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12.5 Rules of Professional Conduct for Practitioners
DHS has rules of professional conduct for practitioners who practice before the Department's immigration agencies1. Under the rules, practitioners (attorneys, accredited representatives and other categories of representatives permitted to appear by DHS) are subject to discipline for criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct. Complaints of professional misconduct by practitioners should be reported to the DHS Disciplinary Counsel. USCIS officers should visit the
Disciplinary Counsel website
for more information on professional conduct, reporting misconduct, and how to verify the eligibility of an attorney or accredited representative.
Attorneys and other representatives have a duty to represent their clients
zealously. They must, however, do so within the bounds of the law and in
accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct for Practitioners.
Officers should not engage in personal conversations or arguments with attorneys or other representatives during the course of an interview. If a discussion becomes
disruptive, abusive, or otherwise interferes with the orderly process of the
interview, the officer should seek assistance from a supervisor. The attorney or representative may
object to the appropriateness of a line of questioning and, as a last resort, may request supervisory review without terminating the interview. Where necessary, disagreements between USCIS officers and attorneys or other representatives regarding the appropriate role of the attorney or other representative in USCIS interviews, should be elevated to the Field Office Director. USCIS employees may not file complaints directly to state bar disciplinary authorities. Complaints of unethical and unprofessional conduct by attorneys or other representatives should be reported to
DHS Disciplinary Counsel
through appropriate supervisory channels.
1 8 CFR 292.3 (2011)