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Assistance with Litigation Expenses (Pro Bono)

General Policy:  The Court encourages members of the Federal Bar to represent parties in civil actions who cannot afford legal counsel, and to bear the costs of that representation where possible.    Where resources are limited, counsel who undertake pro bono representation at the Court’s request may apply for expense reimbursement.  Total reimbursements in any case shall not exceed $7,500 absent exceptional circumstances.  All approvals and reimbursements will be based upon a funds-available basis.  Therefore, there is no guarantee of reimbursement, and counsel is urged to use all reasonable means necessary to keep expenses to a minimum.

Reimbursement Process:  Reimbursement normally will be made at the conclusion of the case by Motion.  A request for reimbursement should be itemized and submitted to the Judge presiding over the case as a Motion.   Once approved by the Judge, the payment authorization must be submitted via email to the Clerk of Court at  Interim Requests for Reimbursement will be entertained by Motion prior to the conclusion of the case only on demonstrated need.  In that circumstance, expenses should be grouped rather than submitted as individual items piecemeal.

Return of Funds.  In the event of an award of attorney’s fees or costs to pro bono counsel, the Court may order return of any reimbursements from the award.  In addition, if any expenses are reimbursed or paid by any source other than the client or the pro bono counsel (for example, paid through settlement), the amount of funds reimbursed under this program will be returned forthwith.