Shaohua He filed applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. When his applications were denied, he appealed the denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals, who affirmed the Immigration Judge's decision. He then hired a new attorney, who, instead of filing a petition for review with the Seventh Circuit, filed a motion to reconsider with the Board of Immigration Appeals. By the time the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the motion, the 30 day window to file a petition for review of the underlying denial of He's applications had expired. Thus, all He could do was to file a petition for review of the denied motion to reconsider. Unfortunately, his attorney focused exclusively on the denial of his applications for relief, and did not address why the denial of the motion to reconsider (the issue before the Seventh Circuit) was inappropriate. The Seventh Circuit signaled out He's attorney by name, noting that he had repeatedly made this procedural error. The court ordered its clerk's office to send the decision to the Illinois State Bar for any disciplinary action the Bar deemed necessary against the attorney. The court also noted that if the attorney continued this behavior, it could initiate disciplinary action against him for filing frivolous appeals.
This is the second published decision from the Seventh Circuit this month that identifies an immigration attorney by name and chastises him for inadequate representation. Seventh Circuit attorneys (and all attorneys for that matter) beware! You need to understand the rules of appellate court jurisdiction so that you do not forfeit your client's right to an appeal!
The full text of He v. Holder can be found here: http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2015/D03-27/C:14-3104:J:Hamilton:aut:T:fnOp:N:1523999:S:0