On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review Board of Immigration Appeals suspended attorney Kara Sherrisse Lawrence after being disciplined in Georgia for abandonment of a client.
The case is entitled “In the matter of Kara Sherrisse Lawrence”.
On February 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred the respondent from practice in the State of Georgia for the abandonment of a client after claiming thousands of dollars from the latter’s account. Allegedly, the respondent while representing a client in an immigration matter, abandoned the same after debiting thousands of dollars from her account. Moreover, the respondent failed to respond to the disciplinary authorities upon the investigation of her misconduct.
The report states:
“On several occasions, a person in Lawrence’s office sent the client a “code” to use to accept the representation, but none of the codes was valid. Thus, Lawrence never entered an appearance in the client’s immigration matter and did not (and could not) file any immigration paperwork on his behalf. Nevertheless, on May 21, 2019, a person from Lawrence’s office sent the client an email stating that his “application [wa] s moving forward” and directing him to “create an account If [he] d[id] not already have one” with immigration services. Twice, the client appeared at Lawrence’s office to speak with her 4 about how to have his matter proceed with USCIS.”
The report continues:
“In Lawrence’s response to that grievance, she misidentified her client as “Mr. Bennett, ” explaining that “Mr. Bennett’s package” of immigration filings could not be processed by USCIS because “ Mr. Bennett ” refused “to formally accept [Lawrence’s] representation.” She further represented that “[d]riving to [her office in] Cobb County was not of interest to Mr. Bennett.”
The report further states:
“The Special Master during the investigation found that the respondent’s actions were intentional and that she caused her client harm or potential harm. Moreover, the Special master cited Lawrence’s dishonest or selfish motive as evidenced by her efforts to conceal her misconduct from her client and her intentional failure to comply with the disciplinary process. Having reviewed the record, the court agrees with the findings of the Special Master and decided that the equivalent sanction for the misconduct of the respondent is disbarment.”
In lieu of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s disciplinary order, the Disciplinary Counsel for the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Disciplinary Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) jointly petitioned for the respondent’s immediate suspension from practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Courts, and DHS. In light of this, the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review Board of Immigration Appeals decided to grant the petition. Thereby, suspending the respondent.
The Disposition states:
“The petition is granted, and the respondent is hereby suspended from the practice of law before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Courts, and DHS, pending the final disposition of this proceeding. 8 C.F.R. FURTHER ORDER: The respondent shall promptly notify, in writing, any clients with cases currently pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Courts, or DHS that the respondent has been suspended from practicing before these bodies.”
Lawrence attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She practices in Marietta, Georgia. She is licensed in Georgia. Her info can be found on lawyer.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.