(a) DEFINITIONS. The following definitions shall apply to the pro bono rules:
(1) The term “assignment of counsel” shall mean the assignment of a member of the trial bar to represent a party who lacks the resources to retain counsel. Such assignment shall only be in a civil action or appeal and shall not include any assignment made pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. §3006A.
(2) The term “judge” shall mean the judge to whom the action is assigned. It shall include a magistrate judge where the assignment is made in a civil case assigned to a magistrate judge for all purposes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c) or referred for evidentiary hearings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B).
(3) The terms “pro bono rules” and “pro bono program” shall refer to LR83.35 through 83.41.
(b) CREATING THE Pro Bono PANEL.
(1) At the start of each calendar year, the Clerk will create a pool consisting of the entire membership of the trial bar, including any new members, but excluding any members who have previously accepted an assignment. Names in the pool will be listed in random order.
(2) At the start of each calendar quarter, the Clerk will create a pro bono panel by selecting, in random order, the names of a number of trial bar members equal to the estimated number of pro bono assignments to be made in the following quarter. Attorneys chosen for the panel will be notified by e-mail and directed to complete a Profile Form, if one is not already on file. An attorney who practices primarily in the Eastern Division but who prefers appointment to a case pending in the Western Division of this court should so notify the Clerk.
(3) An attorney who is exempt from pro bono assignment pursuant to LR 83.35(d) shall notify the Clerk of the exemption when the attorney receives notice of his or her selection for the panel. The Clerk will remove the attorney’s name from the panel and from the pool for one year.
(4) After accepting a pro bono assignment, trial bar members will ordinarily be eligible for subsequent pro bono assignment only after all non-exempt trial bar members have been assigned a pro bono case in accordance with this rule.
(c) NOTIFICATION TO PANEL. Following the selection of a panel the Clerk shall notify each member by e-mail and direct each member to complete a Profile Form, if one is not already on file. Such Form shall disclose:
counsel’s prior civil trial experience, including a general indication of the number of trials and areas of trial experience;
counsel’s ability to consult and advise in languages other than English;
counsel’s preference, if any, for appointment to a case pending in the Western Division of this Court.
The information set forth in the Form may be amended at any time by letter.
(d) EXEMPTIONS. A member of the trial bar may be removed from a panel upon request upon a showing that
the attorney’s principal place of business is outside of this District, or
the attorney is employed full-time as an attorney for an agency of the United States, a state, a county, or any sub-division thereof, or
the attorney is employed full-time as an attorney by a not-for-profit legal aid organization.
(e) VOLUNTEERS. A member of the trial bar may volunteer to be included in a pro bono panel at any time and will be assigned to the next available case.
(f) Completion of Service. Any member of the trial bar who has accepted an assignment prior to the effective date of this rule is eligible for a further case assignment no earlier than 12 months following the completion of the attorney’s most recent assignment. On and after the effective date of this rule, an attorney who has accepted an assignment under this rule will ordinarily not be assigned another case until every other member of the trial bar has been so assigned.
Amended December 23, 2016