1 AILA GEORGIA-ALABAMA CHAPTER 3rd ANNUAL IMMIGRATION LAW CONFERENCE: A BRAVE NEW WORLD FACING CHALLENGES IN THE NEW IMMIGRATION LANDSCAPE Friday and Saturday, February 20-21, 2015 THE GEORGIAN TERRACE HOTEL 659 Peachtree Street NE ATLANTA GA 30308
2 Friday, February 20, 2015 Day Coordinator: TBD MORNING TRACK: 7:45-5:45 Registration and Exhibits 7:45-8:15 Light Breakfast/Networking Sponsored by The Leavitt Group TRACK ONE: 8:15-9:45 WELCOME/HOT TOPICS RELATED TO EXECUTIVE ACTION Latest developments in the immigration law field including Executive and Congressional Updates Elizabeth Garvish, AILA Georgia-Alabama Chapter Chair, Atlanta, GA, (DL) Jonathan Eoloff, Atlanta, GA Kevin Miner, Atlanta, GA Karen Lucas, Associate Director of Advocacy, AILA National, Washington D.C. 9:45-10:45 UPDATE FROM CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION Latest issues facing all foreign nationals as they seek to enter or re-enter the US General information regarding the new electronic I-94 system Recommendations on getting I-94 cards corrected Global reentry / TSA pre-check / new entry process for US citizens Discussion about the automatic revalidation process for reentry after trips of less than 30 days to Canada and Mexico (not recognized in CBP system, but available internally to CBP/USCIS) What if travel history information is incorrect in system how does this impact foreign national? CBP FOIAs/timelines Who is entitled to counsel before CBP/deferred inspection? Sharon Poorak, Atlanta, GA, (DL) Janora Hawkins, Atlanta, GA Stephen Kremer, CBP Port Director, Atlanta GA 10:45-11:45 BUSINESS LITIGATION UNDER THE APA: WHAT TO DO ABOUT INCONSISTENT DECISIONS, FAILURE TO REVIEW EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD, AND UNWARRANTED DENIALS Which court, if any, has jurisdiction? Can the court review discretionary decisions? Does an appeal have to be filed to the AAO? Can the beneficiary (as opposed to the employer) sue? Who to sue? Robert Pauw, Seattle, WA (DL) Karen Weinstock, Atlanta, GA Danielle Claffey, Atlanta, GA
3 11:45-12:00 Networking Break 12:00-1:00 LUNCH PANEL: ETHICS/PROFESSIONALISM ISSUES WITH CIS AND EOIR Sponsored by CMB Regional Centers Professionalism - compliance with the guidelines of the EOIR Practice Manual; best practices in immigration court. Potential ethical pitfalls in practicing before the IJ. Best Practices before USCIS and in Naturalization and Adjustment interviews Dual Representation Dustin Baxter, Atlanta, GA (DL) Madeleine Garcia, Immigration Judge, Atlanta Immigration Court Joseph Kernan, USCIS Deputy District Director, Atlanta, GA Nicole Iannarone, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, GA 1:00-1:15 Networking Break MORNING TRACK TWO PIEDMONT BALLROOM 7:45 8:15 AILA LINK TRAINING 9:45-10:45 REPRESENTING IMMIGRANT CHILDREN What can you do with DACA? o Advanced Parole to AOS o So you want to go to college: resources/options for DACA holders SIJS Overview Adoption under the Hague Convention Common Pitfalls Rebeca Salmon Atlanta, GA (DL) Jessica Daman, Atlanta, GA Irene Steffas, Marietta, GA 10:45-11:45 HANDLING FALSE CLAIMS TO CITIZENSHIP What s the deal with I-9s Anyway? DDS Shenanigans o Part 1: Motor Voter o Part 2/This time it s your fault: Facial Recognition Software Explaining Voter Registration to new Citizens Bruce Buchanan, Nashville, TN (DL) Laura Toro, Atlanta, GA Kerry McGrath, Atlanta, GA
4 AFTERNOON TRACK ONE: Business Immigration GRAND BALLROOM Day Coordinator: TBD 1:15-2:15 EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY Extraordinary Ability Different perspectives based on the type of Beneficiary regarding: Case evaluation prior to acceptance of case; Gathering evidence; Preparation of the petition (withholding initial evidence in anticipation of RFE versus filing all evidence initially); and Responding to the inevitable RFE Marshall Cohen, AILA Georgia- Alabama First Vice Chair, Atlanta, GA (DL) David Ware, Metairie, LA Courtney Noce, Atlanta, GA 2:15-3:15 IT S NOT EASY BEING SMALL ISSUES FACING SMALL COMPANIES AND STARTUPS Aimee Clark Todd, Atlanta, GA, (DL) Caroline Taylor, Atlanta, GA Romy Kapoor, Atlanta, GA Government agency bias against small companies, USCIS CBP DOS Ways to prove viability in nonimmigrant cases and financial ability to pay in immigrant cases Issues related to ownership interests Special considerations L-1 new office, I-140 waiting period Trends in RFEs and NOIDs specialty occupation, managerial role Tips for presentation of evidence and completion of petition forms 3:15-3:30 Networking Break 3:30-4:30 YOU MISSED THE H-1B CAP, NOW WHAT? Strategic planning for future qualification H-1B or otherwise Alternate categories work authorized, student and trainee Visitor status options and limitations Don t forget the obvious cap exemptions Pursuing permanent residence Myron Kramer, Decatur, GA (DL) Anna Scully, Mobile, AL Deborah Marlowe, Atlanta, GA
5 4:30-5:30 BUSINESS IMMIGRATION CONSULAR ISSUES Consular re-adjudication and problematic posts Third-country national processing Getting a B-1 approved Anticipating a TAL issue H-1B1, E-3 and E visa trends Stuck cases how to get them moving Teri Simmons, Atlanta, GA (DL) Anton Mertens, Atlanta, GA Robert Banta, Atlanta, GA AFTERNOON TRACK TWO: Family and Removal Immigration PIEDMONT BALLROOM Day Coordinator: TBD 1:15-2:15 STATESIDE WAIVERS Trends in Approvals and Denials of Stateside Waivers How to Combat a Reason to Believe Determination Waiting here = Not so urgent: how to keep your client on track Sarah Owings, Atlanta, GA (DL) Olsi Vrapi, Albuquerque, NM Zainab Alwan, Duluth, GA 2:15-3:15 WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR U VISA CERTIFICATIONS Who will approve what? Negotiating with the DA s Office Negotiating with the Police Best Practices for Submitting the Request How to approach law enforcement and who to ask What law enforcement agencies need from us What if they say no? Monica Khant, Atlanta, GA (DL) Kimberly B. McCoy, Director, Victim Witness Unit, Office of the District Attorney Cobb Judicial Circuit Sgt. Karla Baldini, Atlanta Police Department 3:15-3:30 Networking Break
