Immigration lawyers must adhere to rules of ethical conduct or face discipline by the Immigration Courts. If an attorney has engaged in misconduct, his client may have special rights. Examples of unethical conduct that could subject a practitioner to discipline include:
- Charging a grossly excessive fee;
- Engaging in bribery or coercion;
- Knowingly or with reckless disregard makes a false statement or willfully misleading, misinforming, threatening, or deceiving any person;
- Soliciting professional employment – a practitioner is prohibited from distributing solicitation material in or around the premises of any building in which an Immigration Court is located;
- Is or has been subject to a final order of disbarment or suspension, or has resigned with an admission of misconduct, by any State or Federal court;
- Knowingly or with reckless disregard makes a false or misleading communication about qualifications or services (e.g., practitioners must be recognized as certified specialists in immigration law in order to refer to themselves as such);
- Engaging in contumelious or obnoxious conduct;
- Has been convicted in any State or Federal court of a serious crime;
- Falsely certifying a copy of a document as being true and complete;
- Engaging in frivolous behavior;Engaging in conduct that constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel; and
- Repeatedly failing to appear for scheduled hearings in a timely manner without good cause.
If you think that you have been harmed by the conduct of an unethical lawyer, react quickly as your ability to correct any such harm may have a time limitation (i.e. 90 days for a Motion to Reopen). Call us if you have any questions.