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Department of Justice

Executive Office for Immigration Review

  Friday, January 7, 2011

EOIR Announces Latest Disciplinary Actions Under Rules of Professional Conduct
Five Attorneys Immediately Suspended; Fourteen Receive Final Orders; Three are Reinstated

FALLS CHURCH, Va. B The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has recently taken disciplinary action against 19 attorneys for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives. Three attorneys were 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:

  • Christina S. Denison: The Supreme Court of Washington suspended Ms. Denison from the practice of law for one year for conduct involving lack of diligence, lack of communication and failure to return unearned fees. The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on Sept. 2, 2010, based on Ms. Denison’s suspension in Washington and pending final disposition of her case.

  • Timothy Darnell Flowers: The Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Mr. Flowers from the practice of law for one year for multiple violations of the State’s Rules of Professional Conduct, including issues of competence, diligence and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The BIA granted the government's petition for immediate suspension on Aug. 11, 2010, based on Mr. Flowers’s suspension in Tennessee and pending final disposition of his case.

  • Stuart Irwin Folinsky: The California State Bar Court, Hearing Department, Los Angeles, ordered Mr. Folinsky placed on involuntary inactive enrollment status. The BIA granted the government’s petition for immediate suspension on Aug. 11, 2010, based on Mr. Folinsky’s involuntary inactive enrollment status in California and pending final disposition of his case.

  • Cheryl Nance: The Supreme Court of Washington suspended Ms. Nance from the practice of law for failure to pay state bar dues. The BIA granted the government’s petition for immediate suspension on Sept. 27, 2010, based on Ms. Nance’s suspension in Washington and pending final disposition of her case.

  • Gary P. Royle: The California State Bar Court, Hearing Department, Los Angeles, ordered Mr. Royle placed on involuntary inactive enrollment status. The BIA granted the government’s petition for immediate suspension on Aug. 12, 2010, based on Mr. Royle’s involuntary inactive enrollment status and pending final disposition of his case.

Final Orders of Discipline

  • Thomas Archer: A final order of Aug. 18, 2010, expels Mr. Archer from practice before immigration tribunals, effective July 8, 2010, based on his conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

  • Mina Bahgat: A final order of Aug. 19, 2010, expels Mr. Bahgat from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Oct. 7, 2009, based on his disbarment in Maryland.

  • Ben B. Boothe.: A final order of Aug. 19, 2010, suspends Mr. Boothe from practice before immigration tribunals for 78 months, effective April 17, 2009, based on his 78-month suspension in Texas.

  • Maxime Austria Frias A final order of Aug. 18, 2010, expels Mr. Frias from practice before immigration tribunals, effective April 14, 2009, based on his suspension and ultimate disbarment in Virginia.

  • Satish K. Goli: A final order of Aug. 18, 2010, expels Mr. Goli from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Sept. 24, 2009, based on his resignation and ultimate disbarment in New York.

  • Bent Karlsen: A final order of Aug. 12, 2010, expels Mr. Karlsen from practice before immigration tribunals, effective February 19, 2009, based on his disbarment in North Dakota.

  • Maria Teresa Lopez: A final order of Aug. 18, 2010, expels Ms. Lopez from practice before immigration tribunals, effective March 16, 2010, based on her permanent disbarment in Florida.

  • Kurt Anthony Miller: A final order of Sept. 27, 2010, suspends Mr. Miller from practice before immigration tribunals for 5 years, effective April 2, 2009, based on his disbarment in California.

  • Allen B. Odum: A final order of Aug. 12, 2010, expels Mr. Odum from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Feb. 19, 2009, based on his resignation from the State Bar of Texas and the conclusion by the Supreme Court of Texas that professional misconduct charges had been conclusively established.

  • Shahryar S. Shahmardian: A final order of Aug. 18, 2010, suspends Mr. Shahmardian from practice before immigration tribunals for 1 year and 1 day, effective Sept. 21, 2009, based on his suspension for 1 year and 1 day in Colorado.

  • Melissa Anne Shomber: A final order of Aug. 26, 2010, expels Ms. Shomber from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Feb. 25, 2010, based on her disbarment in Oklahoma.

  • Brenna L. Stewart: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department, suspended Ms. Stewart from the practice of law for six months for being convicted of petty larceny in the Bronx Supreme Court. The BIA granted the government’s petition for immediate suspension on Aug. 11, 2010, based on Ms. Stewart’s suspension in New York and pending final disposition of her case. A final order of Sept. 27, 2010, suspends Ms. Stewart from practice before immigration tribunals for 6 months, effective April 15, 2010, based on her six-month suspension in New York.

  • Toussaint T. Tyson: A final order of Sept. 2, 2010, suspends Mr. Tyson from practice before immigration tribunals for 3 years, effective Sept. 17, 2010, based on his false claims to be an attorney in good standing in Pennsylvania, after he was transferred to inactive status in Pennsylvania in 1993.

  • Frank X. Weinert: A final order of Sept. 2, 2010, expels Mr. Weinert from practice before immigration tribunals, effective Oct. 9, 2008, based on his consent to have his name stricken from the roll of attorneys in Illinois.

Reinstatement

  • James J. Hoare: Mr. Hoare was reinstated to practice before immigration tribunals on Aug. 19, 2010, after completing his 90-day suspension.

  • Samson Mparaganda: A final order of Aug. 11, 2010, suspends Mr. Mparaganda from practice before immigration tribunals for 3 months, effective April 2, 2010, based on his 3-month suspension in Massachusetts. Mr. Mparaganda was reinstated to practice before immigration tribunals on Sept. 2, 2010, after completing his 3-month suspension and upon proof that he was reinstated to practice law in Massachusetts.

  • Tracy N. Tavilla: Ms. Tavilla was reinstated to practice before immigration tribunals on Aug. 11, 2010, after the BIA set aside its May 5, 2010, immediate suspension order and upon proof that she was reinstated to practice law in Massachusetts.

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.justice.gov/eoir/vll/fedreg/2000_2001/fr27jn00R.pdf and http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/fedreg/2008_2009/fr18dec08c.pdf.

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