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Family Ties And Immigration

Speakers: Robert Frank, Scott Bratton, Diane R. Chappell-Daly, Jeri Ann H. Flynn, Jon Eric Garde, Thomas M. Griffin and Alexander G. Rojas

Available on CD

Seminar Outline Speaker bios REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants. MCLE Credits for CA, FL & TX applied for .


FIRST Phone Session on June 28: Is Marriage the solution to your client's immigration problem?

  • Prior marriages and prior applications
  • Issues if there is prior removal/deportation proceedings
  • What was basis of divorce
  • Should they get married or come as a fiancé
  • Pitfalls what to watch out for
  • What if they are not living together?
  • I-864, Who can be a sponsor or co-sponsor
  • What about the I-751, getting the denial reviewed,filing a second I-751
  • Ethical problems representing husband and wife

SECOND Phone Session on July 19: Applying for relatives other than the spouse

  • Children and stepchildren
  • Marriage of the unmarried child
  • How does CSPA help
  • Illegitimate children proving the relationship
  • Adopted children
  • Bringing the family from abroad initial processing or following to join
  • What happens if the petitioner dies
  • Avoiding non-criminal grounds of inadmissibility
  • How to waive grounds of inadmissibility

THIRD Phone Session on August 9: Obtaining permanent residence in spite of a conviction

  • Effect of aggravated felony conviction
  • What is a crime involving moral turpitude
  • Disclosure of conviction, effect of expungement
  • What is the petty offence exception
  • What about drug convictions, Where do you live
  • Obtaining a 212(h) waiver

Citations for Session 1        Citations for Session 2       


Robert Frank (Discussion Leader) is past Chair of the New Jersey chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a professional organization that has more than 8000 immigration attorney members. 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 is Chair of the AILA National Consumer Protection Committee and serves on the AILA EOIR National Liason Committee. Mr. Frank is also a member of both the Unlawful Practice of Law and Minorities in the Profession Committees of NJSBA. With thirty years' experience in immigration law, Mr. Frank has a reputation for handling difficult cases in all facets of immigration law. Many of these cases have been published by courts including the Board of Immigration Appeals, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, United States District Court for the State of New Jersey, and the New Jersey State Supreme Court. 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. He also has been quoted in many newspapers, including the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, and Newark Star Ledger. 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.

Scott Bratton is a Partner at Margaret Wong and Associates Co, LPA. His practice includes removal defense, political asylum, federal litigation, consular processing, criminal law, and assistance in business and family based visas. Mr. Bratton received his BA in Business Management from Ohio Northern University in 1993 and his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1997. Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Bratton was a partner in the law firm of Bratton & Ratliff Co., LPA, where he practiced federal and state criminal law. He has been named a Leading Lawyer by Inside Business Magazine and an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star by Cincinnati Magazine, which is an honor reserved for the top 2.5% of young lawyers in Ohio. He has practiced immigration law for almost six years and has been the attorney of record on numerous precedent-setting cases, including Liao v. Rabbett, 398 F.3d 389 (6th Cir. 2005), Singh v. Gonzales, 451 F.3d 400 (6th Cir. 2006), and Iao v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 530 (7th Cir. 2005), which was discussed in a December 2005 article in the New York Times. He has also spoken at numerous immigration conferences and has been quoted in several newspaper articles, including a June 2006 story on immigration court that ran in newspapers across the country. Mr. Bratton is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio and in the following federal courts: District Courts: Northern District of Ohio, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Illinois, and District of Arizona; Appeals Courts: 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 11th Circuit, and DC Circuit.

Diane R. Chappell-Daly has practiced in the area of immigration law since 1994 in Syracuse, NY. Her practice is limited to Immigration and Naturalization Law. She holds a BS degree from Bucknell University (1972), a Masters Degree in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University (1978) and Juris Doctorate (1994) cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. She was admitted to practice in New York (1994) and the Northern District of New York (1999). She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Onondaga County Bar Association and the Central New York Women's Bar Association (Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, 1996 - 2006). She received the Hanna S. Cohn Pro Bono Award from the New York State Women's Bar Association in May 2005 for community service and the Michael F. Dillon Law Guardian Award in June 2006 for her representation of refugee children.

