Immigration Symposium 2014 - St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice
Friday, April 4, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Immigration Symposium 2014
The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice Vol. 16 cordially invites you to our annual Immigration Symposium on Friday, April 4, 2014. The theme- "Changing the Guard: Empowering Advocates Through Education." Our goal is to empower attorneys and members of the community alike with the tools necessary to serve as effective advocates in the field of immigration.
Presentation Overview including a Federal Judicial Panel with Immigration Judges Anibal Martinez & Craig Harlow
(1) Michelle Garza & Eric Tijerina–“Plight of Unaccompanied Minors Navigating the Immigration Court system and Forms of Relief for Them”
Michelle Garza is a staff attorney at the RAICES. Established in 1987, RAICES exists to promote justice by providing free and low-cost immigration legal services to poor refugees, immigrants and families in Central and South Texas. As a staff attorney at RAICES, Michelle’s practice was divided between the Children’s Program and direct representation of unaccompanied minors, as well as some affirmative practice before the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services. She became Director of RAICES Children’s Program in December of 2012. Before joining RAICES, Michelle obtained her B.A from the University of Texas at Austin in Mexican American Studies with a focus on Public Policy, and received a J.D from St. Mary University School of Law in 2010.
Eric Tijerina, J.D., M.B.A., is the Director of Legal Programs at the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), with offices in San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi. He is the chairperson of the State Bar of Texas Crime Victims subcommittee and a Task Force member of the Alamo-area Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Mr. Tijerina previously served stints as lead attorney for the Legal Orientation Program at the Political Asylum Project of Austin and as a clinical fellow at the St. Mary’s University School of Law Immigration Clinic. Prior to commencing a career in law, Mr. Tijerina served for ten years as senior brand manager and business consultant at the Topps Company, Inc. in New York City, where he oversaw the production of several key brands and was instrumental in signing such stars at Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Dwayne Wade, and Peyton Manning to endorsement deals.
RAICES will cover the fundamentals regarding unaccompanied immigrant children and the agencies involved from apprehension to resolution of their immigration court case. Additionally, the session will inform and provide updates on immigration law relief sought for unaccompanied immigration children and victims of crimes in the United States.
(2) Hon. Craig Estlinbaum –“Plea Bargains After Padilla”
Judge Craig Estlinbaum serves as judge of the 130th Judicial District Court of Texas in Matagorda County and is an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Prior to taking this office in January, 2001, he practiced civil trial and appellate law in Houston and Bay City. Judge Estlinbaum has been an adjunct professor of law since 2004. He has presented at education seminars before the Matagorda Bar Association, the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, and Texas Center for the Judiciary on a variety of legal topics. Judge Estlinbaum's writings have been published in South Texas Law Review and St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice and Ethics. Judge Estlinbaum is a graduate of Texas A&M University and received his J. D. with honors from South Texas College of Law.
Hon. Craig Estlinbaum will address the Supreme Court case of Padilla v. Kentucky and plea bargains through the lens of the effective assistance of counsel framework established in Strickland v. Washington. This presentation will seek to establish best practices for judges and defense counsel to follow to provide effective representation to non-citizen defendants and to increase the likelihood that bargained for convictions withstand post-conviction.
(3) Joseph DeMott –“Basics of Immigration Law—Lessons Learned From 38 Years in the Trenches”
Joe obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and his law degree from the University of Nebraska. He was licensed to practice law on January 5, 1976, and was certified as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in December 1981. Joe is the founding partner of the law firm De Mott, McChesney, Curtright and Armendariz, LLP. Over his career Joe has helped many thousands of immigrants with all aspects of Immigration Law including deportation hearings, employment and family based immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas, citizenship, asylum, labor certifications, bonds, paroles, removal of conditions, etc., etc.
Joe is licensed in Texas State Court and in Federal Court. Joe is a Member of The American Immigration Lawyers Association and is frequently asked to speak at their national convention and at their nationally broadcast teleconferences and internet seminars. Joe is a charter member of the State Bar of Texas Immigration and Nationality Law Section and served as the section’s first Vice President for Family Based Immigration Law. Joe is fluent in Spanish and also speaks some Italian, French, and German. He does many of the law firm’s client consultations and draws on his years of experience to find a winning strategy for clients.
Joe DeMott will present on understanding who can file a relative petition, provide an overview of government forms (i.e. I-130), the role of the Parent as Petitioner, rights of the Lawful Permanent Resident parent, visa availability to immediate relatives, deciding on the best jurisdiction to fix faulty paperwork, and traps on the client intake process.
