Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department imposed a public censure as reciprocal discipline for an attorney's deficient handling of immigration appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:
In or about November 2007, the Second Circuit directed respondent to show cause why he should not be subject to disciplinary or other corrective measures based on his pattern of submitting deficient and untimely briefs in connection with petitions for review that he filed in immigration cases. In response, respondent stated, inter alia, that his deficient performance stemmed from his inexperience and unfamiliarity with the applicable rules, his heavy caseload as a solo practitioner, and the pressing deadlines in his various cases. Respondent also stated that he had retained an attorney with experience in immigration appeals and that he would refrain from representing individuals in immigration appeals without his assistance.
By order entered on May 27, 2008, the Second Circuit publicly censured respondent. The court found:
"that a reasonable person in [respondent's] position would have familiarized himself with the applicable rules and known that his briefs did not satisfy various important Rule 28 requirements; that his behavior put his client's interests in significant peril; and that his briefing deficiencies and his scheduling defaults caused significant inconvenience to the judges and staff of this Court. Although the conduct described n our prior order generally would warrant a significantly greater sanction, we conclude that a lesser sanction is appropriate in light of the circumstances described in [respondent's] response to that order and the other corrective measures [imposed by the court]."
These corrective measures directed respondent not to file new appeals or documents in pending cases unless an experienced attorney appeared as cocounsel; to notify the panel of every case before the court in which respondent would perform legal services within a specified time period, and to provide the panel with copies of all future briefs and certain motions filed with the court within a specified time period. Respondent was also warned that future deficient performance before the court could result in further disciplinary action and/or corrective measures and strongly encouraged to attend CLE courses in appellate practice, legal writing, and immigration law if he continued to file appeals or to practice immigration law.