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Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation


  • $200.00  -  Legal Worker/Nonprofit/Student
  • $275.00  -  Current members of NIPNLG, NLG, or Minority Bar Associations After April 15
  • $325.00  -  Private Attorney After April 15


Continuing Legal Education
April 29, 2016
University of Miami
Donna E. Shalala Student Center
Coral Gables, FL


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The Immigration Clinic and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild present "Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation," a one-day skills seminar. Please join us and learn from national experts at this day-long seminar.



The seminar will focus on strategies critical to vigorous removal defense for clients in removal proceedings, including asylum claims based on domestic violence/gender/gang-related, framing equitable tolling arguments in motions and other contexts, overcoming criminal bars to cancellation eligibility (Matter of Almanza-Arenas), bond and detention issues, and improving oral advocacy and brief writing skills.

Please Note: We are limited to a total of 75 people for this CLE due to space constraints. Please keep that in mind and register as soon as possible. We may not be able to accommodate onsite registration.



Date: Friday, April 29, 2016

Location: University of Miami School of Law

Donna E. Shalala Student Center, Activities Room North & South

1330 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146



8:30am – 9:00 am:     Registration (coffee/tea)                                    

9:00am – 10:15am:    Detention and Bond Issues

  • What statute governs detention? INA 235, 236(a) or (c), or 241
  • Detention arguments before the IJ & BIA
  • Challenging custody decisions via habeas
  • Administrative and legal challenges to the conditions of custody

Faculty: Michael Tan, ACLU Immigrant Rights Project, Jessica Zagier Wallace, SPLC Mass Incarceration Unit


10:15am – 11:30am:     Select Asylum Claims: Governing Law and Suggested Strategies

  • Gang related, domestic violence, and gender identity asylum claims

Faculty: Nancy Kelly, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic

Ashley Huebner, National Immigrant Justice Center


11:30-11:35:     Break


11:35am – 12:20pm:     Making Equitable Tolling Arguments

  • Supreme Court and circuit equitable tolling standards
  • Fashioning tolling claims in motions and administrative appeals
  • IAC as a basis for an equitable tolling claim

Faculty:  Kristin Macleod-Ball, American Immigration Council     


12:20pm – 1:20pm:       Lunch – Participants  may leave the seminar to have lunch on their own.


1:20pm - 1:50pm:     Understanding, Using, and/or Avoiding Brand X

  • Identifying whether a circuit decision is vulnerable to Brand X
  • Arguing for and against application of Brand X in immigration cases

Faculty:  Matt Adams, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project       


1:50pm – 2:35pm:    Overcoming Criminal Bars to Cancellation Eligibility: Matter of Almanza-Arenas

  • The state of law
  • When burdens of proof apply
  • Challenges and practical implications

Faculty: Jayashri Srikantiah, Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic


2:35pm – 2:40pm:   Break


2:40pm – 3:30pm:    Advocating for Clients in Writing

  • Good brief writing can win cases, bad brief writing can lose them
  • Citations, signal words, using the active voice, and reply briefs
  • Theory of the case

Faculty:  Nadine Wettstein, Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Michael Wishnie, Yale Law School


3:30pm – 4:20pm:     Advocating for Clients Orally

  • Making or preserving the record in harsh jurisdictions
  • Preparing clients to testify in immigration court
  • Communicating with the court and government counsel

Faculty: Javier Maldonado, Law Office of Javier Maldonado

Rebecca Sharpless, University of Miami School of Law Immigration Clinic


4:20pm - 4:25pm:  Break

4:25pm – 4:55pm: Questions Answered

  • Ask any questions related to any removal defense and litigation topic

Faculty: All seminar faculty & NIPNLG staff & board members



  • Legal Worker/ Nonprofit/ Student: $200 before April 15, $200 after April 15. 2016
  • Current members of NIPNLG, NLG, or minority bar associations: $250 before April 15, $275 after April 15, 2016
  • Private Attorney: $300 before April 15, $325 after April 15, 2016



6.5 CLE credits (Florida).  Attorneys may seek CLE credit for states other than Florida independently, by applying to their state bar authorities. More information about how to contact state bar MCLE authorities is available at



Holiday Inn Coral Gables
1350 South Dixie Highway (US1) Coral Gables, FL 33146
Reservations via Phone: (305) 667-5611 or (800) 465-4329
Reservations via Internet:  HERE

Enter the corporate code: 000509345

The Holiday Inn Coral Gables is located just across the street from University of Miami.


The Gables Inn

730 South Dixie Highway (US1) Coral Gables, FL 33146

Reservations via Phone: (305) 661-7999, (305) 668-4467
Reservations via Internet:

The Gables Inn is located on US 1 just 15 minutes from University of Miami

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