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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

February 9, 2001

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

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has taken disciplinary action against five 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 January 25, 2001, the Board ordered the immediate suspensions of the following attorneys for the reasons stated:

Fuad B. Nasrallah, suspended by the Supreme Court of Ohio on an interim basis pending the final disposition of disciplinary proceedings;

Justin Jin-Lin Ong, ordered by the State Bar of Texas to surrender his law license and resign from the practice of law after being convicted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas of visa fraud and subscribing to false return;

Leon Henderson Rountree, Jr., suspended by the State Bar of California on an interim basis pending the final disposition of disciplinary proceedings.

In addition, the Board issued Final Orders of Discipline against the two 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.

Deborah J. Kartje, who resigned from the Illinois Bar with an admission of misconduct, was expelled by final order of the Board on January 17, 2001.

Rosaura Gonzalez Rucci, suspended for 6 months by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, was suspended by final order of the Board on February 2, 2001, for 6 months beginning December 21, 2000.

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, 2000, 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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