represent
plaintiff Williams for trial only.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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