(4) Angelica Jimenez & Laura Figueroa –“The Slow Yet Long Anticipated Death of DOMA”
Angelica I. Jimenez earned her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. After building her career in the banking industry, Ms. Jimenez returned to school and earned her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in May 2010 and was admitted to the Texas bar in that same year. She is a Managing Member and co-founder of Figueroa & Jimenez, PLLC in San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Jimenez’ areas of practice include all areas of family law and immigration law litigation. Her family law cases cover a range of issues that require appearing before Judicial District Judges regarding issues of divorce, child custody, child support, enforcement and modification of custody and/or child support, termination and adoption, and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Jimenez’ fluency in Spanish allows her to represent clients in cases of removal before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, and in cases of employment based immigration, investor visas, family based immigration, naturalization, non-immigrant visa and deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Laura Cristina Figueroa is co- founder of Figueroa & Jimenez, PLLC, a law firm whose principal practice is in the area of immigration and family law. Ms. Figueroa graduated magna cum laude with tier two honors from the Honors College at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2003 with a B.A. in Psychology. She began law school at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and graduated in May 2007. She was admitted into the Texas bar in November of 2007 and has also been admitted in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western District of Texas. After beginning her solo practice in Laredo, Texas, Ms. Figueroa moved to San Antonio, Texas where she eventually began her solo practice and then her current partnership with Ms. Angelica I. Jimenez.
Ms. Figueroa’s principal focus has always been on immigration law where she has extensive experience in multiple areas of the law including family based immigration, employment based immigration, citizenship and naturalization and various specialized visa classifications. However, Ms. Figueroa’s main area is in removal proceedings and representation before the Executive Office of Immigration Review and its immigration courts.
Angelica Jimenez and Laura Figueroa will present on DOMA’s effect on immigration. They will provide an analysis of the impact of the Supreme Court Of the United States’ rulings in US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry as it struck down §3 of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) but allowed §2 of DOMA to stand. The interaction between the federal definition of marriage and the state’s definition of marriage and the impact on areas of federal law that include but are not limited to immigration law. They will detail a brief history of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). Specifically, §3 defines marriage for federal purposes and §2 describes the powers reserved to the states regarding what each state will recognize as a marriage. They will also address the potential unforeseen impact on immigration law due to the unconstitutionality of §3 of DOMA including unaddressed concerns due to the inevitable friction between the federal expansion of the definition of marriage and each state’s definition of marriage.
(5) Adriana Pinon –“Practicing Law in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’: The Suspension of the Bill of Rights at America’s Borders”
Adriana Piñon joined the ACLU of Texas in 2012 as a senior staff attorney where she focuses her work on a variety of constitutional issues. Prior to working at the ACLU of Texas, Adriana was a staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she litigated cases concerning violations of equal protection, the fourth amendment, free speech, due process, and other constitutional matters. Her cases included a class action challenging false arrests and excessive use of force by police in New York City public middle and high schools and a challenge to an anti-solicitation ordinance aimed at driving day laborers off the town sidewalks.
Adriana has also assisted the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica, with cases regarding political participation, disappearances, and freedom of expression, as well as the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City with its human rights litigation. In addition, she worked on institutional reform issues with the Centro por Estudios Legales y Sociales in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while studying abroad at the Universidad de Buenos Aires during law school. Adriana graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1998 with an A.B. in history and science, and received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 2007 with special recognition for her work in international law.
Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are protected against arbitrary stops and searches. The border, however, has always been an exception. This presentation will cover the Fourth Amendment protections that apply to individuals at the border, at federal immigration checkpoints and in other areas where Border Patrol conducts roving patrols.
(6) Hon. Anibal Martinez & Hon. Craig Harlow –Federal Judicial Panel about Judicial Preferences "Viewing the Front Line from the Bench: What Judges Want Lawyers & Advocates to Know."
Hon. Anibal Martinez and Hon. Craig Harlow will both speak on a judicial panel entitled, "Viewing the Front Line from the Bench: What Judges Want Lawyers & Advocates to Know." The purpose of the panel is to provide judges with the opportunity to discuss common ethical issues that arise in immigration court, courtroom decorum (standards of civility-how lawyers treat each other) and dealing with a Pro Se adversary. The focus will be on best practices and ethics in the courtroom.
(7) Jodi Goodwin –“Vacating In Absentia Orders via Motions to Reopen”
Jodi Goodwin practices immigration law exclusively and has for the past 17 years. She is the founding member of her law office and worked with the U.S. Department of Justice as an attorney for the Immigration Court prior to going into private practice. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for immigration law and Texas Super lawyers as one of the top 5% in immigration law. Ms. Goodwin has the highest "AV" rating in the Martindale-Hubbel legal directory and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. In 2007 Ms. Goodwin was honored with the Arthur C. Helton Award for Advancement of Human Rights by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
With a commitment to quality, honest and compassionate representation of her clients, Ms. Goodwin focuses her practice in all areas and aspects of immigration with a particular emphasis in complex litigation and waivers. She has several published decisions from both the Federal Courts of Appeals and the Board of Immigration Appeals. In addition to practicing law, Ms. Goodwin shares a deep-rooted belief in volunteerism. She is involved in several organizations designed to teach and train young lawyers and frequently teaches throughout the United States. Ms. Goodwin also holds several positions with the American Immigration Lawyers Association including Past Chair of the Texas Chapter of AILA, national and local liaison committees with Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Apart from her professional volunteerism, Ms. Goodwin also devotes much of her time to the Girl Scouts of America serving as a Troop Leader. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and St. Mary's University. Ms. Goodwin is fluent in Spanish.
