Redmond, Rodney v. Laurent, Dawn et al
ORDER that the clerk's office enter Joseph M. Russell of von Briesen & Roper, S.C., as plaintiff's pro bono counsel of record and to set this case for a pretrial conference in May 2014, as the court's schedule allows. Signed by District Judge William M. Conley on 3/21/2014. (jef),(ps) (Main Document 24 replaced on 3/21/2014 with corrected case number) (jef).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
DAWN LAURENT, et al.,
Plaintiff Rodney Redmond filed this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
concerning the conditions of his confinement at the Columbia Correctional Institution
(“CCI”). At plaintiff’s request, the court has recruited counsel Joseph M. Russell of the
highly-regarded law firm of von Briesen & Roper, S.C., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to
represent him 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
Accordingly, the court will enter his appearance as plaintiff’s pro bono
counsel for the record.
The next step is for the court to hold a pretrial scheduling conference. Plaintiff’s
counsel should contact the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for purposes of
consulting with plaintiff in the preparation of his case whether by phone and/or in
person. So that counsel will have sufficient time to consult with plaintiff in advance of a
preliminary pretrial conference, the clerk’s office will be directed to set that conference in
May 2014, as the court’s schedule allows.
Finally, plaintiff should appreciate that his counsel took on this representation out
of a sense of professional responsibility, which includes representing zealously those
clients they take on. Now that he 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 his attorney of record. Plaintiff
must also work directly and cooperatively with his attorney, as well as those working at
his 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 he makes. On the contrary, plaintiff should expect his counsel to
tell him what he needs to hear, rather than what he might prefer to have heard, and
understand that the rules of professional conduct may preclude counsel from taking
certain actions or permitting him from doing so. Accordingly, plaintiff must be prepared
to accept the strategic decisions made by his lawyers even if he disagrees with some of
If plaintiff decides at some point that he does not wish to work with his lawyers,
he is free to alert the court and end their representation, but he should be aware that it is
highly unlikely that the court will recruit a second set of attorneys to represent him.
IT IS ORDERED that the clerk’s office enter Joseph M. Russell of von Briesen &
Roper, S.C., as plaintiff’s pro bono counsel of record and to set this case for a pretrial
conference in May 2014, as the court’s schedule allows.
Entered this 21st day of March, 2014.
BY THE COURT:
WILLIAM M. CONLEY
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