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WILLIAMS v. ILLINOIS DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois


November 3, 2005.

DAVID WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLIFFORD PROUD, Magistrate Judge

ORDER

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. ยง 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.

20051103

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