On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review Board of Immigration Appeals issued an order disbarring attorney Ryan Curtis Cleveland from practicing law before immigration courts and the Department of Homeland Security.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Ryan Curtis Cleveland.”

The order stemmed from Cleveland’s disbarment in Georgia. In October 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred Cleveland for violating numerous attorney conduct rules while representing clients in criminal and divorce cases. Specifically, Cleveland was found to have abandoned the representation of eight total clients, failing to communicate or complete meaningful work on their cases.

This included being paid $2,600 to represent a client in a divorce but taking no action. He also failed to assist or communicate with seven indigent criminal defendants he had been appointed to represent, missing court filings in their cases. It was noted Cleveland had received prior discipline, including a 2022 letter of admonition and 2023 suspension, for failing to cooperate with investigations into his client abandonment.

Following the disciplinary action from Georgia, the Disciplinary Counsels for the Executive Office for Immigration Review and DHS had jointly petitioned for Cleveland’s discipline based on the state disbarment. On January 9, 2024, the BIA granted an immediate suspension of Cleveland’s immigration practice pending further proceedings.

Cleveland failed to respond to the allegations in the Joint Notice of Intent to Discipline within the required period, admitting the claims against him. As such, the BIA ordered Cleveland’s disbarment from practicing before immigration courts and DHS, effective as of his January 9, 2024 suspension date. The order also requires Cleveland to maintain compliance with notification directives and informs he may petition for reinstatement under the immigration regulations.

The Disposition states:

“The Board hereby disbars the respondent from practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Courts, and DHS, effective January 9, 2024.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Cleveland is a criminal defense attorney in Bainbridge, Georgia. He obtained his law degree from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law in 2005. He then gained admission to the Georgia Bar and was licensed to practice law in the state later that same year.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.