Jodi Goodwin will present on meeting the notice and timing requirements of filing motions to reopen. She will go over the meaning of “exceptional circumstances” and ways to prove the elements necessary to show just cause. Ms. Goodwin will provide practitioner pointers on evidence to include in affidavits and dealing with prior affirmative applications for relief.
(8) Roberto & Claudia Balli –“Sentencing Advocacy for Immigrants in Federal Court”
Roberto Balli earned is his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. He is a Criminal Defense Lawyer who has been practicing in the Texas border town of Laredo since 1996. He started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the border counties of Webb and Zapata where he tried many cases and served as the First Assistant District Attorney. Roberto Balli is now a criminal defense lawyer with a practice of State and Federal courts. Roberto Balli is licensed in the border U.S. District Courts in the Southern and Western Districts of Texas. Roberto Balli is also licensed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has been very active recently.
Mr. Balli is regularly invited to present at CLE lectures on various criminal law topics at events sponsored by the Laredo-Webb County Bar Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. Balli is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is an Associate Board Member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. Balli has vast legal and personal experience with immigrants. He is actually from a family of immigrants. He was also born, raised, and lived most of his life on the Texas-Mexico Border. Because Mr. Balli practices criminal law in the Federal Courts along the border, he is familiar with the issues facing immigrants during Federal Sentencing.
Claudia Valdez Balli, graduating Cum Laude, earned her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in May 2013. Licensed to practice in Texas in 2013, she practices Criminal Defense and Family Law in Laredo, Texas. Ms. Balli is also licensed in the Southern District of Texas. During her law school years, she served as Symposium Editor for Volume 15 of The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice; Claudia V. Balli served as Teaching Assistant and Student Attorney at St. Mary’s Center for Legal and Social Justice and as an Academic Scholar for St. Mary’s Office of Academic & Student Affairs; Ms. Balli was inducted to the Phi Delta Phi Honorary Law Fraternity and the Harlan Society; and she was a recipient of the St. Mary’s Presidential Award. Claudia V. and Roberto Balli work together in Laredo, Texas in their firm, Balli Law Office.
Roberto and Claudia Balli will present on the following: Immigrants in the United States, whether undocumented or not, may be faced with criminal charges and thus facing the Federal system in the United States. Litigation skills are vital, but so is getting to know the immigrant client: his or her story, any prior criminal history, any prior deportations, and etcetera. It is essential that attorneys representing the immigrant be familiar with the immigration laws and how the possible conviction will affect the person in terms of his or her immigration status. Further, it is imperative that the attorney be well-versed in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentencing factors listed in the U.S. Code, and some special issues that are likely to arise when representing an immigrant client, such as language and cultural barriers. All of these elements play an important role and will impact the immigrant client at sentencing.
(9) Anne Olrich –“From Consultation to Contract” (45 minutes)
Anne Ohlrich has over 15 years of experience in immigration law, both as a Consular Officer and Visa Chief for the U.S. Department of State and in private practice. Ms. Ohlrich served in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Washington D.C. and Mexico. Her experience and training encompassed immigration law; human trafficking; counter-narcotics and law enforcement affairs; national security issues; information systems security and the myriad of duties as necessary to fulfill the mission objectives. Ms. Ohlrich last served as the Deputy Chief of the Non-Immigrant Visa Section of the U.S. Consulate in Cd. Juarez, Mexico.
Ms. Ohlrich has been a professor at St. Mary’s University since August 2005, teaching in the Graduate Dept. of International Relations as well as the Undergraduate IR Dept. and the School of Law. During her tenure she created the student group the Organization for Conflict Diplomacy, founded and directed the Institute for Diplomacy and Strategic Initiatives, and created the Security and Intelligence Program. Anne has developed and taught courses in Diplomacy, The Global War on Terror, Human Trafficking, the Globalization of Crime and Transnational Criminal Organizations, and was commended for her work in September 2011 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Centers for Academic Excellence.
During this time Anne also worked in private practice and doing pro-bono immigration work. In January 2013 Anne founded and directed the Immigration Section of the Davis law firm and has presented on panels for the Department of Homeland Security; the President’s Peace Commission at St. Mary’s University and conferences with the University of Texas Pan-American, and has appeared as a source for international law and security on Texas Public Radio and Texas Week with Rick Casey. Anne speaks Spanish & Portuguese and has a working knowledge of French and German.
Anne Olrich will present on the process of consultation to contract with clients. She will discuss tricks and tips for initial consultations with prospective clients, and provides an in-depth “how to” on turning initial consultations into representation agreements. She will also discuss what language should be used and not included. This presentation will cover the following: The Consultation: In person or over the phone?; Gathering Facts: The Well-Constructed Questionnaire; Explaining the Law to Non-Lawyers and Setting Expectations; Drafting the Representation Agreement. Each item will explain professional responsibility and ethics triggers that come into play.
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The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice
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