Lozada (plaintiff), a legal permanent resident, was found deportable for having been convicted of a crime. He applied for relief under (former) § 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and alternatively for voluntary departure. The Immigration Judge denied § 212(c) relief and found Lozada ineligible for voluntary departure because of the conviction. Lozada appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board) (defendant). The Board ordered summary dismissal because Lozada’s counsel had inadequately specified the grounds for appeal in the notice of appeal, and failed to file a brief that he promised. Lozada petitioned the court of appeals for review. While the petition was pending, he filed a motion to the Board to reopen his removal proceeding, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel.