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William Smith, 08-B-0527 v. Erie County Holding Center

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


May 31, 2010

WILLIAM SMITH, 08-B-0527, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIE COUNTY HOLDING CENTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiff commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was denied appropriate medical care for his hearing impairment; denied reasonable accommodations for his disability; and was disciplined for failing to obey an order he could not hear. Dkt. #7. Currently before the Court is plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel. Dkt. #85.

This Court is required to see that all litigants receive proper representation of counsel under the criteria set forth in Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., 877 F.2d 170 (2d Cir. 1989), and Hodge v. Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58 (2d Cir. 1986). In addition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), courts have the inherent authority to assign counsel to represent indigent litigants.

More importantly, each lawyer - especially those who are admitted to practice in federal court and who therefore are in a position to reap the benefits of such practice - has an ethical obligation under the Code of Professional Responsibility to provide pro bono services for the poor. New York Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 2, EC 2-16; EC 2-25. "Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged." EC 2-25. In addition, Rule 83.1(g) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows:

Every member of the bar of this Court shall be available upon the Court's request for appointment to represent or assist in the representation of indigent parties. Appointments under this rule shall be made in a manner such that no attorney shall be requested to accept more than one appointment during any twelve month period.

It is in this spirit that the Court assigns Cheryl Meyers Buth, Esq., 403 Main Street, Suite 716, Buffalo, NY 14203, pro bono, to faithfully and diligently represent plaintiff in this case.

The Clerk of the Court is directed to provide Ms. Meyers Buth a copy of this Order and the Guidelines Governing Reimbursement from the District Court Fund of Expenses Incurred by Court Appointed Counsel. This information and the forms are also available on the Court's web site at the Attorney Information link from the home page located at: www.nywd.uscourts.gov. The Chief Judge of the Court will also issue an Order directing PACER to waive its fees so pro bono counsel can access and print at no cost to her or her firm any other documents filed herein that she may need.

SO ORDERED.

H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr.

20100531

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