Jeri Ann H. Flynn graduated in 1974 from Nichols State University in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, with a B.A. degree in History, in 1977 from the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a J.D. degree, and in 1994 with a M.A.H. degree in Humanities from Louisiana State University. After graduating from law school, Ms. Flynn served one year as Law Clerk for the Hon. Steve A. Alford, then Chief Judge of the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish. Since 1978 she has engaged in the private practice of law in Baton Rouge, and for many years she has limited her practice to immigration and nationality law. She is admitted to practice before all Louisiana State Courts, the Eastern, Middle, and Western Federal District Courts in Louisiana, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Flynn served as Louisiana Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA") for two years from 1986 to 1988, and she served as Chapter Chair for AILA's Mid South Chapter (comprised of five states) for one year from 1996 to 1997. During those years, she served on AILA's Board of Governors. Ms. Flynn has served on numerous AILA committees at the chapter and national levels. In 1987 Ms. Flynn served as Chair for a two day seminar for attorneys practicing in the vicinity of the Oakdale Federal Detention Facility (in rural Southwestern Louisiana) to encourage representation of persons detained there, especially pro bono representation of persons claiming asylum and persons with strong family ties to the United States. Since 1987 Ms. Flynn has lectured at national conferences for immigration lawyers in the areas of family based immigration, employment based immigration, non immigrant visas (of all types), asylum, exclusion, deportation, relief from deportation, employer sanctions, citizenship, naturalization, and the immigration consequences of crimes. She has lectured at many local and state seminars and meetings of non immigration lawyers about basic immigration and nationality law, employer sanctions, and the immigration consequences of crimes. Over the years since 1987 Ms. Flynn has written many articles in many areas of immigration law for national publications directed toward immigration lawyers. From1996 to 2006 she was a contributing author of articles for AILA's annual Visa Processing Guide, a book that informs immigration lawyers about visa processing (both nonimmigrant and immigrant) at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.

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.

Thomas M. Griffin is a founding partner of Morley Surin & Griffin, P.C.. Previously Mr. Griffin was an attorney at the immigration law firm of Bagia & Morley in Philadelphia and at Choate, Hall & Stewart, one of Boston's oldest and most highly regarded law firms. At Choate, Mr. Griffin practiced white-collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation, developed an expertise in the federal sentencing guidelines, and was also active in immigration law. He coordinated the firm's pro bono political asylum program, serving political refugees from around the globe. Mr. Griffin was named Massachusetts Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for 2001 by the Political Asylum and Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Griffin spent 10 years as a Federal Probation and Parole Officer, working in the federal courts in New York City and Massachusetts. Education: Suffolk University Law School, J.D. (magna cum laude), 1999; John Jay College of Criminal Justice, M.A. (Forensic Psychology), 1989;Georgetown University, B.A., (Sociology/Spanish), 1985. At Suffolk University Law School Mr. Griffin was the Associate Executive Editor of the Suffolk University Law Review, and his article was selected to represent the school in the national Scribes competition. In 1989, Mr. Griffin received a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Mr. Griffin was also awarded the Robert Morrow Prize as Outstanding Student in the Masters Program. In 1985, Mr. Griffin received his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University, majoring in Sociology. Mr. Griffin spent 10 years (1989-1999) as a Federal Probation & Parole Officer, working in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) and in Boston for the District of Massachusetts. In 1992, he was awarded the Attorney General's Public Service Award in New York, and in 1996 received the District of Massachusetts Service Award. Prior to his government service, Mr. Griffin was a teacher on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Mr. Griffin is conversant in Spanish and Haitian Creole. With a special interest in human rights, he recently was part of a delegation to Mexico, which spotlighted the unsolved October 2001 murder of human rights attorney Digna Ochoa, and the human rights abuses perpetrated by Mexican soldiers on poor indigenous populations. With a commitment to inform Americans of the desperate poverty in Haiti, Tom leads groups on education and service mission there, and he actively supports human rights and justice work in Haiti. Mr. Griffin is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association.

Alexander G. Rojas was born in Valhalla, New York on August 7, 1959. Admitted to practice: 1989, New York and Connecticut; 1992, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; 1993, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; 2003, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; 2007, U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York. Mr. Rojas recieved his Education: Tufts University, B.A., 1984 ; Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, J.D., 1988. A member of New York State Bar Association (Past Member, Labor and Employment Section); American Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association (Past Member, Corporate Committee: Past Member, EOIR Liaison Committee; Past Member, District Director Committee; Past Member National Waivers Committee and Past Member National Removal Detention Committee, Co-Chair Pro Bono Committee 2006-2007). Mr. Rojas is a frequent speaker on Immigration and Nationality Law and is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, 1996-2007; Listed in New York Super Lawyers 2006-2007. He is Secretary of the Putnam Hospital Foundation Center and is fluent in Spanish.


50% discount to attorneys working for a non-profit organization
50% discount to any attorney employed by any government agency
50% discount to an attorney that is unemployed

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Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package
Audio CD of Thur, June 28, 2007(90 minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, July 19, 2007 (90 minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, August 9, 2007 (90 minutes)

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