The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers publicly reprimanded attorney Zoila Marisol Gomez on June 29, 2023, for lack of diligence and filing a frivolous appeal in an immigration case.
The case is entitled “Bar Counsel v. Zoila Marisol Gomez,” with case no. 2023-7.
Gomez was retained in April 2016 to represent a client in removal proceedings. At a February 2017 hearing, the immigration court ordered Gomez to file a pre-hearing statement specifying the “particular social group” her client belonged to in his asylum claim.
As the Board’s order states, Gomez “neglected to file a Pre-hearing Statement and Brief” detailing the social group. In May 2019, the court denied asylum since no specific group was identified.
The client then hired Gomez to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). However, Gomez asserted the client’s inclusion in three social groups never raised before the immigration judge. As the order notes:
“At that time, the respondent was aware of the BIA’s decision in Matter of W-Y-C & H-O-B, 27 I. & N. Dec. 189 (BIA 2018), which explained that the BIA generally would not consider a respondent’s assertion of a particular social group made for the first time on appeal.”
In February 2021, the BIA denied the appeal citing the Matter of W-Y-C and the failure to earlier identify a particular social group.
The Board found Gomez violated professional conduct rules on competence, diligence, and frivolous filings through her mishandling of the asylum claim and improper appeal.
After Gomez stipulated to the misconduct, the Board voted on June 13, 2023, to impose a public reprimand. The reprimand order states Gomez failed to act diligently and filed a “frivolous appeal” in the case.
The Disposition states:
“It is ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Zoila Marisol Gomez, be and she, is publicly reprimanded. A summary of the charges giving rise to the reprimand is attached to this order.”
Mr. Gomez practices in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He is licensed in Massachusetts. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.