When an individual believes his former attorney handled his case badly, he may be able to either reopen his proceedings or appeal the Immigration Judge’s decision, arguing he has suffered from “ineffective assistance of counsel.”  However, the BIA usually requires several quite serious steps before this kind of claim can be made, including the filing of of a bar complaint against the old attorney.

A new unpublished decision from the Board shows that the BIA doesn’t always require a bar complaint. In In re Pastor, the Board recognized that while the former attorney had consented to a removal order saying the respondents were ineligible for relief, they appeared eligible for voluntary departure.  Thus, without a bar complaint, the Board remanded for consideration of their request for voluntary departure.

The unpublished decision is below