The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon appoints attorneys enrolled in the Pro Bono Program to represent pro se debtors and creditors who demonstrate financial need and the need for legal counsel. Pro Bono appointments will made be made only for a limited number of hours or a specific purpose such as helping a party file or respond to an adversary complaint, attend a settlement conference, or file a specific motion. An appointment may be made after a party files the appropriate Application for Assignment of Pro Bono Counsel (LBF 9010.1 and LBF 9010.2), or upon the Court's own motion. In assessing a pro se party's need for legal counsel, the Court may weigh, among other factors, the legal complexity of the issues, the apparent legal sophistication of the pro se party, and the importance of protecting the rights implicated in the proceeding.
Pro Bono Panel Members
The Pro Bono Program Administrator maintains a non-public database containing the names and contact information of attorneys and law firms who have volunteered to participate in the program.
Attorneys and law firms can volunteer to participate in the program by completing and submitting LBF 9010.5, Application to Participate in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Pro Bono Program. The application should be emailed directly to the Pro Bono Program Administrator.
Both debtors and nondebtors may apply for pro bono representation in an active case by filing the appropriate motion for assignment of pro bono counsel on LBF 9010.1 or LBF 9010.2. The case judge will review the application to determine whether an applicant qualifies for pro bono representation. If the court approves the application, an Order Granting Application for Assignment of Pro Bono Counsel will be entered in the case.
The Program Administrator will review the Pro Bono Panel database and contact an appropriate panel attorney about the assignment.
The assigned attorney will then contact the pro se party to determine whether any conflicts of interest exist and discuss the scope of representation, such as whether the representation will be for a specific purpose or for a limited number of hours. Attorneys will not be assigned for all purposes. The attorney will then electronically file LBF 9010.3, Notice of Appearance of Pro Bono Representation.
Once the limited purpose of the representation has been completed or the attorney needs to withdraw for other reasons, the attorney will electronically file LBF 9010.4, Motion to Withdraw as Pro Bono Counsel. Upon entry of an order granting the motion, the attorney's involvement in the case will be terminated.
The Court may request that panel attorneys report the total number of hours spent on pro bono cases on an annual basis to evaluate program objectives and effectiveness as well as recognize meritorious service.
If you have any questions about or wish to be added to the Pro Bono Program Panel, please contact the Court's Pro Bono Program Administrator at (541) 431-4008.