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"Real ID, Criminal Issues And Hot Topics In Removal"

Speakers: R. Blake Chisam, Robert Frank, Jon Eric Garde, Karl Krooth, Lory Rosenberg, Jill Sheldon and Stacy Tolchin

Seminar Outline Speaker bios REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips by R. Blake Chisam, Robert Frank, Karl Krooth, Lory Rosenberg, Jill Sheldon and Stacy Tolchin, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on Jul 28: Federal Court Litigation and the Effects of the REAL ID Act

The REAL ID Act of 2005 fundamentally changed the rules for litigating immigration-related cases before the federal courts. To help you prepare to plan for, file, brief, and argue immigration matters before the federal courts, this session will explore the following relating to the REAL ID Act's new provisions:

  • Changes in Getting Judicial Review of Immigration Decisions
  • Practice Tips for Those Unfamiliar with Circuit Court Review
  • Role of the Circuit Courts
  • When and How to Challenge Venue Changes
  • Staying in District Court (If You Need To)
  • Is Habeas Corpus Review Really Gone?
  • When You Can Still Start in District Court
  • Locating Jurisdiction and Arguing Its Presence Well
  • Setting Cases Before the BIA and Immigration Courts Up for Review
  • Issues Outside the Removal Context
  • Bars on Judicial Review of Discretionary Decisions
  • Is Mandamus Still Viable?

SECOND Phone Session on Aug 18: Hot Topics in Removal Cases: Effects of the REAL ID Act and More

The REAL ID Act makes winning asylum and other forms of relief harder than ever. It also expands the grounds of removal based on terrorism grounds. But the news isn't all bad. This session will look at developments in removal cases, emphasizing the effects of the REAL ID Act's provisions. We will address the following issues:

  • Increased exposure to removal on terrorism grounds
  • Expanded definition of "terrorist organization"
  • Good news: New waiver for certain terrorist organizations and individuals who've endorsed, represented, or supported a terrorist organization
  • A more particular burden of proof
  • The need to corroborate facts and statements
  • Statutory standards for evaluating credibility
  • Tips and strategies for preparing asylum cases and other applications for relief
  • Tips for avoiding adverse credibility findings
  • When and how to corroborate facts and statements of clients and witnesses
  • What to do when you can't get corroborating evidence
  • Sowing seeds in the record for review on appeal
  • Effect of judicial review changes on removal defense
  • Dealing with the expanded limits on review of discretionary decisions and actions
  • Good news: Removal of annual limit on asylee adjustments and coercive population control asylum and refugee grants

THIRD Phone Session on Sep 15: The Effects of Criminal Conduct and Contact with the Criminal Justice System on Immigration Status

What with the REAL ID Act expanding the grounds of removability and weakening the ability to obtain relief, ever more sophisticated and sensitive databases coming on line, and increases in fraud detection and prevention fees, we can expect that the need to understand the effects of contact with the criminal justice system, as well as the means by which we can try to mitigate the effects of those contacts, will only grow. This session will address the implications of criminal conduct on immigration status. It will focus on the following:

  • The definition of the term "conviction" under the immigration laws
  • Avoiding convictions
  • Structuring plea agreements
  • Consulting with criminal attorneys
  • What to do when a conviction is unavoidable
  • Detention issues
  • Understanding criminal databases
  • Will the REAL ID Act's driver license provisions increase the number of "criminal aliens" placed in removal proceedings
  • Addressing criminal issues in USCIS petitions and applications
  • Handling inspections at ports of entry
  • Finding relief from the consequences of criminal conduct
  • Jurisdictional obstacles to challenging removal orders based on criminal convictions or conduct
  • Post-order issues
Citations for Session 2        Citations for Session 3       


R. Blake Chisam practices exclusively in the area of Immigration and Nationality Law as a partner in the firm of Chisam & Majid. He advises organizations with respect to immigration-related policy, employment, civil rights, and health care law matters, including related white-collar criminal and regulatory compliance issues. Mr. Chisam is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA"), for which he currently serves on its Business Litigation committee, and the American Bar Association ("ABA"). In October 2000, Mr. Chisam and his partner Jasmine A. Majid were, awarded the prestigious Meritorious Public Service Award from the Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, which was presented by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, in recognition of their "tireless and distinguished pro bono efforts on behalf of unrepresented aliens detained by the … Immigration and Naturalization Service." Mr. Chisam has lectured on immigration law to law students at universities across the U.S., and he is a frequent author and lecturer to professional associations, academic symposia and community groups. He is admitted to practice in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and a host of federal courts. He is currently revising the 2005- 2006 Editions of Business Immigration Practice and Immigration Practice.

