The Civil Rights Volunteer Attorney Panel Program Form. This is a Texas form and can be use in District Court Federal.
Tags: The Civil Rights Volunteer Attorney Panel Program, Texas Federal, District Court
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASDALLAS DIVISIONThe Civil Rights Volunteer Attorney Panel Program1.What is the Civil Rights Volunteer Attorney Panel?In 1995, the judges of the Dallas Division of the U.S. District Court for the NorthernDistrict of Texas asked the Dallas Bar Association (DBA) for assistance in findingvolunteers to handle civil rights cases on a pro bono basis in federal court. Through theDBA Judiciary Committee, an informal panel of volunteers was formed. The panel hastaken on numerous cases since its formation. The panel is now managed by the U.S.District Clerk222s Office.2.Where do the volunteers come from? Is there a formal application process?Panel volunteers have come from all over the Dallas area and have a broad range ofexperience. Many have never handled a civil rights case before or have never had a trialin federal court. Some are sole practitioners. Others are with large firms. While there is an application/information form modeled on the more formal CriminalJustice Act panel form, the Civil Rights panel form serves primarily as an aid in findingthe right attorney for a particular case. A judge may be looking for someone withexperience in a particular area (e.g., employment law) or may be looking for the secondmember of a team whose skills complement those of the attorney already assigned to thecase. Application forms are available in the District Clerk222s Office (contact TammyShipley at 214/753-2).3.How are cases assigned?Assignments will be made through the court from a list kept by the District Clerk222sOffice. Some of the more time-consuming and complicated cases will be assigned toteams. This helps with sharing of expenses, time, and resources.4.What types of cases are assigned?A variety of cases are assigned by the court. All cases have been screened by a judicialofficer. The cases assigned in the past two years have ranged from prisoner cases toemployment discrimination cases for indigent plaintiffs. The judges have also asked forshort-term help. For example, one assignment was to help a plaintiff evaluate a casebefore mediation and discovery. American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com 25.How often will a case be assigned to a panel member?Unless the panel member requests otherwise, no panel member should be called upon tohandle more than two cases per year.6.How much of a time commitment is involved? Do panel members have a say aboutscheduling?The time commitment required is driven by the type of assignment given by the court. Advice in evaluating a case will take much less time than conducting discovery,responding to motions, and representing the client through a jury trial. The judges may beflexible in allowing the volunteer to move existing deadlines or to have input inestablishing deadlines in the first instance.7.What about fees and expenses?The panel member should take a case strictly on a pro bono basis. While the civil rightsstatutes allow recovery of attorneys222 fees to a prevailing party (and it is permissible forpanel volunteers to be awarded those fees) the case should not be taken with expectationof remuneration. Rarely will a volunteer recover anything close to a reasonable hourlyfee for work performed. The rewards in these cases are not monetary; rather, helping anindigent person who needs counsel, getting to know local federal judicial officers, andgaining trial experience in federal court are some of the benefits.The court's "Plan for the Reimbursement of Attorney Expenses in Civil Cases224 allows forreimbursement of certain expenses incurred in the preparation and presentation of a case(e.g., expenses for experts, depositions, and transcripts). According to the plan, the totalamount that may be reimbursed cannot exceed $2,500 unless an exception is granted bythe court222s Non-Appropriated Fund Committee. A copy of the plan is available in theDistrict Clerk222s Office (specifically ask for a copy of Miscellaneous Order No. 16) and onthe court's web site at www.txnd.uscourts.gov/pdf/miscorders/misc1603-08-06.pdf.8.What resources are available to panel members?Attorney ContactsMary Spector and Maureen Armour at the Southern Methodist University Civil Clinicare available to answer questions, particularly ones regarding discovery. They may bereached at 214/278-2562.MediatorsJerry Grissom of JAMS/Endispute has volunteered to mediate some civil rights cases. He can be reached at 214/827-7841. American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com 3Law Student VolunteersAssistance from law students is available through Southern Methodist University222s PublicService Program. You may be contacted directly by a law student who wants tovolunteer, or you may call the District Clerk222s Office and ask that a law student, whenavailable, be assigned to you. If you accept assistance from a law student, you must agreeto supervise the student in accordance with guidelines established for the Public ServiceProgram. The guidelines require that you sign a Confirmation Agreement and complete asimple one page Supervisory Report form when the volunteer work is finished.Court ReportersA number of court reporters are willing to do pro bono work through the Texas CourtReporters222 Association Pro Bono Project. Most prefer not to be used for an entire day. Dale Guedry is the contact for the Texas Court Reporters222 Association Pro Bono Project. He can be reached at 972/669-4080. American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com -1-UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THENORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASDALLAS DIVISIONCIVIL RIGHTS VOLUNTEER ATTORNEY PANELQUESTIONNAIRE AND APPLICATIONPlease return to:Attn: Pro Bono Civil Rights PanelUnited States District Court1100 Commerce, Room 1452Dallas, TX 75242-1003NAME: (Last)(First)(Middle)OFFICE ADDRESS:TELEPHONE NUMBERS: Office: Firm Name Home: Fax: E-Mail:LawBarSchool: Number: Date AdmittedDate Admittedto Texas Bar: to N.D. Texas: Other federal district and appellate courts admitted to (and dates admitted): Professional memberships and affiliations: Indicate your Civil Trial experience by providing approximate totals in the following categories: American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com -2- Federal CourtState CourtJury TrialsBench TrialsCourt HearingsDepositions Briefly describe your trial experience in both federal and state court (including criminal trial work).Please indicate your experience with civil rights cases by listing the number of cases you havehandled in each category below. Nature of Suit Category Number of CasesVoting Employment Housing/Accommodations Welfare Prisoner Civil Rights (General) Prison Conditions Other Civil Rights Please note any other legal experience you believe would be helpful in handling civil rights cases: American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com -3-Please list the names and phone numbers of two judges and/or attorneys who know of your abilityas a trial attorney:Name:Telephone No: How many appointments are you willing to accept per year? Are you fluent in any foreign language(s)? If so, list: Are you willing to take appointments based on your foreign language proficiency? Have you already handled a case through this panel? If so, when? Are you currently working on it? If you have completed work on the case, how was it resolved (jury trial, settlement, etc.)? I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS TRUE AND CORRECT: SignatureDate American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com