6 3:30-4:30 CRIMMIGRATION Crash-course in what qualifies as a felony under Georgia and Alabama law Orientation to Georgia and Alabama criminal codes, structures of criminal courts Local alternatives to conviction for immigration purposes Dustin Baxter, Atlanta, GA (DL) Carolina Antonini, Atlanta, GA Jean Sperling, Atlanta, GA 4:30-5:30 11 TH CIRCUIT UPDATE AND STRATEGY SESSION Coming together as Chapters within the Eleventh Circuit to coordinate identification of important cases at the BIA and 11th Circuit so that we can lend support in research, brief writing, and amicus support. Reaching out to all AILA members within our circuit to let them know support is available, and also for the Litigation Committees to identify important pending cases. Update on Matter of L-G-H Update on Matter of Rivas Discussion of other pending cases to watch Brainstorming of important issues / problematic issues ripe for litigation Michael Vastine, Miami, FL (DL) Sui Chung, Miami, FL Leslie Diaz, Atlanta, GA Welcome Reception hosted by the New Members Division and Sponsored by Morningside Evaluations and Visa Business Plans 5:45-8:00 pm Location: Siva s ~ 794 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA ~ Tel: Free for All Conference Registrants Saturday, February 21, 2015 GRAND BALLROOM Day Coordinator: TBD 6:00 7:00 5K/10K FUN RUN Meet in the Georgian Terrace Hotel Lobby 7:45-8:15 Light Breakfast/Networking/Exhibits 8:15-9:15 GOING SOLO WHAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN Ethics considerations (taking former clients, telling current clients) Financial considerations Finding the clients you want Must have resources Tracie Klinke, Marietta, GA (DL) Lino Rodriguez, Suwanee, GA Reid Trautz, Director, Practice & Professionalism Center, AILA National, Washington D.C.
7 9:15-10:15 TAXIGRATION Situations in which foreign nationals (particularly those without lawful permanent residence) should file US Federal income taxes (time spent in the US, status in the US, amount of income earned, locations in which income that qualifies for IRS purposes is earned, etc.) How to ID clients oversees who may have a US Federal tax burden and how to find competent help for them stateside Typical mistakes in personal filings, including appropriate use of "Head of Household" status and appropriate claim of dependents Fixing prior "typical" mistakes in personal filings - are there statutes of limitations that apply? The paperwork that should be included for an appropriate small business owner filing Tax issues pertinent to business immigration practitioners Sam Rock, Lexington, KY (DL) Eli Echols, Duluth, GA Clayton Cartwright, Columbus, GA 10:15-10:30 Networking Break 10:30-12:00 PERM BOOTCAMP Drafting the Job description and Minimum Prerequisites Prevailing wage issues Proving Ability to Pay Recruitment what needs to be in the ads We have candidates! Now what? Avoiding Audits and Handling them when they happen Current Audit Trends Supervised Recruitment Sarah Hawk, Atlanta, GA (DL) Lea Alfano, Atlanta, GA Nisha Karnani, Atlanta, GA Jay Solomon, Atlanta, GA 12:00-1:00 LUNCH PANEL: ETHICS/PROFESSIONALISM RELATED TO OBAMA S EXECUTIVE ACTION Dual representation (employer/client versus foreign national) Advising a client of options versus recommending unlawful action Advising clients of mistakes avoiding a malpractice claim Limits of representation knowing when to ask for help or refer client to a specialized attorney Kim Thompson, Atlanta, GA (DL) Greg Siskind, Nashville, TN Rebecca A. Hall, Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia
8 1:00-2:30 LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER OR WILL IT? - SPECIAL ISSUES IN MARRIAGE GREEN CARD CASES Laine Posel, Atlanta, GA (DL) Joseph Rosen, Roswell, GA Layli Eskandari Deal, Atlanta, GA Whitney Mauk, Family Law Attorney, Atlanta, GA How to advise clients coming to you before they marry K-1, K-3, AOS, Consular processing Preconceived intent How to prove the marriage is bona fide before the USCIS and DOS I-751 issues 2:30 Conference Concludes Additional Features: AILA National will be conducting an AILALINK training on Friday morning at 7:45 8:15 am in the Piedmont Ballroom Reid Trautz, AILA s Director, Practice & Professionalism Center will be scheduling individual consultations with conference attendees Taste of Atlanta Dinners with the Experts o Thursday, February 19 at 7:30 pm Location: Lure Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta, GA Expert: Robert Pauw Sponsor: Visa Business Plans o Friday, February 20 at 8:00 pm Location: 4th & Swift, 621 North Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA Expert: Reid Trautz, Director of AILA's Practice and Professionalism Center (see bio below) Sponsor: Morningside Evaluations
13 Panelist Biographies (In Alphabetical Order) Lea Alfano received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 and has been practicing immigration law exclusively since She has been recognized by Chambers & Partners, Who s Who Legal, The Best Lawyers in America, and Georgia Super Lawyers/Rising Stars. Lea is the former Chair of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has also served as the Chair of the AILA Georgia-Alabama Liaison Committee with the Atlanta USCIS Field Office and as a member of the AILA National Liaison Committee with the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. She is admitted to the State Bars of Georgia and Florida and is frequently invited to speak at Continuing Legal Education conferences and seminars regarding business and family immigration matters. Lea is a graduate of the University of Florida. Zainab Alwan is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Socheat Chea, P.C. She handles cases in all areas of immigration law including family based petitions, waivers, filings of T, U, and VAWA petitions, and removal/deportation defense. Zainab is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Georgia and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Carolina Antonini is a native of Venezuela. She received