Attorney recognized by Dallas United Nations Association
On October 23, 2018 the Dallas Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA named Mr. Zoltan one of seven 2018 Global Goals, Local Leader Honorees for his efforts to defend human rights and "advance gender equality, immigration reform, humanitarianism, [and] democracy."
State Bar of Texas suspends license of Irving-based immigration lawyer
For the third time since 2008, the State Bar of Texas suspended the license of immigration attorney Angel Ottoniel Cruz. He must "actively" serve the first 12 of the 36-month suspension, forgoing all practice of law until August 17, 2019. As reported in the November edition of the Texas Bar Journal, an evidentiary panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found he had (1) violated his earlier suspension by practicing law while forbidden from doing so and (2) failed to timely respond to the panel when notified of the suspected breach. In addition to his suspension, Mr. Cruz must pay $850 in attorneys' fees and $438 in direct expenses.
Dallas Bar Association Immigration Law Section awards attorney Lifetime Achievement Award
On September 26, the Dallas Bar Association Immigration Law Section awarded Paul Zoltan its first annual Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring him for ongoing community engagement, including
- Co-founding and assisting in the administration of the Refugee Support Network, a consortium that helps unrepresented Central American refugees present claims for asylum;
- Co-founding and assisting in the administration of a recently-established initiative to determine the scope of due process violations in Dallas Immigration Court; and
- Presenting on hundreds of occasions a “Silence is Golden” program, teaching immigrants of their rights under Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The DBA recognized him also for past contributions, including
- Serving the American Immigration Lawyers Association as Liaison with the Houston Asylum Office and, for over a decade, Coordinator of the Dallas AILA section;
- Chairing the District 6A Grievance Committee for the Texas Bar, the advisory board of the Dallas office of the International Rescue Committee, and the boards of directors of Proyecto Adelante and the Center for Survivors of Torture; and
- Teaching both Immigration Law and Legal Writing and Reasoning at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Another Dallas immigration attorney suspended
The Texas Bar Journal reported this month that on June 7, 2018, the 95th District Court of Dallas County issued a 36-month partially probated suspension against Dallas immigration attorney Angel Ottoniel Cruz and ordered him to pay roughly $2,800 in attorney's fees, direct expenses, and restitution. The court found Mr. Cruz had neglected a matter entrusted to him, failed to keep his client reasonably informed, terminated representation without taking reasonable steps to protect his client’s interests, and not timely replied to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office or a district grievance committee.
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Two Dallas-area immigration attorneys sanctioned in recent months
Rosalind A. Kelly: The September 2018 edition of the Texas Bar Journal reported that on May 14, 2018 the Board of Disciplinary Appeals dismissed Ms. Kelly's appeals from judgments entered in August and September 2017. These had found she had neglected the legal matters entrusted to her, failed to keep the complainant reasonably informed about the status of her legal matters, failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, failed to surrender papers and property to which the complainant was entitled, and failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned. Kelly violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 1.15(d). The Journal also reports that, in an unrelated matter, Ms. Kelly agreed on May 29, 2018 to a 48-month partially probated suspension as punishment for failing to surrender to a client their papers and property, and for neglecting to timely reply to that client's grievance. In addition to the suspension, she was ordered to pay $3,700 in attorneys' fees and direct expenses.
Susan Elizabeth Wright: The September edition of the Texas Law Journal reported also that the District 6 Grievance Committee reprimanded Ms. Wright and required her to pay $800 in direct expenses and attorneys' fees upon finding she had neglected a family law matter by failing to appear at a hearing, allowing her client's case to be dismissed, and not keeping her client reasonably informed.