Cruz-Carbajal v. Holder (9th Cir. 2011) 428 Fed.Appx. 759

Teaming up as pro bono counsel, husband and wife team Alana Rotter of GMSR and Jonathan Rotter of Kaye Scholer LLP argued that the Board of Immigration Appeals erroneously denied a motion for relief based on ineffective assistance of former counsel. The Ninth Circuit agreed, holding in a 2-1 decision that former counsel’s performance was inadequate as a matter of law. The Ninth Circuit further held that the Board misstated the legal standard for determining whether ineffective assistance was prejudicial. The court remanded to the Board to reconsider petitioners’ prejudice argument under the correct, more lenient legal standard.

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