UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 30, 2013
ANTHONY DEAN SLAMA,
CITY OF MADERA, ET AL.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER APPOINTING LIMITED VOLUNTARY COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF (Doc. 141) ORDER VACATING THE PRETRIAL CONFERENCE AND SETTING A SCHEDULING CONFERENCE
I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Plaintiff Anthony Dean Slama ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On September 12, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration, re-opened Plaintiff's case, and vacated the prior summary judgment orders. (Doc. 74.) On June 26, 2012, the Court denied in part, and granted in part, Defendants' motions for summary judgment. (Doc. 122.) Accordingly, the case was set for trial. (Doc. 132.)
On January 22, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion to appoint counsel. (Doc. 141.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED, the pretrial and trial dates are VACATED, and a scheduling conference is SET for the purposes of re-scheduling the pretrial conference and trial dates.
On January 22, 2013, Plaintiff requested the appointment of counsel for the limited purpose of trial. (Doc. 141.) The Court notes that Defendants oppose the appointment of counsel on behalf of Plaintiff. (Doc. 148.) Nevertheless, upon review of the record, the history of this particular case, and in light of the difficulties an incarcerated pro se litigant will likely face at trial, the Court deems it appropriate to secure counsel for Plaintiff in this case for the limited purpose of trial. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997). Further, Sujean Park, the Court's Pro Bono Program Director, was able to obtain voluntary counsel for Plaintiff.
As such, Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is GRANTED. Andrew J. Fishkin, Esq., has been selected from the Court's pro bono attorney panel to represent Plaintiff, and he has accepted the appointment.
To allow Mr. Fishkin an opportunity to review the Plaintiff's record and due to Senior District Judge Anthony W. Ishii's heavily impacted calendar and upcoming trials*fn1 , the pretrial conference set for February 4, 2013, and the trial set for March 5, 2013, are VACATED.
The Court SETS a scheduling conference before Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto for March 12, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., for the purpose of setting new pretrial conference and trial dates. The parties are ordered to meet and confer and file a joint proposed schedule one (1) full week prior to the scheduling conference. Due to Judge Ishii's heavily impacted trial calendar, the parties should be prepared to propose multiple pretrial conference and trial dates. Proposed pretrial conference dates should be set for a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and proposed trial dates should begin at least eight (8) weeks thereafter on a Tuesday.*fn2
III. CONCLUSION AND ORDER
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel is GRANTED;
2. Andrew J. Fishkin, Esq., is appointed as counsel in the above entitled matter for the limited purpose of preparing for and presenting the case at trial;
3. Mr. Fishkin shall notify Sujean Park, the Court's Pro Bono Program Director, at (916) 930-4278, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if he has any questions related to the appointment;
4. The pretrial conference date of February 4, 2013, and the trial date of March 5, 2013, are VACATED;
5. A scheduling conference is SET for March 12, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., before Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto. The parties may appear telephonically; all parties intending to appear telephonically shall coordinate with each other one conference call to the Court at (559) 499-5790 at the appointed time;
6. At least one (1) week prior to the scheduling conference, the parties shall file a joint proposed schedule, proposing pretrial conference and trial dates; and
7. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this order upon Andrew J. Fishkin, Law Offices of Andrew J. Fishkin PC, 235 H Street, Bakersfield, California 93304.
IT IS SO ORDERED.