her law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law, where she is currently an adjunct professor and teaches immigration law. She is a co-founding member of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association and currently serves on the Board of Georgia Law Related Education, State Bar of Georgia. She has also served on the board of AILA s Atlanta Chapter. Ms. Antonini has appeared in a variety of media programs such as CNN s Robin and Friends and From the Top, NPR s Latin Beat, The Layman s Lawyer, and Leyes Cotidianas. She also hosted a weekly live call-in radio. She co-authored a high school textbook, Introduction to Georgia Law, used to teach youth and continuing education adults about the legal system. In 2001, Ms. Antonini was named Judge Pro Hac Vice for the City Court of Atlanta, becoming the first Latina judge to sit on the bench in Georgia s history. Ms. Antonini is a partner in Antonini and Cohen Immigration Law Group and has a successful immigration practice focusing on deportation defense, detention, asylum, family immigration, domestic violence and consular issues. Sergeant Karla Baldini has over 16 years experience in law enforcement. She attended her first police academy while earning her Bachelor Degree at Indiana University. She worked as an officer while attending school. After graduation she joined the Indianapolis Police Department full-time. During her six-year tenure, her experiences included community outreach, patrol, vice, narcotics and undercover assignments. Karla achieved the rank of Sergeant with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) in April of 2012, after seven years of service. For five of those years, she trained recruits at the Atlanta Police Academy. Karla is a certified Senior Instructor with the state of Georgia. She is certified in reality-based training, law enforcement response to active shooters, defensive tactics, and Taser instruction. Karla was instrumental in getting Tasers into the hands of Atlanta Police officers. Since 2009, Karla has trained thousands of police officers in Active Shooter Response. She has designed and coordinated training scenarios for large-scale venues including high schools, Phillips Arena and Lenox Mall. The simulations require orchestration of police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and up to 100 civilian actors. Sgt. Baldini is currently the Director of the Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta Program which is run in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF). She is instrumental in the coordination between the police force and the foundation. She serves on APF s Youth Crime Initiative Operations Sub-Committee as well as the Repeat Offender Commission. Robert Banta is the founder and Managing Partner of Banta Immigration Law. Robert began practicing immigration law soon after beginning his professional career in Atlanta in 1979, For the first 19 years of his career, he practiced in large law firms (initially King & Spalding and subsequently, in the firm now known as Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton, where he was an equity partner for 10 years). Robert joined the ranks of boutique immigration law practitioners in 1998, when he opened the first Atlanta office of Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy. After five years in Fragomen as an equity partner, Robert founded Banta Immigration Law on February 1, Robert is recognized for his expertise in immigration law by a number of publications, including the Best Lawyers in America; International Who s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers; Georgia Super Lawyers; and Atlanta Magazine. Dustin Baxter is a partner with Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, practicing in all areas of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law with a focus on immigration litigation. Mr. Baxter regularly represents clients before the Executive Officer for Immigration Review, including immigration courts nationwide and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Mr. Baxter represents foreign nationals seeking asylum, cancellation of removal, NACARA, TPS, and adjustment of status before Immigration Judges. He also prepares appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and Federal Circuit Courts, and has prepared writs of mandamus to the Federal District Court seeking adjudication of long-pending delayed applications. Mr. Baxter has served on the AILA national Executive Office for Immigration Review Committee for several years and is the past Chair of the Georgia Alabama chapter of AILA. Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the Nashville and Atlanta offices of Siskind Susser, P.C., where he represents employers and individuals in all aspects of immigration law, with a special emphasis on employer immigration compliance. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in He served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since Mr. Buchanan serves on AILA s Verification Liaison Committee and is the Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association s Immigration Law Section. He is admitted to practice in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuit. (He writes a blog on employer immigration compliance for ilw.com, located at and is a guest blogger and contributor on similar issues for LawLogix, located at and HR Professionals Magazine.) Clayton E. Cartwright, Jr., is the founding and managing member of The Cartwright Law Firm, LLC, in Columbus, GA, which specializes in the areas of international taxation and employee benefits. A frequent speaker and author for immigration law seminars and practice guides, he advises businesses, financial institutions, attorneys, accountants, investment advisors, and individuals on matters including expatriate taxation, cross-border employee transfers, withholding and reporting requirements, and permanent establishments. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from The College of William & Mary and his law degree from Georgetown University.
