Immigration Ethics 101: Ethical Obligations a Lawyer Should Consider When Accepting an Immigration Matter

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: February 24, 2021
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  • Identify the legal knowledge and skills that the ethics rules require in Immigration matters [Model Rule 1.1, Competence]
  • Review both the factual and legal analysis necessary to be thorough and prepared to competently handle an immigration client under Model Rule 1.1
  • Consider ethical issues based on language barriers that may result when communicating with immigration clients [Model Rule 1.4]
  • Discuss ethical responsibility to protect client’s interests upon withdrawal [Model Rule 1.16(d)]
Runtime: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: February 24, 2021


Have recent events prompted the necessity or the desire for you to handle an immigration case? Stop, slow down, and first consider the relative complexity and nature of the matter with an eye on your ethical obligations. Can you weave through the rules and regulations to take the appropriate steps to achieve the right result? Do you know which Model Rules of Professional Conduct are at issue? Let us help you avoid a disciplinary complaint and a client protection claim.

This program was recorded on February 24th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Ben Kurten

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.

Benjamin T. Kurten is the chair of Reinhart’s Immigration Law Group, and a shareholder in the firm’s Labor and Employment and International practices. Assisting clients with the successful navigation of complex U.S. immigration laws, Ben helps large multinational corporations, small private companies and individual investors. He frequently advises clients with business-related needs such as: transferring international personnel, hiring foreign-born talent with hard-to-find skill sets to fill professional positions, and establishing new U.S. investment enterprises or branch operations.

He has experience with a range of industries including manufacturing, health care, research, financial services, technology, education, entertainment, professional sports, consumer goods, and agriculture. Ben’s 19 years of legal experience has involved him with clients from more than 30 different countries—giving him unique insight on all aspects related to immigration issues such as businesses matters, citizenship and asylum matters. He effectively manages immigration issues by combining all of the advantages and resources available to him as a lawyer at a full-service firm that employs some of the strongest Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, International and Domestic Tax, and Business Organization attorneys in the Midwest.

As an attorney with Reinhart, Ben is able to quickly and effectively partner with other practice areas, which adds significant value and depth to the legal services he is able to provide his clients. His experience also includes assisting individuals with bringing family members into the U.S. through the immigration process to obtain U.S. citizenship, and his level of expertise enables him to offer proactive legal advice that anticipates potential problems and resolve them before they become issues.

Over the course of his career, he has successfully argued cases before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Board of Immigrations Appeals, and the Administrative Appeals Office, and he frequently speaks as a panelist on the topic of immigration. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, was named as Best Lawyers’ 2012 Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer of the Year and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ben has received a peer review rating of BV from Martindale-Hubbell for his high legal ability and ethical standards, has published many professional articles in the field of immigration law, and has edited the Immigration Law chapter of the Wisconsin Attorney’s Desk Reference for many years.

Immigration laws and procedures are complex and constantly evolving; therefore, Ben helps employers stay abreast of the latest developments to ensure they understand, implement, and are compliant with the latest policies, procedures, and regulations such as the Form I-9. Clients appreciate the creative solutions he devises in order to solve their complex legal problems as well as his entertaining sense of humor and amusing stories. Nearly 20 years into his career as an attorney, Ben remains confident that he selected the correct field by abandoning his Marine Science background to pursue a law degree, since dolphins have very sharp teeth and bite frequently—a work hazard he does not face as a lawyer.

Lindsey Draper

VP, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Institute for Well-Being in Law

Following his 2006 retirement as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner, Lindsey D. Draper oversaw Wisconsin’s adherence to the mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) as the state’s Disproportionate Minority Contact Coordinator and Compliance Monitor until his retirement in 2014.

Draper previously served as Chair of the ABA then-Standing Committee on Client Protection and a Trustee at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors at St. Charles Youth and Family Services in Milwaukee; Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee County Historical Society; a Director-at-Large of the National Client Protection Organization (NCPO); liaison to the Wisconsin Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being; a member of the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee and a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Continuing Legal Education Committee.

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