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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110506
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Can i ask for appointment of counsel in a federal case?

Customer Question

can i ask for appointment of counsel in a federal case?
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  retireddebra replied 15 days ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  retireddebra replied 15 days ago.

Is this a criminal law matter?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
no its civil...the case was reversed at the appeals level, and they did award me representation at the appeals level. All appealed issues were granted me, and now the case is back at the trial level. Thee lower court rejected my request prior to the appeals phase. I wonder if now i can claim that, if the appeals court felt the case worthy of representation, and the case was fully reversed on appeal, if thats reason enough they should now grant me representation so I dont get slaughtered in in the discovery phase.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
btw i just saw this is marked as a canada law question. I must have erred somewhere, this is for a US federal case
Expert:  retireddebra replied 15 days ago.

I will ask the site to move this over to the correct list.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
thank you
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a US legal contributor.
Under the law, appointment of counsel in a civil case is not a right as it is in a criminal case. Under the federal court rules a judge hearing a civil matter in federal court has SOLE DISCRETION as to whether or not to appoint a pro bono attorney to a pro se litigant. The judge bases their determination on the complexity of the case and their perception of the ability of the litigant to continue representing themselves without an attorney. So, you can indeed ask for appointment of counsel, but it is not guaranteed, and you would get an application for appointment from the clerk and you would have to explain in the application why you are 1) unable to afford your own attorney and 2) why based on the nature and complexity of the case you are not capable of representing yourself in the case.

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