14 Danielle Claffey is an associate attorney at Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Combining experience, expertise and exceptional client service, her law firm strives to provide gold standard immigration services in the United States. Ms. Claffey handles all facets of U.S. immigration and nationality law, including deportation, asylum and cancellation of removal proceedings. She also handles immigration issues for corporations and businesses throughout the country such as employment-based worker visas and permanent residency applications for both professionals and their family members. In 2001, Ms. Claffey earned her B.A. degree from the University of Georgia. In 2006, she graduated with her J.D. from the Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a member of the Georgia State Bar. Sui Chung, Second Vice President and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) South Florida Executive Committee. Sui Chung is an attorney with Immigration Law & Litigation Group, based in Miami, Florida. She specializes in removal defense with a focus on criminal and appellate matters and cases involving immigrant victims of crime. As Chair of AILA South Florida s Pro Bono Project, Ms. Chung led the creation and implementation of the Krome Mental Incompetency Project and Broward Transitional Center Bond Project. In 2012, Ms. Chung was nominated for The Florida Bar President s Pro Bono Service Award and the Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award. In June 2012, the American Immigration Lawyers Association awarded her the Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Service Award. She has worked under a Florida Bar Foundation grant through which she provided training to law enforcement officers and state prosecutors regarding the benefits available to immigrant victims of crime. Ms. Chung was a member of the Florida Bar s Legal Needs of Children Committee from 2008 to 2014, and she currently serves on the Florida Bar s Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee. She is a Member of the AILA National s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Liaison Committee. Ms. Chung was co-counsel in Hernandez v. State, the lead case in the State of Florida addressing an immigrant s right to effective representation of counsel. She also served as lead counsel for Enrique, the world s most well known unaccompanied immigrant minor, from the award-winning novel, Enrique s Journey. Ms. Chung began her career at the Board of Immigration Appeals after she was selected for the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General Honors Program. Ms. Chung received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees from Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Marshall Cohen is one of the founding principals of Antonini & Cohen. Admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1989, he has practiced immigration law exclusively for over 20 years. Mr. Cohen practices all areas of immigration law including family and employment cases, temporary and permanent visas, naturalization, deportation defense, and federal litigation. He has taught immigration law as an adjunct professor at the Georgia State University Law School. In addition, Mr. Cohen has served on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) national liaison committee to the Executive Office for Immigration Review. He has also chaired the Georgia Alabama AILA chapter's liaison committee to the Atlanta immigration court, as well as chaired the chapter's liaison committee to the Atlanta District CIS Office. He has served as the Georgia Alabama AILA Chapter s Secretary, Treasurer, and Second Vice-Chair. He is currently serving as the chapter s First Vice-Chair. Jessica Daman is a Staff Attorney with the Latin American Association, and represents clients in affirmative filings with US Citizenship and Immigration Services and in removal defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Jessie has a specialization in representing unaccompanied minor children, and previously worked with Catholic Charities Atlanta s Immigrant Children s Advocacy Project before joining the LAA. Jessie has appeared in state juvenile proceedings around Georgia, before the Georgia Court of Appeals, and in the Atlanta Immigration Court. She earned her law degree and a Master s of Arts in Latin American Literature from the University of Georgia. Jessie is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the National Association of Counsel of Children, the Georgia Association of Counsel for Children, and the Barton Clinic Advisory Committee at Emory University School of Law. Layli E. Deal s practice concentrates on business immigration, including temporary employment visas and permanent residence for professionals, international transfers, investors, researchers, and nurses. In securing appropriate status for foreign national workers, Layli works with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Labor, and Department of State. Layli also provides assistance with global immigration issues for companies and advises companies on general immigration policies, planning, and I-9 compliance. In addition to business immigration matters, Layli assists in uniting families through the immigration process. She regularly represents individuals who wish to sponsor relatives to immigrate to the United States such as fiancés, spouses, children, parents, and siblings. In addition, Layli regularly assists individuals in citizenship matters. While her practice is focused on business and family immigration matters, Layli has litigated on a variety of immigration matters, both in Immigration Court and in the Federal Courts. Leslie Diaz is an associate attorney in the Atlanta firm Weinstock Immigration Lawyers. She specializes in removal defense and family-based immigration, with an emphasis on federal litigation. A former Staff Attorney with the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Leslie has successfully litigated several Petitions for Review before the federal appellate courts. She regularly appears before federal district courts in mandamus and APA actions. Eli Echols is a partner at Socheat Chea, PC, a Duluth Georgia firm specializing in Immigration Law. Since 2009 Eli's focus has been on removal proceedings and complex immigration law cases. He has spoken at conferences and gatherings around the State addressing not only removal proceedings but also seeking asylum, immigration detention, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Prior to work at Socheat Chea, PC, Eli worked for Glenn Fogle and as a Staff Attorney with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Jonathan Eoloff is the Immigration Services Director at the Latin American Association (LAA) in Atlanta. Since joining the LAA in 2009, Jonathan has more than doubled the staff and vastly expanded immigration legal services to represent low-income families in removal proceedings and in applications for asylum, SIJS, family-based immigration, U visa and VAWA self-petitions. Along with the GA-AL AILA chapter, Jonathan has coordinated DACA drives and the annual naturalization drive at the LAA, as well as DACA clinics with national legal services providers and area law firms. For two years, Jonathan has served on the Chapter s Pro Bono Committee and previously served on the Chapter s Donations Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Latin American Association, Jonathan was a supervising attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, where he represented detained LGBT immigrants in asylum and other protection-based claims. Jonathan is a 2004 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. Elizabeth L.A. Garvish is the Founder and Managing Partner of Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC. She specializes in all areas of employment based and family based immigration matters with a focus on medical immigration matters including all issues facing foreign medical graduates and their employers. Ms. Garvish is also active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) as a speaker and author and is currently Chair of the Georgia-Alabama
