LONGWOOD – Richard Loiseau, an established Longwood, Florida, immigration attorney who also practiced in Indiana, was reinstated on May 4 from a series of suspensions implemented between November 2011 and January 2012.
In a Jan. 30, 2012, Department of Justice (DOJ) document, the disciplinary counsel for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) petitioned for an immediate suspension of Loiseau, which stemmed from a Nov. 22 suspension by the Supreme Court of Indiana for a period of no less than 90 days, without automatic reinstatement, effective Dec. 29.
Consequently, on Jan. 13, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) then asked that Loiseau be similarly suspended from practice before that agency.
On March 6, 2012, a DOJ document processed a final order of discipline, where Loiseau was suspended from the practice before the board, immigration courts and DHS for 90 days.
“(Loisea) was required to file a timely answer to the allegations contained in the notice of intent to discipline, but has failed to do so,” the March 6 document said. “(His) failure to file a response within the time prescribed in the notice constitutes an admission of the allegations therein, and he is now precluded from requesting a hearing on the matter.”
These series of suspensions were based on a number of facts based on Loiseau’s representation of a client and her husband in deportation proceedings.
In 2008, the client attempted to reopen an immigration case in which she had been represented by Loiseau.
“[Loiseau] filed a sworn affidavit (2008 affidavit) in which he indicated that he had represented [the client] in deportation proceedings and she had been ordered deported after failing to appear at a final hearing set for May 7, 1997, (the May 1997 Hearing),” the Supreme Court of Indiana document said. “His 2008 affidavit went on to state that there was no confusion or misunderstanding about the date for the May 1997 hearing, that [the client] kept him waiting for her in the hallway for the hearing and did not show up.”
However, at the hearing in this disciplinary case on Sept. 10, 2010, the report explained that Loiseau stated that he missed the May 1997 hearing because he had received a court order leading him to believe that the hearing was actually set for a later date.
“The court agrees with the hearing officer's finding that [Loiseau] lied when he stated in the 2008 affidavit that he had waited in the hallway for S.G. to appear for the May 1997 hearing,” the court document said. “And regardless of why [he] and [the client] failed to appear at the May 1997 Hearing, it is clear that at least one of [his] sworn explanations is false.”
Loiseau also represented the client’s husband in his proceeding to seek asylum and avoid deportation.
In the court document, in response to a series of questions by the immigration judge, Loiseau stated that he was representing the wife in an asylum proceeding that was pending before a different judge. The court found that Loiseau's representation that the wife had a pending asylum case in which he was representing her was knowingly false.
Based on these incidents, the court found Loiseau failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness when he failed to appear for two hearings, failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter, knowingly making a false statement of fact to a tribunal and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
On May 4, a DOJ document on disciplinary proceedings explained that Loiseau asked to be reinstated to practice before the board, the immigration courts and DHS, and presented evidence that he is again authorized to practice law in Indiana.
The document explained that based on Loiseau’s presented evidence, he met the definition of “attorney” and complied with the reinstatement requirements set forth from the EOIR disciplinary counsel. It did not oppose his request and found his evidence sufficient, thus he was reinstated.