Mitchell, Roy v. Mahoney, David et al
ORDER that the clerk's office enter Brittany Ogden and Rachel Graham of Quarles & Brady LLP as plaintiff's pro bono counsel of record and to set this case for a pretrial conference in March 2015, as the court's schedule allows. Signed by District Judge William M. Conley on 1/27/2015. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
SHERIFF SERGEANT PAT PRICE, et al.,
Plaintiff Roy Mitchell is a transgender inmate who is currently in custody at the
Dodge Correctional Institution.
Ms. Mitchell filed this civil action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, concerning the conditions of her confinement at the Dane County Jail. The only
claim that remains for trial is Mitchell’s allegation that Sergeant Carl Koehler violated
her right to equal protection by transferring her back to a particular pod at the Jail. At
plaintiff’s request, the court has recruited counsel Brittany Ogden and Rachel Graham of
Quarles & Brady LLP to represent her pro bono for the remainder of this civil action. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (“The court may request an attorney to represent any person
unable to afford counsel.”); Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653-54 (7th Cir. 2007) (en
banc) (noting that § 1915(e)(1) confers, at most, discretion “to recruit a lawyer to
represent an indigent civil litigant pro bono publico”). Accordingly, the court will enter
their appearance as plaintiff’s pro bono counsel for the record.
The next step is for the court to hold a scheduling conference. Plaintiff’s counsel
should contact the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for purposes of consulting with
plaintiff in the preparation of her case whether by phone and/or in person. So that
counsel will have sufficient time to consult with plaintiff in advance of a scheduling
conference, the clerk’s office will be directed to set that conference in March 2015, as the
court’s schedule allows.
Finally, plaintiff should appreciate that her counsel took on this representation
out of a sense of professional responsibility, which includes representing zealously those
clients they take on. Now that she is represented by counsel, plaintiff is advised that in
return for representation plaintiff, too, has taken on a responsibility. For example, all
future communications with the court must be through her attorneys of record. Plaintiff
must also work directly and cooperatively with her attorneys, as well as those working at
their direction, and must permit them to exercise their professional judgment to
determine which matters are appropriate to bring to the court’s attention and in what
form. Plaintiff does not have the right to require counsel to raise frivolous arguments or
to follow every directive she makes.
On the contrary, plaintiff should expect her
attorneys to tell her what she needs to hear, rather than what she might prefer to have
heard, and understand that the rules of professional conduct may preclude counsel from
taking certain actions or permitting them from doing so. Accordingly, plaintiff must be
prepared to accept the strategic decisions made by her lawyers even if she disagrees with
some of them.
If plaintiff decides at some point that she does not wish to work with her lawyers,
she is free to alert the court and end their representation, but she should be aware that it
is highly unlikely that the court will recruit a second set of attorneys to represent her.
IT IS ORDERED that the clerk’s office enter Brittany Ogden and Rachel Graham
of Quarles & Brady LLP as plaintiff’s pro bono counsel of record and to set this case for a
pretrial conference in March 2015, as the court’s schedule allows.
Entered this 27th day of January, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
WILLIAM M. CONLEY
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