15 Chapter. She serves and has served on the AILA National Military Assistance Program Committee, the Fundamentals Conference Committee and the Annual Conference Committee. She also served for many years as the local Coordinator of AILA s national Citizenship Day Naturalization Drive, and was recognized for her development of this program on local level as the recipient of the State Bar of Georgia s H. Sol Clark Pro Bono Award in She earned her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law. She is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, recognized by Georgia Super Lawyers, licensed to practice law in Georgia, Texas and South Carolina and fluent in Spanish. Rebecca Hall, Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia. Graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in Clerked for the Honorable Michael Stoddard, Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia from 1995 to Worked with King & Spalding from 1998 to Began work with the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia in Sarah Hawk is a Shareholder in the Atlanta office of Ogletree Deakins. Sarah provides immigration counsel to numerous corporate clients and is a frequent speaker nationally and regionally on business immigration issues. She advises clients on current immigration legislation, and has comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience in a broad range of immigration petitions, nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications, consular processing, waiver cases and outbound placement. She conducts I-9 compliance training, performs I-9 audits and advises on immigration policy for companies. Sarah has been recognized as a Who s Who in Asian-American Communities and was named to Who s Who Legal 2010 for her work as an immigration attorney. She is listed in Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2010 and she has been listed in Chambers USA, America s Leading Business Lawyers since 2009 and Who s Who Legal Corporate Immigration in 2013 and Janora Hawkins is an Associate with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy s Atlanta office, and she has a wide and extensive array of experience in corporate and family-based immigration. Focusing on compliance and maximizing efficiency, she provides strategic legal counsel to clients across all industries and cross-sectors in connection with corporate immigration to include corporate restructuring, I-9 compliance, lawful permanent residence (with a strong focus on the PERM process), naturalization, nonimmigrant visas, and consular processes. Janora currently serves as the Vice Chair of the CBP Committee for the GA-AL AILA chapter. Nicole Iannarone is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Georgia State University College of Law where she oversees the Investor Advocacy Clinic and teaches Professional Responsibility and Complex Litigation. A graduate of the Yale Law School, she was a partner at Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP, where she practiced for a decade representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation. Iannarone is active in the bar and the community. She is the Vice Chair of the State Bar of Georgia s Professionalism Committee and previously served as a member of the State Bar s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures Committee. She is the Vice Chair of the Atlanta Bar Association s Reputation and Public Trust Committee and Co-Chair of the Chief Justice s Commission on Professionalism s Aging in the Law Task Force. She has been named a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Plaintiff and a Rising Star by Atlanta Law and Politics Magazine on multiple occasions. Iannarone received the Kerry Harike Joedecke Atlanta Young Lawyer of the Year Award and the Brenau Women s College Young Alumnae Award. Romy Kapoor is a Partner with the international law firm of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, and Head of the firm s Global Immigration & Mobility Practice Group. He has been practicing U.S. immigration and nationality law since 1992, with a broad business and family-based immigration practice. Romy has spoken and written extensively in these areas, both nationally with AILA and for the State Bar of Georgia. He served as an elected Director to AILA's Board of Governors, as a Chair of the GA-AL Chapter, and on AILA s DOL Liaison Committee, Business Immigration Committee, and various conference committees. Nisha Karnani is a Partner at Antonini & Cohen Immigration Law Group. She has practiced immigration exclusively since being admitted to the bar in Ms. Karnani represents clients in family immigration and employment immigration issues. She also represents domestic violence victims in various immigration matters. Ms. Karnani was previously an Associate Attorney with Cohen & Associates, a firm which merged and became the Antonini & Cohen Immigration Law Group in Ms. Karnani received Acquisitions International s 2014 Global Immigration & Mobility Awards recognition for Immigration Attorney of the Year Georgia and was named to the 2014 Lawyers of Color Hot List. In 2007, she was a recipient of the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service and named a Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star in the field of Immigration Law. Ms. Karnani has been an active volunteer for Raksha, Inc., a Georgia-based nonprofit organization for the South Asian Community, since 2002 and served on Raksha s Board of Directors from 2003 to In 2010, Raksha awarded Nisha special recognition for outstanding pro bono legal services and dedication to the Georgia South Asian community. Nisha was also a founding member of the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia, serving on the Board of Directors from and 2013 to present. Joseph Kernan was selected as Deputy District Director for District 8 in July Joe began his professional public service career in immigration services in 2000 as a volunteer attorney with the AmeriCorps State and National program by providing free and low-cost litigation services for immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees through faith-based non-profit agencies including the Catholic Volunteers in Florida and the Archdiocese of Miami. Subsequent to his volunteer service, Joe has held a variety of positions both inside and outside of Federal employment, including Staff Attorney, Supervisory Attorney, Asylum Officer, Community Relations Officer, and Special Assistant. In these various positions, he has led a variety of projects including the development of new training programs, introducing employee performance and hiring standards, mediating disputes, leveraging new technology to streamline communications, monitoring Federal and State non-profit grants, establishing extensive community and intergovernmental engagement programs, and organizing and inspiring employees and community volunteers to engage in public service. Joe has also served in various capacities at several INS/USCIS operations, including Miami, Newark, Boston, Atlanta, and at multiple INS/ ICE detention facilities. He has also served on several rotational international assignments including operations in Almaty, Bishkek, Chisinau, Moscow, and St. Thomas. In 2010 Joe received a Field Operations Directorate award in the inaugural category of Community Outreach and Engagement. In 2015, Joe received a USCIS Director s Award for Partnership for being a leading member of a team that established an office at Ft. Benning, GA that helps to ensure that all non-citizen soldiers who graduate Basic Training will receive naturalization prior to deployment. Joe has also proudly served the broader Homeland Security mission to respond to disasters by deploying to assist survivors in Texas and Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita in 2005, and served as a Team Lead in New York City and Staten Island during the inaugural deployment of the DHS Surge Capacity Force response to Superstorm Sandy in Joe received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, and is a member of the Florida Bar Association.
