Firm referred to SRA for ‘undermining immigration process’

first_imgAn immigration firm has been referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority after judges said it had engaged in ‘a systematic course of conduct designed to undermine the immigration process’. Manchester firm Sandbrook Solicitors appeared before the upper tribunal in Manchester Civil Justice Centre after the firm was suspected of deploying a strategy of seeking last-minute interim relief in deportation cases and then failing to issue proceedings in the hope that clients would fall ‘below the radar’.Once granted relief, clients would be released from detention and in many cases abscond, the ruling said. Mr Justice Green said the firm’s conduct suggested a ‘deliberate disregard for the professional duties owed to the court’ which ‘strikes at the very heart of the system of immigration control’.Commenting on five cases in which Sandbrook had been involved, Green said they showed the firm was prepared to advance cases on virtually any ground ‘however tenuous or hopeless’, simply to enable applications for interim relief.Once relief was granted, the firm would fail to pursue a substantive claim for judicial review, and in one instance tried to persuade the tribunal that a claim for review was ‘academic’. Green described this as ‘a most disquieting aspect’ of the case.He also noted that the firm had repeatedly failed to respond to requests from tribunal officials, which he feared was a ‘further component of a strategy to lie low and hope that a case will go away in the future’.Green said the tribunal had made no findings of fact, but had referred the firm and its solicitors to the SRA.In a statement to the Gazette, Sandbrook said: ‘We are aware of the referral by Mr Justice Green of a small number of immigration matters in which we were referred to the SRA for review.‘Whilst it would be inappropriate for us to comment in detail at this stage while the SRA review is ongoing, we are confident that, in due course, once the same has been completed, we will be found to have acted appropriately and in accordance with our professional obligations at all times.’last_img read more

UWF Women’s Tennis Team Stays at No. 5 in the Nation

first_img SKILLMAN, N.J. – The University of West Florida women’s tennis team (4-4, 1-0 GSC) continues to be ranked No. 5 in the country and third in the South Region in the latest edition of the Campbell’s/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, it was announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) today.The top five national teams remains unchanged from the preseason edition of the rankings, which was released on Nov. 9, 2010. Armstrong Atlantic continues to be listed as the No. 1 women’s tennis team in Division II. UWF dropped an 8-1 match to Armstrong Atlantic last Friday in Valdosta, Ga. BYU-Hawaii, which UWF will host on March 9th, comes in at No. 2. Lynn and Barry are listed at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. On Feb, 18th, Lynn defeated UWF, 9-0, in a neutral site match in Valdosta. This past Saturday, Barry defeated the Argonauts, 6-3, also in Valdosta. UWF is listed at No. 5.In the South Region, UWF is listed at No. 3, behind No. 1 Lynn and No. 2 Barry. Rollins and Florida Southern round out the top five, coming in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. Nova Southeastern is ranked No. 6, while Saint Leo is the No. 7 team in the South Region. Florida Tech, Tampa and Palm Beach Atlantic wrap up the top 10, coming in at Nos. 8, 9 and 10.The next women’s version of the Campbell’s/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings will be released on March 30th. The rankings will include team, singles and doubles rankings. New national and regional rankings will be released at that time.The Argonaut women are slated to play four matches in a six-day span. UWF will host William Carey, which competes in the NAIA, on Thurs., March 3rd, at 2 p.m. at the Ralph “Skeeter” Carson Tennis Complex on the UWF campus. On Saturday, the Argos will travel to Carrollton, Ga., to face West Georgia. Next week, UWF will host conference foe West Alabama on March 8th and BYU-Hawaii on March 9th. Results and recaps from these matches will be available online at information on all UWF Athletics, visit #ARGOS#Women’s Tennis National Team Rankings:’s Tennis South Region Team Rankings: — –Print Friendly Version UWF Women’s Tennis Team Stays at No. 5 in the Nation Sharelast_img read more

Ethics panel admonishes AFL rep who failed to register as lobbyist (AUDIO)

first_imgDrew KleinThe Ethics Committee in the Iowa House has unanimously voted to sanction a lobbyist who failed to complete the online registration process required for people who lobby lawmakers.Republican Representative Rob Taylor of West Des Moines, the committee’s chairman, spoke with reporters after the decision was made over the noon hour.“The reason it’s so important for people to register as lobbyists is so that the public knows who it is that is giving us information and advice either for or against a certain subject matter,” Taylor said, “and it’s a requirement under law that they register.”Rob TaylorTaylor and the rest of the committee will send a “letter of admonishment” to Drew Klein, a lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity. The conservative group was founded by the billionaire Koch brothers and Klein lobbied hard for this year’s new law that scaled back bargaining rights for public sector workers in Iowa.AUDIODownload of committee meeting, 9:00The complaint noting Klein had failed to register as a lobbyist was filed by the president of the Iowa Federation of Labor. Representative Taylor and the rest of the committee decided the complaint was valid.“When your dad admonished you, it was a warning that you did something wrong and to take precautions in the future so that you did not repeat the same thing again,” Taylor told reporters. “I think any lobbyist should take heed on what has happened and what has occurred, so that it not happen again.”The committee had the power to bar Klein from lobbying, but members of the panel decided his lapse was not “malicious” and a stern letter was the appropriate response.The liberal group “Progress Iowa” had called for Taylor to step aside and not vote on the complaint, since Taylor had co-sponsored a recent Americans for Prosperity event. Taylor says he asked the top-ranking Democrat on the committee and she “felt there was no need” for Taylor to recuse himself. During today’s committee meeting, Democratic Representative Phyllis Thede of Davenport said the panel had “put blinders on” and solely considered the facts of the complaint and not the politics of the groups involved.Klein was the subject of statehouse controversy in February when he tweeted a picture of himself shaking Governor Branstad’s hand moments after the governor signed the collective bargaining bill into law.Klein issued the following written statement this afternoon:“I treat and have treated our state’s ethics rules with the utmost sincerely. I believe that I was registered as a lobbyist in the Iowa legislature at all relevant times, from 2013 to 2017, as required by Iowa Code 68B.36.  I presented evidence to the house ethics committee of the dates and times I was registered in the years past, and my browser history that shows I registered for the new legislative session at the beginning of this calendar year.  Furthermore, I’ve made numerous public lobbyist declarations in person and through the online system, which first requires one to register as a lobbyist.  Put another way, I wouldn’t have been able to make those public lobbyist declarations without having first been registered.  I have been transparent about my position on bills, and I have used the legislature’s lobbyist portal system throughout this session.  I am disappointed that the ethics committee failed to adequately consider the evidence that was presented to them.  I look forward to moving past this to continue advocating for issues that will benefit our state.”Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more