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Robert Baker, Individually, and, As An Executor, In Re Estate of Kate Baker v. American Express

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 7, 2012

ROBERT BAKER, INDIVIDUALLY, AND, AS AN EXECUTOR, IN RE ESTATE OF KATE BAKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERICAN EXPRESS, INC., ET AL. DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF AN ATTORNEY (Docket number 3)

Plaintiffs have filed a Request for Appointment of an Attorney ("Request"). Federal law allows district courts to appoint counsel in actions brought in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Under section 1915(e)(1), appointment of counsel by the court is discretionary rather than mandatory. See United States v. $292,888.04 in U.S. Currency, 54 F.3d 564, 569 (9th Cir. 1995). The district court may appoint counsel only in exceptional circumstances. See Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). A finding of exceptional circumstances requires evaluation of two factors: (1) the likelihood of success on the merits; and (2) the ability of the litigant to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See id.

As an initial matter, the court notes that it does not appear that Plaintiffs brought this action in forma pauperis. Nonetheless, the court has evaluated both the likelihood of Plaintiffs' success on the merits and Plaintiffs' ability to articulate their claims pro se in light of the legal issues involved. Having done so, the court does not find that the circumstances of this case are sufficiently exceptional to justify granting the Request. The court therefore DENIES Plaintiffs' Request for Appointment of an Attorney.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120807

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