On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, Attorney Chinyere Alex Ogoke was recommended to be disbarred by the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission after it found that Ogoke violated ethics rules and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Attorney Chinyere Alex Ogoke,” with case no. 2022PR00073.
On October 21, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court suspended Ogoke from practicing law for 21 months, with 9 months stayed and 12 months of probation, for prior misconduct. While that suspension was in effect, on August 20, 2020, the United States Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals also granted an interim suspension against Ogoke, suspending him immediately from practicing before immigration courts and agencies. On September 29, 2020, the BIA issued a 9-month suspension effective August 20, 2020.
Despite these suspensions barring him from immigration practice, records show that between September 2020 and March 2021, Ogoke filed notice of appearance forms with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of 11 different clients. On each form, Ogoke falsely indicated that he was not under any suspension and was eligible to represent the clients.
An investigation by the ARDC found that Ogoke also met with at least two clients in July 2020 while his Illinois license was suspended. He has admitted to the improper meetings and filings during a disciplinary hearing in July 2023.
In addition, Ogoke was found to have knowingly failed to cooperate and respond to the ARDC investigation into his conduct. As a result of the hearing, the panel recommended that Ogoke be disbarred for his violations of professional conduct rules regarding dishonest statements to tribunals, unauthorized practice of law, and failure to cooperate with the disciplinary investigation.
The recommendation states:
“In light of the proven serious misconduct, the failure of prior discipline to prevent Respondent from committing further ethical violations, and his lack of cooperation in this proceeding, we have no reason to believe that Respondent is willing or able to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct in the future. It is our determination that his continued practice of law would present a danger to clients and the integrity of the legal profession. We do not make a recommendation of disbarment lightly but believe it is necessary in this case to protect the public and the profession. Accordingly, we recommend that Chinyere Alex Ogoke be disbarred.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Ogoke is an attorney in Chicago, Illinois. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 2005.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.