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Chapter 10 - Discipline of Practitioners

10.3 - Jurisdiction

(a) Immigration Judges — Immigration judges have the authority to file complaints concerning practitioners who appear before them.

The disciplinary procedures described in this chapter do not apply to immigration judges.  For information on immigration judge conduct, see Chapter 1.3(c) (Immigration Judge Conduct and Professionalism).

(b) Practitioners — The disciplinary procedures described in this chapter apply to practitioners who practice before the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or the Department of Homeland Security.  See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.101.

(c) Recognized Organizations — EOIR is authorized to discipline a recognized organization if it finds it to be in the public interest to do so.  8 C.F.R. § 1003.110.  It is in the public interest to discipline a recognized organization that violates one or more of the grounds specified in 8 C.F.R. § 1003.110(b).  Specific grounds for discipline of recognized organizations are listed in Chapter 10.4(b) (Recognized Organizations).

(d) DHS Attorneys — The disciplinary procedures described in this chapter do not apply to attorneys who represent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The conduct of DHS attorneys is governed by DHS rules and regulations.  Concerns or complaints about the conduct of DHS attorneys may be raised in writing with the DHS Office of the Chief Counsel where the immigration court is located.  A list of Offices of the Chief Counsel is available on the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website at www.ice.gov.

(e) Unauthorized Practice of Law — The disciplinary procedures described in this chapter apply to practitioners who assist in the unauthorized practice of law.  See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.102(m).  Anyone may file a complaint against a practitioner who is assisting in the unauthorized practice of law.  See Chapter 10.5 (Filing a Complaint).

The disciplinary procedures described in this chapter do not apply to non-practitioners engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.  Anyone harmed by an individual practicing law without authorization should contact the appropriate law enforcement or consumer protection agency.  In addition, persons harmed by such conduct are encouraged to contact the Executive Office for Immigration Review Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program.  See Additional Reference Materials, Chapter 8 (EOIR Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program), Appendix A (Directory).

In general, the unauthorized practice of law includes certain instances where non-attorneys perform legal services, give legal advice, or represent themselves to be attorneys.  Individuals engaged in the unauthorized practice of law include some immigration specialists/consultants, visa consultants, and “notarios.”