You Just Found Out Your Client Lied, Now What?

Explore the relevant ethics rules and get a firm grasp of the issues that may arise and the analysis needed to extract yourself from this ethical quagmire. This free for members podcast is now available on Agora.


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Not So Fast!

While you may feel justified to withdraw from representation, you can’t just run from a sticky situation without addressing your ethical obligations. Find out how to ethically and competently terminate representation with this insightful article.

Ethics Resources

2011 - 2005

Important: The following resources offer insights, advice, and opinions on various topics covering professional responsibility in an immigration practice. Note, however, that ethics is inherently very subjective; these publications and recordings represent the personal opinions of the authors, and not of AILA. Moreover, ethical rules vary -- sometimes irreconcilably -- from state to state. It is incumbent upon anyone reading these articles or listening to a podcast to follow up with independent, state-specific research.

  • Ethical Considerations in Advising and Representing People Who May Benefit from the Immigration Accountability Executive Action(1303 KB - 1/16/2015)
    It is fundamental to be ethically aware when helping individuals and families who may benefit from President Obama’s executive action. This practice advisory outlines the five key ethical areas which include informed consent, competence, fees, supervision and attorney advertising.
    AILA Doc. No. 15011642.
  • Global Migration & Legal Ethics: Unauthorized Practice of Law and Foreign Corrupt Practice Act Issues (podcast) (10/28/2014)
    This podcast broaches an emerging issue intertwining global migration with legal ethics. The discussion focuses on MR 5.5 which requires U.S. lawyers not to practice in violation of other jurisdictions' regulation of the practice of law and the ethical challenges related to complying with the FCPA.
  • Global Migration & Legal Ethics, Part II: Unauthorized Practice of Law and Foreign Corrupt Practice Act Issues(659 KB - 10/23/2014)
    Ethical challenges for U.S. attorneys abound in the practice of global migration. Practitioners new to global migration must be mindful of the UPL and FCPA issues they will face. This ethics article provides a framework to successfully navigate this ethical minefield and avoid certain violations.
    AILA Doc. No. 14102344.
  • Ethical Issues in Representing Children in Immigration Proceedings(1761 KB - 10/22/2014)
    With the recent increase in the number of minors who are in removal proceedings, the lawyers representing them have raised many questions. This practice advisory provides an extensive summary of ethical guidance on some of the more common questions that practitioners have raised.
    AILA Doc. No. 14102240.
  • AILA Ethics Compendium - A Guide to Keep You Out of Trouble (5/21/2014)
    Get to know this important resource. This (free!) podcast is an overview of the AILA Ethics Compendium, it offers insight on this project, highlights unique ethical issues specific to immigration practice, walks through the ins and outs, and analyzes an immigration related hypothetical.
  • Can a Lawyer Ethically Represent a Client in Anticipation of Potential Immigration Reform Legislation?(1876 KB - 10/9/2013)
    While new business is good, it is essential to understand the ethical boundaries when advising clients and accepting legal fees for work conditioned on a law being passed. This insightful article focuses on our professional responsibility when preparing for the possibility of immigration reform.
    AILA Doc. No. 13100900.
  • Global Migration & Legal Ethics: Confidentiality Considerations in Working with Foreign Counsel(805 KB - 9/20/2013)
    As an increasing number of U.S. companies seek to assign employees abroad, more and more U.S. immigration attorneys are being approached by clients seeking help with “outbound” immigration matters. This ethics article explores the confidentiality considerations in working with foreign counsel.
    AILA Doc. No. 13092040.
  • Which Party has Responsibility for Paying H-1B and Permanent Residence Attorney Fees and Case Expenses?(739 KB - 6/12/2013)
    In dual representation cases, the lawyer should be prepared to advise both the employer and the alien employee concerning which party can lawfully pay attorney fees and case expenses. So who has the burden of paying? This astute article explores the ethical responsibility of attorney fees.