16 Monica Modi Khant is the Executive Director for the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN) in Atlanta, GA. As Executive Director, Ms. Modi Khant oversees, supervises, trains and mentors pro bono attorneys who represent immigrant victims of violence. She received her BA from Rutgers University in 1995 and her J.D. from New England School of Law in Upon graduation, she was the Detention Attorney at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) where she represented detained asylum seekers. In 2000, Ms. Modi Khant continued practicing immigration law with private immigration law firms in Boston, MA. In 2005, Ms. Modi Khant was appointed as the Director of Legal Services at the International Institute of Boston (IIB). With this position, Ms. Modi Khant worked extensively with victims of abuse and trafficking. She has also trained lawyers, law enforcement and judges on how to work with immigrant victims of violence. Ms. Modi Khant currently serves on the Advisory Board of Raksha, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization for the South Asian community. She is a member of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), Junior League of Atlanta and has served as Pro Bono Liaison of the Atlanta chapter of the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ms. Modi Khant has also appeared on local television shows in Atlanta, GA speaking about the issue of domestic violence and human trafficking in Georgia and has written many articles on human trafficking, asylum and domestic violence in the immigrant communities. Monica is married to Sanjay, a physician with Emory and has three children. Tracie L. Klinke is a solo practitioner at Klinke Immigration, LLC in Marietta, Georgia. Her focus is on family-based immigration and assisting vulnerable populations. She is active in AILA, currently serving as the New Member Division Representative to the Board of Governors, the Vice Chair of the USCIS Field Operations Committee, and as Secretary for the Georgia-Alabama Chapter. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN) and is a member of the Cobb County Domestic Violence Task Force. She has both her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Kansas and her J.D. was obtained at Georgia State University. She is licensed to practice before state and federal courts throughout Georgia and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Myron Kramer is listed in the last several editions of Who's Who Legal, The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. (See under "Corporate Immigration.") Myron has been practicing business immigration law in Atlanta since 1979 and has been named as a SuperLawyer on numerous occasions. He is the former President of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and is frequently invited to speak at Continuing Legal Education conferences and seminars regarding business immigration before the State Bar of Georgia, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association as well as for non-legal professional meetings and conferences. Additionally, he taught immigration law courses at Georgia State University and Emory University from Myron is a graduate of Lehigh University and New York University School of Law. Stephen Kremer was appointed Port Director, for the port of Atlanta in January He directs the activities of 300 employees, and oversees a number of programs and facilities. Mr. Kremer is responsible for CBP operations at the Atlanta Airport; Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures; Seized Property; and Trade Operations. Previously, he served as Assistant Director Field Operations (ADFO), Atlanta, U.S. Customs and Border Protection where he had oversight of a workforce of over 800 employees. As ADFO, he was responsible for managing all inspectional operations at Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport, Charlotte and Raleigh Airports. Additionally, he had oversight of Norfolk, Charleston, Wilmington and Savannah Seaports. The Field Office provides support to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Associate Chief Counsel, the U.S. Attorney's Office, other governmental agencies. Mr. Kremer joined U.S. Immigration and Naturalization (INS) in In 1988, he was promoted to the Port Director of St. Louis Missouri. He relocated to Atlanta in 1992 with INS. In 1998, he rose through the ranks in the field, followed by serving at Headquarters in some mission critical positions. In 2003, Homeland Security was created. Mr. Kremer was appointed as the Assistant Director, Admissibility and Migration Control, Field Operations, Atlanta. Karen Siciliano Lucas, Esq. currently works as a Associate Director for Advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), focusing on enforcement and detention issues. Previously, Karen worked as the State & Local Advocacy Attorney at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and as a litigation associate at the New York firm Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. As an independent consultant for Charity & Security Network (a project of the D.C.-area nonprofit OMB Watch), Karen co-authored a report titled "Safeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict: A Call for Reconciling International Legal Obligations and Counterterrorism Measures in the United States." Karen has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an A.B. from Princeton University. She is licensed to practice law in New York. Deborah Marlowe is a Partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP and co-manages the Firm's Atlanta practice. Deborah has more than 25 years of experience providing strategic counsel related to business immigration law, policy and compliance for multinational companies across a broad range of industries. She also focuses on global immigration issues, representing U.S and other employers that send personnel abroad and advising companies on how to structure and improve their global immigration programs for assignments around the world. Deborah has received repeated recognition by Best Lawyers in America, Georgia Super Lawyers, Chambers USA and Who's Who in American Law. Whitney D. Mauk was a trial lawyer since 1999, when she graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. After graduation, she practiced in Indianapolis in many areas of civil litigation, including family law. In 2005, she focused her practice exclusively in the area of family law upon moving to Georgia. After practicing at Atlanta's top family law boutique firms, she formed Whitney D. Mauk, P.C., specializing in family law. Whitney served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia for two terms, served on the Executive Committee and as chair on several committees for the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. Whitney is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Cobb County Bar Association and the Georgia Association of Woman Lawyers. She is a Rising Star Super Lawyer recognized by Atlanta Magazine and a Legal Elite recognized by Georgia Trend. Whitney is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Charles Longstreet Weltner American Inn of Court and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Kimberly B. McCoy, Director, Victim Witness Unit, Office of the District Attorney, Cobb Judicial Circuit: Director of the Victim Witness Unit for the District Attorney s Office in Cobb County since April, From Nov, 1997 to April 1999, employed for DA s Office as Domestic Violence Training Coordinator. Prior to employment with Cobb County, employed with the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit (Cherokee County) as the Director of Victim Witness for five years. Board member for YWCA of Northwest Georgia ; Member of the Prosecuting Attorney's Council, Victim Services Committee; Cobb County SANE/SART Committee, the Cobb County Domestic Violence Task Force, and the Cobb Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention. Former Board member - Georgia's Sex Offender Registry Review Board ( ); Cobb County Excel Program. Part-time professor for Department of Human Services
