State professional responsibility board charges immigration lawyer with unethical conduct

A midwestern immigration attorney finds himself under fire for harassing clients and making misrepresentations to the court.  The Minnesota professional responsibility board has charged the attorney with violating the rules of professional conduct and has given the man 20 days to respond.

The attorney, a native of Nigeria, has been practicing law in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since the late 1980s.  According to a report in the Star Tribune, the ethics board alleges that the attorney violated the ethics rules on three occasions.

First, the board charges that the attorney overcharged a family from Russia on an asylum application.  The attorney sued the family and won.  However, the family complained to the Board who found that the litigation was frivolous and that his fees were unreasonable.

In the second case, a Nigerian immigrant hired him to convince the immigration service that his marriage was legitimate.  When the immigrant challenged him on his legal fees, the attorney wrote back:

You have mistaken my kindness for weakness.  I did not get where I am today, allowing people like you to punk me.  Perhaps you need to be taught a lesson in life.

The Board charged the attorney with making improper disclosures about his client to the Court, failing to keep his client properly advised and for filing a frivolous claim for fees.

The final charge involved an alleged failure by the attorney to file key documents in a timely manner for an asylum hearing.

The attorney took the unusual step of forwarding the petition to the media and claims that the allegations “are false, mean-spirited and deliberately stated out of context with evil intent to inflict the highest damage to my reputations for reasons I know quite well.”

Our office will follow this case and provide updates as they occur.