    AILA Doc. No. 13061243.
  • How to Walk the Ethical Line- Being Less Stressed Out (5/16/2013)
    No matter the question or the context, it is always prudent to remain within the boundary line of what is ethical. Join the conversation as our three expert panelists walk through four common and seemingly simple fact patterns that can trap the unwary lawyer.
    AILA Doc. No. 13051657.
  • An Ethical Look at Attorney Advertising Across State Borders (Updated 5/22/13) (5/9/2013)
    Whether to advertise legal services across state borders is proper is not black or white. There are many gray areas when it comes to attorney advertising. This week’s practice success tip reviews the rules in place to help guide lawyers to ethically market their practices. AILA Doc. No. 13050946.
    AILA Doc. No. 13050946.
  • When A Client Lies (1/28/2013)
    This podcast explores the relevant ethics rules using several scenarios to help immigration lawyers get a firm grasp of the issues they face when a client lies and the analysis needed to extract themselves from this ethical quagmire.
    AILA Doc. No. 13012864.
  • When a Client Lies: Balancing Candor and Confidentiality(545 KB - 12/18/2012)
    A lawyer has an obligation of protecting client confidentiality while also maintaining candor towards the adjudicative tribunal. But, what happens when the client lies? This insightful article analyzes the conflicting ethical rules that govern our practice. AILA Doc. No. 12121860.
    AILA Doc. No. 12121860.
  • Withdrawal of Representation in Immigration Practice(773 KB - 11/20/2012)
    Considering firing a client? While you may feel justified in withdrawing from representation, it’s important to recognize your ethical obligations. This insightful article examines Rule 1.16 & illustrates the importance of adhering to it when withdrawing from representation. AILA Doc. No. 12112043.
    AILA Doc. No. 12112043.
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About the EOIR Disciplinary Process... But Were Afraid to Ask (10/12/2012)
    Join EOIR’s Disciplinary Counsel, Jennifer Barnes, and AILA Past President, Bob Juceam as they discuss the role of the federal disciplinary system and share insight on questions that many immigration attorneys are afraid to ask.
    AILA Doc. No. 12101243.
  • Using the New Social Media: Ethics Issues (10/15/2012)
    Sophisticated immigration attorneys have web pages, may blog or Twitter, and have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social websites. This panel addresses the parameters of what the attorney should and could be doing through this media.
    AILA Doc. No. 12101540.
  • How to Ethically Handle an I-864 Joint Sponsor (Updated 11/7/12)(589 KB - 11/7/2012)
    Can you represent and advise a joint sponsor on his I-864? Is there a conflict of interest between zealously representing your clients and their joint sponsor? This article delves into the ethical considerations when a petitioner and an applicant need a joint sponsor. AILA Doc. No. 12080162.
    AILA Doc. No. 12080162.
  • How to Walk the Ethical Line-Being Less Stressed Out(223 KB - 6/26/2012)
    Selected article from 2011 Immigration Practice Pointers. This is a collaborative piece by three experienced AILA members who provide an in-depth analysis of complex fact patterns. Navigate through the intricacies of immigration law and ethics without crossing the line. AILA Doc. No. 12062641.
    AILA Doc. No. 12062641.
  • Ethical Considerations in Fee Disputes, Fee Determination, and Flat Fee Cases(166 KB - 5/30/2012)
    Selected article from 2011 Immigration Practice Pointers. Attorneys are well advised to comply with the requirements of the ABA's Model Rule 1.5; this article delves into the ethical considerations between hourly billing and flat fee pricing for immigration services. AILA Doc. No. 12053040.
    AILA Doc. No. 12053040.
  • Navigating the Social Network: Applying Ethics Rules to Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Media(239 KB - 5/15/2012)
    Selected article from 2011 AC Immigration Practice Pointers. A collaborative analysis by three experienced AILA members who provide an overview of the ethical concerns surrounding social media in the work-place and guidance to avoid certain ethical violations. AILA Doc. No. 12051541.
    AILA Doc. No. 12051541.
  • Secondary Ethics Links (9/12/2006)
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