Robert Frank is past Chair of the New Jersey chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Frank received the prestigious Sam Williamson Mentor Award from AILA at its National Conference in 1999. He has been accorded the Martindale-Hubbell "AV" rating, indicating very high to preeminent legal ability. Mr. Frank is an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Montclair State University and often lectures and writes for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education in the area of immigration law and visas. A member of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network and the Community Health Law Project, Mr. Frank previously chaired the Immigration Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA). He also was Vice Chair of the New Jersey chapter of the Federal Bar Association and Vice Chair of the AILA-INS Vermont Service Center Liaison Committee. He now serves on the AILA-Administrative Appeals Unit Liaison Committee. Mr. Frank is also a member of both the Unlawful Practice of Law and Minorities in the Profession Committees of NJSBA. Mr. Frank, because of his reputation as a highly-respected immigration attorney, is regularly interviewed by the media regarding various aspects of immigration laws and has appeared on ABC and CBS television as well as all of the major Spanish language stations. A former Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Frank is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Rutgers University School of Law. He is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.

Jon Eric Garde was admitted to New York State Bar in 1992 and to Nevada State Bar in 1996; graduated with a B.A. in Politics & Community Studies in 1983 from the University of California in Sta. Cruz and J.D. in 1992 from the State University of New York in Buffalo. Mr. Garde had worked with Central American refugees in various capacities throughout the 1980s before visiting El Salvador in 1988, wherin he applied to attend law school immediately afterwards. After being admitted to the New York State Bar, he decided to practice immigration law and accepted the position of Immigration Program Director for the Lutheran Social Ministry in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ministry provided pro-bono immigration services to indigent families but when funding for the program ceased, his commitment to his clients' pending cases forced him to go into private practice. Mr. Garde law firm has been open since 1995 and has developed into a generalized immigration practice with a large component addressing affirmative applications for asylum and various waivers, representation within removal proceedings and federal litigation. Mr. Garde was born in Flushing, New York in 1958 and speaks Spanish.

Karl Krooth is Criminal Defense Liaison for the Northern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and chair of the Immigration Committee for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. His practical experience in criminal prosecution and defense is the foundation on which he built his practice of post-conviction relief before California Superior Courts. He has developed his practice to include representation of foreign nationals before US CIS, CBP, and the immigration courts. He received his juris doctorate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College and his bachelor of arts from the University of California at Berkeley."

Lory Diana Rosenberg is the founder and director of IDEA~ Immigration Defense and Expert Assistance (c) and a featured columnist for Bender's Immigration Bulletin (Matthew Bender Co., Lexis-Nexis). Ms. Rosenberg served as an appellate immigration judge on the United States Board of Immigration Appeals for seven years (1995-2002). She initiated and directed the Defending Immigrants Partnership at the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (2002-2004), and teaches as an adjunct professor at American University, Washington College of Law between 1997 and 2004. She is the co-author of the leading treatise, Immigration Law and Crimes (West) and the author of the forthcoming Immigration Consequences of Convictions: An Essential Resource and Training Manual, as well as the Fair Hearings Pleadings Manual (1992) and various journal articles, advisories, papers, and training guides. Ms. Rosenberg speaks, trains and consults on the immigration consequences of crime, right to effective counsel, due process and fair immigration hearings, removal defense and waivers, credibility and asylum law, and appellate litigation. She has represented individual clients before the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Justice, and the federal courts, and was the first director of the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) Legal Action Center in Washington D.C. and a co-founder of the asylum and pro bono programs at Centro Presente, a Central American community center in Massachusetts. She is an elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors, and member of the board of the World Organization for Human Rights USA, and the national legal advisory committee of the Northwest Workers' Justice Project; and served as rapporteur on Social Group Membership for the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, judicial trainer with the National Association of Women Judges Immigration Education Project, board member of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Inc., and Chair of AILA's Amicus and Central Liaison Committees. Ms. Rosenberg has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in television and film production from New York University, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Her work is guided by a strong belief in due process and the rule of law.

Jill Sheldon is the Southeast Field Office Attorney for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) in Miami. A 1999 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Ms. Sheldon also previously worked for three years as a CLINIC detention attorney in both Pennsylvania and Florida, representing detained immigrants before DHS, EOIR and the BIA. As CLINIC's Southeast Field Office Attorney, Ms. Sheldon is responsible for conducting trainings in immigration law throughout the Sourtheast region.

Stacy Tolchin joined Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, in September of 2001. Before joining Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale Ms. Tolchin worked for the International Institute of San Francisco as the Citizenship Project Coordinator, clerked for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and led immigration clinics at several non-profit organizations. Ms. Tolchin primarily researches and writes briefs before the Executive Office of Immigration Review and the 9th Circuit, and is involved in monitoring legislation and agency action generated in response to the September 11th tragedy. Ms. Tolchin is currently a member of the board of the International Institute of San Francisco. Ms. Tolchin received her juris doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles and received her Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in 1996.

Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package
Audio tape of Jul 28 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Aug 18 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Sep 15 seminar (90 minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers