Posner perseveres after 4th Circuit rules his 'advisory counsel' help isn't needed

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Richard Posner/chensiyuan, via Wikimedia Commons.

Former Circuit Judge Richard Posner will represent a one-time pro se litigant before the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, even though it denied a bid for Posner to appear as “advisory counsel.”

Posner formally entered an appearance to represent William Bond in a related case on Thursday after winning admission to the 4th Circuit bar.

Posner had offered to present oral arguments for Bond on his petition for mandamus alleging that a judge assigned to Bond’s lawsuit had made prejudicial statements about being a frequent litigant.

The 4th Circuit denied the petition for mandamus in a Nov. 28 opinion and said there was no need for oral arguments because Bond had “adequately presented” the facts and legal contentions in his materials.

Because it was denying the mandamus petition, “we respectfully deny Bond’s motions to allow a former United States Circuit Judge to appear in the case as ‘advisory counsel,’” the appeals court said.

The Chicago Tribune called the 4th Circuit decision a “backhanded dis” that essentially told Posner, the most frequently cited legal scholar in U.S. history, that there was nothing he could teach the 4th Circuit.

Posner is representing Bond in his underlying lawsuit, which claims three federal judges conspired to throw a federal case and misused federal agents to subvert his First Amendment efforts to complain. The suit is on appeal to the 4th Circuit.

Posner has said he plans to dedicate his post-judicial career to helping pro se litigants, He resigned from the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September in a dispute over his attempt to help pro se litigants by reviewing memos of staff attorneys who evaluate appeals.

Corrected to “one-time” in first paragraph at 1:36 p.m.

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