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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:
Here's more information why the Gadda v. Ashcroft order was amended and why it may have set a legal precedent regarding Court appointed counsel for aliens in the 9th Circuit. I was disbarred by the 9th Circuit and ordered to withdraw from 40+ pending cases in that court. I refused to comply with the portion of the order requiring me to inform my clients to obtain new counsel since it would be a hardship and expensive to the clients, that they could at least proceed pro se or have counsel appointed. The 9th Circuit removed me as counsel and replaced the aliens as proceeding pro se. They ordered the government to notify the aliens at the last known address and to serve a copy of the order. These orders were issued by Deputy Clerks and Motion Attorneys of the 9th Circuit and not by an Article III Judge. Several orders were conflicting, divergent and amended the original order by the 9th Circuit. Some orders would dismiss the case of the alien if he did not comply. I made a motion to recall the mandate and amend the order and opinion so as to have uniformity. The motion was based on denial of due process and the lack of authority of Motion Attorneys and Deputy Clerks to issue orders that are only vested on an Article III Judge. I asked that the order and opinion be amended to read that the petitioner (client) had the right to proceed pro se, obtain counsel or have the Court appoint counsel for the alien petitioners. This motion was denied and I filed a writ to the US Supreme Court which is presently being amended. On July 20, 2004, the 9th Circuit recalled the mandate and amended its order so that it now states that the alien can now have court appointed counsel, or proceed in pro se, or obtain counsel. I wonder if this principle extends to the BIA or Immigration Court if there are similar factual circumstances. If so, it would affect many cases, even where there is no disbarrment issue. I look forward to hearing Immigration Daily readers' opinions on this case in future letters to the Editor.

Miguel Gadda



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