17 at Kennesaw State University primary course Dynamics of Family Violence. Masters Degree in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from The Women s College of Brenau University. Kerry McGrath received her Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree in computer science and graduated magna cum laude from Duke University. She was an adjunct professor at Emory University from 1999 to 2004 and has been a member of the Georgia, New York and Florida bars. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Stonewall Bar Association, Lambda Legal, the National Immigration Project, and ASSISTA. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Latin American Association and Caminar Latino. Early in her career, Emory University School of Law honored her with one of its Inspiration Awards for her service in public interest law. Anton Mertens is a partner in the Atlanta office of Burr & Forman LLP in the Labor and Employment Practice Group with a focus on business immigration law. He served as Chair of the Immigration Law Section and International Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. He is President of the Belgian American Chamber of the South and is President-Elect of the Mercer Law School Alumni Board of Directors. He is Advisor for Economic Diplomacy for the Kingdom of Belgium in the Southeast. He is a member of the Global Commerce Council of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Brussels, Belgium, Sister City Committee on the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission. He is a member of the Atlanta Lawyers Club and Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia. He frequently assists foreign-based companies with legal issues in start-up, operation and expansion of U.S. facilities. Kevin Miner is a Partner in the Atlanta office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP and works with employers throughout the US on business immigration processes. He has worked closely with the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees to draft key provisions of immigration legislation. He serves as Vice Chair of the AILA Liaison Committee with the U.S. Department of Labor, and speaks regularly around the country on topics relating to highskilled immigration. Courtney Brooks Noce leads the business immigration team with Pozo Goldstein, LLP. She works frequently with U.S and foreign companies, foreign investors, and individuals with extraordinary ability. Ms. Noce has a bachelor s degree in business from McGill University and a J.D. from The Georgia State University College of Law. Prior to practicing law she worked with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where she worked to recruit new businesses to the state. Ms. Noce has studied, lived, and worked in France and Italy. She currently serves on the GA-AL CBP committee. Sarah Owings attended the College of Law at Georgia State University, where she earned a Juris Doctor degree in During law school, Mrs. Owings was an extern with the Chief Counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She practiced law with The Antonini Law Firm from 2007, until 2012, when the law firm merged to become Antonini & Cohen Immigration Law Group, where she is currently an associate. She served as a board member for the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network from 2010 until 2012 and has served as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) liaison to the Atlanta Immigration Court and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mrs. Owings was elected to the executive committee of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA in 2012 and currently serves on the committee as second vice-chair. Mrs. Owings has experience in all family-based immigration matters, cases of removal (deportation) defense, petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, U Visas and asylum proceedings. She has spoken on a number of immigration-related topics throughout her career. She resides in the Atlanta area and is a member in good standing of the Georgia Bar. Robert Pauw is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Gibbs Houston Pauw. He has practiced immigration law since 1987, specializing in immigration-related litigation. He has been counsel for plaintiffs in many significant immigration cases, including Smith v. Customs and Border Protection, 741 F.3d 1016 (9th Cir. 2014) (district court jurisdiction to consider challenge to expedited removal order); A.B.T. v. USCIS, Case No RAJ (W.D. Wash. 2013) (class action lawsuit regarding employment authorization for asylum applicants); Smith and Armendariz v. United States, Case No (IACHR 2010) (U.S. deportation policies adopted violate the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man); Lee v. Gonzales, Case No. C RSL (W.D. Wash. 2006) (class action lawsuit challenging naturalization denials based on lack of good moral character); Gete v. INS, 121 F.3d 1285 (9th Cir. 1997) (class action lawsuit invalidating INS vehicle seizure procedures); Reno v. Catholic Social Services, 509 U.S. 43 (1993) (class action lawsuit challenging INS implementation of the legalization program). He has taught immigration law at Seattle University and the University of Washington for many years, and is one of the founding members of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle. Mr. Pauw is author of LITIGATING IMMIGRATION CASES IN FEDERAL COURT (2013); Plenary Power: An Outmoded Doctrine, 51 Emory L.Jl (2002); and A New Look at Deportation as Punishment: Why at Least Some of the Constitution s Criminal Procedure Protections Must Apply, 52 Admin. L. Rev. (2000). He has received AILA s Jack Wasserman Award for Excellence in Litigation and the National Lawyers Guild s Carol King Award. Sharon Cook Poorak is senior counsel in the Immigration practice group of the Atlanta, GA office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. With almost thirty years of immigration law experience, she focuses her business immigration law practice primarily on H, L, PERM, I-140 and related I485 issues. Ms. Poorak represents corporate clients in a wide variety of industries. Ms. Poorak previously served as Director of Education for the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, DC and the head of the detention project for Catholic Social Services. She has been a frequent lecturer on immigration topics nationwide. Ms. Poorak has been named as a Leading Immigration Attorney by International Who s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers; International Who s Who of Business Lawyers, and is consistently recognized by her peers in Chambers USA as being among the Best Lawyers in America. Laine Posel handles cases in all areas of U.S. immigration law, including employment based immigration (both immigrant and nonimmigrant applications), family immigration (both in the United States and consular processing at the US Embassies), naturalization, and removal/deportation defense. Laine represents clients both big and small before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of State (DOS), the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), the Immigration Courts (EOIR), and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Laine is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at Emory University School of Law and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she served on the USCIS liaison committee from Laine is also an active member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which combats hatred and discrimination in our society. Prior to joining SCHWARTZ POSEL Immigration Law Firm, Laine worked as an attorney in the Labor and Employment section for the Washington D.C. office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP.
