The Court has determined after the final pre-trial conference held this day, November 19, 2007, that counsel should be appointed to represent Plaintiff in this matter. See Pruitt v. Mote, 2007 WL 2850448 (7th Cir., Oct. 3, 2007) (holding that district court shall inquire as to 1) whether the indigent plaintiff has made reasonable efforts to retain counsel, 2) whether plaintiff appears competent to try the case himself, and 3) whether the presence of counsel would make a difference.) The Court learned that Plaintiff's own efforts to retain counsel have been unsuccessful. And although Plaintiff has competently tried the case up until this point, the Court is concerned that Plaintiff does not have the means or ability to track down and subpoena certain key witnesses who may have witnessed the events alleged by Plaintiff in his Complaint. Denial of appointment counsel at this stage would surely prejudice Plaintiff. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(1) and Local Rule 83.1(I), attorney Michael Patrick Murphy, c/o Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, Hebrank, True & Noce, LLC, 103 West Vandalia St., Suite 300, P.O. Box 510, Edwardsville, IL 62025-0510, is APPOINTED to represent Plaintiff in this Court only.
The Clerk is DIRECTED to provide attorney Murphy with a copy of the docket sheet and to make the Court file available for inspection upon request. Appointed counsel is advised that, pursuant to the Plan for the Administration of the District Court Fund, out-of-pocket expenses up to the sum of $1,000.00 may be requested and authorized for reimbursement. Additional motions and pleadings will be accepted only from Plaintiff's appointed counsel. Attorney Murphy is directed to respond to Defendants' motion for leave to file amended answer (Doc. 244) within 30 days of the date of this Order.
In light of this appointment of counsel, trial in this matter is CONTINUED until June 9, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.