Posner tells 4th Circuit he would like to help pro se litigant as ‘advisory counsel’

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Former federal appeals judge Richard Posner.

Former federal appeals judge Richard Posner is seeking to represent a pro se litigant as “advisory counsel” in an appeal before the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a motion filed with the court on Wednesday, litigant William Bond says Posner is prepared to help and supports that assertion with an affidavit by Posner. Bloomberg BNA and Law360 (sub. req.) note the legal filing.

Posner’s affidavit says he intends to help by guiding Bond’s legal filings, providing case law, suggesting arguments, directing tactics and strategy, and preparing Bond for oral argument, if the court orders it.

Posner is also prepared to present the oral argument himself “should the court wish me to.”

Posner has said he resigned from the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after being rebuffed in efforts to give pro se litigants a better shake by reviewing the memos of 7th Circuit staff attorneys who evaluate appeals.

Posner told the ABA Journal in September that he felt he had the expertise to help such litigants, and he “would be glad to help out, whether as serving as a lawyer for pro se’s or providing advice to them, or finding lawyers for them.”

Bond says he contacted Posner after the article was published, and he was “humbled and honored to have gained Mr. Posner’s help.”

Posner’s affidavit says he has “decided to dedicate my post-judicial career to helping pro se litigants.”

Posner informs the court that he is licensed to practice law in New York and has more than 35 years of experience as a judge on the 7th Circuit. He was also a former full professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and taught part-time there after becoming a judge.

“I infer from the extensive factual history of his litigation and the multitude of documents that he’s filed in the litigation over many years that Mr. Bond has remained continuously, energetically, and determinedly involved in the litigation,” Posner writes.

“I also find him to be very capable in many ways, very diligent, very focused, a very good writer of legal documents, and I have benefited from his work ethic as I have not yet had an opportunity to fully assemble my own litigation staff and documentation.”

In a petition for mandamus, Bond alleges a judge assigned to his case made prejudicial statements about him being a frequent litigant. Bond says his original complaint remains unresolved—that three federal judges conspired to throw a federal case and misused federal agents to seek to subvert his First Amendment efforts to complain.




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