Escondido attorney receives mild discipline after ineffective counsel complaint

By Karen Kidd | Jul 26, 2017

Escondido attorney Kevin Alan Bove received "discipline on the low-end of that prescribed" after an ineffective counsel complaint filed against him over his handling of an 11-year-old immigration case, according to a recent California State Bar filing.

Bove faces two years' probation, beginning with 30 days of suspension, according to the decision filed June 29 by the state bar. The bar's office of chief trial counsel had recommended 60 days suspension while Bove argued for dismissal, according to the decision.

Bove was found culpable on one of two counts of misconduct, including attempts to mislead and making a misrepresentation to a judge, according to the decision.

Bove was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 5, 1990, according to his profile at the state bar website.

During his first year practicing in California, Bove represented a client who was fighting deportation in 1998. Three years later, the client was deported to Mexico.

In late 2013, the client hired another attorney to file a motion to reopen the immigration case alleging that Bove's counsel have been ineffective, commonly referred to as a "Lozada motion". The motion was filed July 1, 2014, according to the decision. In an email exchange shortly after, Bove told the other attorney he denied the "allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel".

A complaint letter dated March 15, 2014, was mailed the following July 7, according to the decision. Bove filed a response but did not inform the other attorney he'd done so and in such a way that implied the other attorney had filed it, according to the decision.

The following October, the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the other attorney's motion to reopen the case and on Jan. 27, 2015, it denied a motion for reconsideration, according to the decision. In the interim, the other attorney found out about Bove's filed response and realized "they were denied the opportunity to file a reply to the response before the BIA ruled on the motion to reopen," the decision said.

The office of chief trial counsel concluded there was no evidence to prove that Bove's actions impacted the BIA’s decision, according to the state bar’s decision.

Bove had no prior record of discipline.

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