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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

November 19, 2010

EOIR Announces Latest Disciplinary Actions Under Rules of Professional Conduct
Four Attorneys Immediately Suspended; Twelve Receive Final Orders; One is Reinstated

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has recently taken disciplinary action against 16 attorneys for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives.  One attorney was reinstated.

EOIR announces these disciplinary actions to inform the public about attorneys and representatives who are no longer authorized to represent clients before an immigration tribunal. These names will be added to the list of disciplined immigration attorneys and representatives, which is available at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/profcond/chart.htm.  The list includes links to immediate suspension orders and final orders issued in each disciplinary case.

Disciplinary proceedings begin when the Office of the General Counsel of either EOIR or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, files a Notice of Intent to Discipline with EOIR's Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  The disciplinary action can result in the public censure, suspension or expulsion of an attorney or representative before the immigration courts, the BIA and DHS.  Before a suspended or expelled attorney can resume the practice of law before the immigration courts, the BIA and DHS, the BIA must reinstate that attorney.

EOIR has recently taken the following disciplinary actions:

Immediate Suspensions

The BIA ordered the immediate suspension of the following attorneys:

  • Thomas Archer:  The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York convicted Mr. Archer of visa fraud and conspiracy to commit visa fraud.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on July 8, 2010, based on Mr. Archer's conviction in New York and pending final disposition of his case.


  • Salvador Collazo:  The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York convicted Mr. Collazo of fraud and misuse of visas/permits, false statements and conspiracy to defraud the United States.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on June 9, 2010, based on Mr. Collazo's conviction in New York and pending final disposition of his case.


  • Samson Mparaganda:  The Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, Mass., suspended Mr. Mparaganda from the practice of law for three months for multiple violations of the State's Rules of Professional Conduct.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on June 28, 2010, based on Mr. Mparaganda's three-month suspension in Massachusetts and pending final disposition of his case.


  • Timothy Allen Price:  The Supreme Court of Tennessee at Nashville temporarily suspended Mr. Price from the practice of law.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on June 28, 2010, based on Mr. Price's temporary suspension in Tennessee and pending final disposition of his case.

Final Orders of Discipline

  • Carlos E. Castaneda:  A final order of May 25, 2010, suspends Mr. Castaneda from practice before immigration tribunals for nine months, effective April 13, 2010, based on his nine-month suspension by the Supreme Court of California.


  • Jeffery William Green:  A final order of June 9, 2010, expels Mr. Green from practice before immigration tribunals, effective March 2, 2010, based on his disbarment by the Supreme Court of Illinois.


  • Michael Mitry Hadeed, Jr.:  A final order of June 28, 2010, expels Mr. Hadeed from practice before immigration tribunals based on his conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 


  • Valerie F. Hanserd:  A final order of May 27, 2010, suspends Ms. Hanserd from practice before immigration tribunals for one year and one day, effective April 14, 2010, based on her suspension for one year and one day by the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, Mass.


  • Sai Hyun Lee:  The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, convicted Ms. Lee of subscribing as true a false statement with respect to a material fact in an application filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on May 12, 2010, based on Ms. Lee's conviction in Georgia and pending final disposition of her case.  A final order of June 9, 2010, expels Ms. Lee, from practice before immigration tribunals, effective May 12, 2010, based on her conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.


  • John Joseph O'Kane, III:  The Supreme Court of California suspended Mr. O'Kane from the practice of law for 1 year for multiple violations of the State's Rules of Professional Conduct, including engaging in conduct involving incompetence, moral turpitude and the unauthorized practice of law.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on May 27, 2010, based on Mr. O'Kane's 1-year suspension in California and pending final disposition of his case.  A final order of June 9, 2010, suspends Mr. O'Kane from practice before immigration tribunals for 1 year, effective May 27, 2010, based on his 1-year suspension by the Supreme Court of California.


  • Eugene Paolino:  A final order of June 9, 2010, expels Mr. Paolino from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Aug. 19, 2008, based on his disbarment by the Supreme Court of California.


  • David M. Robaton:  The Court of Appeals of Maryland disbarred Mr. Robaton for multiple violations of the State's Rules of Professional Conduct, including conduct involving a lack of competence, diligence and candor toward the tribunal. The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on June 28, 2010, based on Mr. Robaton's disbarment in Maryland and pending final disposition of his case.  A final order of Aug. 11, 2010, suspends indefinitely Mr. Robaton from practice before immigration tribunals based on his disbarment by the Court of Appeals of Maryland.


  • Antonio Salazar:  The Supreme Court of Washington disbarred Mr. Salazar for multiple violations of the State's Rules of Professional Conduct, including engaging in conduct involving incompetence, lack of diligence and conduct demonstrating unfitness to practice law.  The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on May 27, 2010, based on Mr. Salazar's disbarment in Washington and pending final disposition of his case.  A final order of July 8, 2010, suspends Mr. Salazar from practice before immigration tribunals for 5 years, effective May 27, 2010, based on his disbarment by the Supreme Court of Washington.


  • Jose A. SandovalThe United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan convicted Mr. Sandoval of obstructing the due administration of justice. The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on June 16, 2010, based on Mr. Sandoval's conviction in Michigan and pending final disposition of his case.  A final order of July 8, 2010, expels Mr. Sandoval from practice before immigration tribunals, effective June 16, 2010, based on his conviction in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.


  • Patrick G. TzeutonA final order of May 25, 2010, expels Mr. Tzeuton from practice before immigration tribunals based on his conviction in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.


  • Michael Joseph Williams:  A final order of May 26, 2010, suspends Mr. Williams from practice before immigration tribunals for 3 months, effective April 14, 2010, based on his 3-month suspension by the State Bar of Texas.

Reinstatement

  • James Todd Bennett:  The Supreme Court of California suspended Mr. Bennett for 60 days for engaging in conduct lacking competence and respect for the courts of justice and judicial officers.  Mr. Bennett did not dispute the government’s charges.  A final order of May 26, 2010, suspends Mr. Bennett from practice before immigration tribunals for 60 days, effective Jan. 21, 2010, and reinstates Mr. Bennett to practice before immigration tribunals.

Background

The Rules of Professional Conduct appear in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 C.F.R. '' 1003 and 1292).  They include provisions specifying grounds for disciplinary action, requirements for receiving and investigating complaints, and procedures for conducting hearings. The rules also authorize the BIA to suspend immediately an attorney or representative who has been subject to disbarment, suspension or resignation with an admission of misconduct as imposed by a federal or state court, or who has been convicted of a serious crime, pending a summary proceeding and final sanction.  The Rules of Professional Conduct are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/vll/fedreg/2000_2001/fr27jn00R.pdf and http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/vll/fedreg/2008_2009/fr18dec08c.pdf.

Additional information about the Attorney Discipline Program can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/press/00/profcond.htm and http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/press/09/AttorneyDisciplineFactSheet.pdf.

- EOIR -

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice.  Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws.  EOIR’s immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation.  They determine whether foreign-born individuals—whom the Department of Homeland Security charges with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country.  The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges.  EOIR’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases.  EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.


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