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U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Director
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2400
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Public Affairs Office
(703) 305-0289, Fax: (703) 605-0365
Internet: www.usdoj.gov/eoir

January 17, 2001

EOIR Announces Disciplinary Actions Against Eight Immigration Practitioners Three Attorneys Receive Immediate Suspensions; Five Others, Final Orders

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has taken disciplinary action against eight attorneys after charging them with violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Immigration Practitioners provided in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR Parts 3 and 292). In each case, the rule violations arose out of sanctions imposed by other jurisdictions.

Disciplinary proceedings began in each case with a Notice of Intent to Discipline from EOIR's Office of the General Counsel requiring the attorney to respond to the alleged violations and authorizing the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board) to order each attorney's immediate suspension from practice before the Immigration Courts, the Board, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

On December 21, 2000, the Board ordered the immediate suspensions of the following attorneys for the reasons stated:

Mitchil O. Bechet, disbarred by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department;

Alexis I. Irizarry, suspended for 6 months by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico;

Rosaura Gonzalez Rucci, suspended for 6 months by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.

In addition, the Board issued Final Orders of Discipline against the five attorneys named below after each failed to respond as required to the Notice of Intent to Discipline. The failure to respond in a timely manner to allegations in a Notice of Intent to Discipline constitutes admission of the rule violations.

Grosvenor Anschell, suspended for 2 years by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, was suspended by final order of the Board on December 21, 2000, for 2 years beginning on November 30, 2000, the date of the initial order of suspension.

Charles H. Bowser, suspended by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals after pleading guilty in the Unites States District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia to a felony charge of executing a document containing false statements, was expelled by final order of the Board on December 21, 2000.

Allan M. Elster, suspended for 3 years by the Supreme Court of Florida, was suspended by final order of the Board on January 3, 2001, for 3 years beginning December 1, 2000, the date of the initial order of suspension.

George A. Verdin, suspended indefinitely by both the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii and the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, was suspended indefinitely by final order of the Board on December 21, 2000, beginning on December 4, 2000, the date of the initial order of suspension.

Carolyn Elaine Miyashita, suspended for 5 years by the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar and disbarred from practicing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was suspended by final order of the Board on January 10, 2001, for 5 years beginning on August 10, 2000, the date of the initial order of suspension.

In each of the matters cited above, the Board directed the attorney "to promptly notify, in writing, any clients with cases currently pending before the Board, the Immigration Courts, or the Service" that he or she may no longer represent clients before these tribunals.

The amended rules of professional conduct, published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2000, and effective on July 27, include provisions specifying grounds for disciplinary action, requirements for receiving and investigating complaints, and procedures for conducting hearings. The rules also authorize the Board to immediately suspend a practitioner who has been subject to disbarment, suspension, or resignation with an admission of misconduct as imposed by a State or Federal court, pending a summary proceeding and final sanction.

EOIR announces these disciplinary actions to inform the public of its ongoing efforts to prevent or correct misconduct and misrepresentation by immigration practitioners. EOIR also posts a list of suspended and expelled practitioners on its Web site at www.usdoj.gov/eoir.

- EOIR -


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