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Federal Pro Bono Project

The Federal Pro Bono Project connects attorneys interested in limited-scope volunteer opportunities with prisoner civil rights cases filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cases qualify for assistance based on whether the litigant is incarcerated and has filed in forma pauperis or otherwise demonstrated an inability to afford counsel; the likelihood of success on the merits; and the ability of the litigant to articulate claims for themselves in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.

 

Current Volunteer Opportunities

 

3:18-cv-00037-TMB, Moondog v. Cordle, et al.
Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 concerns freedom of speech allegations. The prisoner alleges being retaliated against by being threatened to lose—and then losing—his “Floor Custodial” job, being placed in segregation, being threatened to have his “privileged mail” opened, being threatened to be transferred—and then being transferred—to another facility and having his television destroyed in the process. Alleged retaliation is based on the prisoner voicing his concerns about (1) rodents in Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s kitchen and dining area and (2) his reporting that a corrections’ official was the victim of spousal abuse. The complaint is in the process of being served. Plaintiff has provided all of the relevant paper evidence that he possesses. The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for any limited-scope representation. Volunteer attorney(s) could help by committing to one round of interrogatories, or assisting with the limited task of learning the name(s) of those allegedly responsible for transferring plaintiff to Spring Creek Correctional and/or shipping his television without insurance.

3:17-cv-00154-RRB, Helveston v. Brooks, et al.
Federal civil rights case concerns allegations that prisoner was infected by a dentist with chronic hepatitis C while housed at Spring Creek Correctional Center and has not received medical care as agreed to in a previous settlement or as necessary. Discovery has just begun and the case may be appropriate for settlement. The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for any limited-scope representation that a volunteer is willing to undertake.

3:17-cv-00036-SLG, Powell v. Goslin, et al.
Federal civil rights case concerns allegations of inadequate health care by Department of Corrections staff regarding treatment of prisoner’s shoulder injury and staph infection. The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for representation limited to discovery, a motion for preliminary injunction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, settlement negotiations, or any other scope of representation that a volunteer is willing to undertake and deems appropriate.

3:16-cv-00248-TMB, Starkey v. Conant, et al.
Federal civil rights case concerns allegations that Goose Creek prisoner notified authorities of his safety concerns when a person who was a threat to him became incarcerated. When using a urinal a couple months later, he was allegedly brutally attacked from behind by the person he had reported as a threat; and alleges a DOC officer who witnessed everything did not intervene or call for back-up. Prisoner alleges to then being left to internally bleed for 12 hours before his spleen and a mass on his kidney were ultimately removed. Federal Pro Bono Project volunteers have drafted an amended complaint, which is now in the process of being served. New volunteers could help by committing to one round of interrogatories, or assisting with the limited task of learning the name of a Jane Doe, whose signature is indecipherable.
 

Program Guidelines and Local Rule 83.4, which allows for limited-scope representation: 
MGO 17-03 THE ADOPTION OF LOCAL CIVIL RULE 83.4 FOR THE DISTRICTOF ALASKA

 

If you are interested in volunteering for a case please contact:

  • Catherine Rogers (Catherine_Rogers@akd.uscourts.gov, 677-6135)
  • Darrel Gardner (Darrel_Gardner@fd.org, 646-3406)
  • Eva Gardner (eva@anchorlaw.com)
  • Susan Orlansky (Susano@reevesamodio.com)