A Chicago lawyer could lose his Wisconsin law license for five months for failing to do sufficient work on four immigration cases.
The Office of Lawyer regulation filed a complaint against Khaja Din, attorney at Din Law in Chicago, on Dec. 29.
Twelve of the 14 counts of misconduct involve Din’s representation of a family from Pakistan. In 2016, Ali Khowaja agreed to pay Din $10,000 for assistance in surrendering to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, representation in immigration proceedings and help with obtaining a work authorization and suitable identification.
Din helped Khowaja surrender and then helped his sister and mother, Arooma and Mariam, surrender. According to the complaint, Din said he did so as a courtesy, but he did not represent either woman. However, Arooma and Mariam said they were clients and had agreed to pay $4,000 for representation.
As the cases proceeded, the family had trouble getting in touch with Din. The complaint said Din didn’t respond to a number of communications from the family over the next three years.
During that time, the Immigration Court ordered the removal of all three family members because they hadn’t appeared at scheduled court hearings. The OLR said they never received notice of the hearings because Din never notified immigration authorities of their change of address.
The family found out about the order in 2019 after they contacted another lawyer for a second opinion, the complaint said. In 2019 and 2020, the Immigration Court granted motions to reopen and terminate removal proceedings for Ali, Arooma and Mariam, finding Din had provided ineffective assistance of counsel.
The OLR said Din also failed to properly represent a Lithuanian citizen who was trying to obtain lawful permanent residence by filing a marriage petition. The complaint said Din filed an untimely motion for reconsideration of an unsuccessful U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service appeal and didn’t keep the client reasonably informed about her case.
The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Din’s law license for five months and order him to pay $10,000 to Khowaja and $8,000 to the Lithuanian citizen.
The Wisconsin Law Journal called Din’s office on Monday to ask if he wanted to comment on the complaint. A staff member said Din was out of the office for the next few days but said she would give him the message.Follow @WLJReporter