Retired Judge Posner Seeks to Help Pro Se Litigant

By Melissa Heelan Stanzione, Bloomberg BNA

Retired Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner took steps Oct. 18 to follow through on his stated desire to help pro se litigants.

Pro se petitioner William C. Bond asked the Fourth Circuit to allow Posner to represent him as advisory counsel in the Fourth Circuit. Posner provided an affidavit in support of the motion.

“I have decided to dedicate my post-judicial career to helping pro se litigants,” Posner said in the affidavit.

Posner gave several reasons in the affidavit for his decision to help Bond, whom he notes has filed a “multitude” of documents over the years in his litigation and is “in many ways, very diligent, very focused, a very good writer of legal documents.”

Bond sued federal officials in a Maryland federal district court, alleging they violated his First Amendment and due process rights by spying on him in an attempt to cover up “‘provable corruption’ in the Maryland U.S. courthouse.”

In its opinion granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the district court noted that Bond “is a frequent litigant before this court,” alleging “various blanket but unspecific violations of his legal rights.”

Posner began serving on the Seventh Circuit in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan appointed him.
When Posner retired suddenly in September, he said he was concerned about the plights of pro se litigants. Within one week of retirement, he self-published a book about pro se litigants and the staff attorneys who review such lawsuits.

Posner is known for pioneering the application of economic principles to legal decisions and for his unique writing style.