18 Samuel C. Rock practices torts, immigration and tax law. Sam specializes in tax debt and tax issues that relate to the intersection of tax and immigration. He operated a Spanish speaking tax service that catered to low-income undocumented workers for almost 10 years. In 2009 and early 2010 he served as the National Co-Director of ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) Business Program at Jackson Hewitt. He has been the panel leader for tax issues for immigration lawyers at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) national conference and frequently presents on at regional conferences. He has published three articles for AILA and another in Tax Notes. The Tax Notes article discusses tax preparer diligence and the tax consequences of immigration reform. He has appeared twice on Fox Business Network as an expert on tax issues and tax fraud. Lino Rodriguez is the owner of Rodriguez Immigration Firm. He opened his law practice in October The firm does 100% immigration work and focuses on family-based immigration cases; including removal defense. Prior to opening his practice, Lino worked as an associate attorney in the nonprofit sector with Catholic Charities and in the private sector with Kuck Immigration Partners. Lino is currently the USCIS/AILA Liaison chair for our local chapter and serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN). Joseph Rosen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a BA in Political Science from American University and an M.Ed from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland. After graduating Widener s Delaware Law School Cum Laude in 1983 as a night student, Professor Rosen entered the FBI as a Special Agent, retiring from the government in In 2001, Mr. Rosen opened his Immigration Law practice in Roswell, Georgia. Mr. Rosen has been an Adjunct Faculty member at Atlanta s John Marshall law School since He teaches an Immigration Law class and is a Clinical Director at the JMLS Immigration Clinic located at Catholic Charities Atlanta. Mr. Rosen is a Past President of the North Fulton Bar Association and has spoken at numerous CLE Training seminars, appeared on CNN, and been interviewed by radio, newspaper, and TV news providers in regard to immigration issues. Mr. Rosen is admitted to practice in Georgia, California, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Rebeca E. Salmon received her Juris Doctorate from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. Following law school, Ms. Salmon worked for Catholic Charities Atlanta through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship (EJW). Through her EJW fellowship, Ms. Salmon developed the Immigrant Children Advocacy Project (ICAP) of Catholic Charities Atlanta. She returned to private practice in 2011opening her own firm, A Salmon Firm, LLC. In September 2011, Ms. Salmon began as the Executive Director of Access to Law, Inc. a nonprofit foundation dedicated to ensuring no vulnerable person goes without Access To Law based solely on inability to pay. She is an experienced litigator and serves as a mentor to many of her colleagues and has developed a reputation as a reliable and useful resource to DFCS agencies, Child Advocate offices, Guardian Ad Litem offices, schools and anyone interested in protecting our youth. Ms. Salmon sits on the Board of The Barton Clinic, is a member of the Atlanta- Alabama AILA chapter, a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the State Bar of Georgia, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is also an active member of the Georgia Bar Juvenile Law Section, National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), Georgia Association of Counsel for Children (GACC), Immigrant Children s Legal Network (ICLN) and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in juvenile proceedings. She is an adjunct professor at Brenau University and she was awarded the 2010 Liberty Bell Award from DeKalb Bar Association. Anna L. Scully, of Burr & Forman LLP, uses her prior experience working with United States Citizenship and Immigration Service officials to help business clients evaluate the chances of successfully petitioning for work visas and permanent residence for key employees. She assists with all aspects of collecting supporting documents, drafting petition, and handling employment issues once visas are obtained. Anna also assists clients with regulatory compliance evaluations, policies, audits, and agency inspections arising from I-9 and E-Verify use as well as state immigration laws in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. In addition, she has experience in workers compensation litigation, industrial accident litigation, and employment discrimination administrative procedures and litigation. Anna is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Alabama Bar Association, and Mobile Bar Association. In both 2013 and 2014, she was named as a Rising Star for Immigration Law by Alabama Super Lawyers. Teri A. Simmons is a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has practiced for nearly 24 years. She directs the International and Immigration Practice Group, which focuses on the holistic representation of foreign owned companies in the US in the areas of corporate, employment, litigation, tax, intellectual property and immigration law. She has represented companies as large as the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, for which she managed visa processing for thousands, as well as middle-sized companies and individual EB-5 Investors. Teri focuses her practice on the management of legal services supporting foreign-owned business entities and individuals investing in the United States in the areas of corporate, employment and immigration law. She manages companies global immigration needs, as well as both U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing for businesses and families (temporary work visas and green cards) and the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions. Active in the international community, and fluent in both spoken and written German, Teri served as AILA s CBP liaison chair for Atlanta Hartsfield Airport for many years and on the national AILA CBP committee. She currently serves as the Mayoral appointed Chair of the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission, Past- Chair of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, and on the Boards of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeastern U.S., the German American Cultural Foundation and the German School of Atlanta. From 1999 to 2001 she served as the chapter chair of AILA's Georgia / Alabama chapter and has held leadership roles within AILA. She earned bachelor degrees in Mathematics and German from Furman University, a Master s degree in German studies from the University of Virginia, completed post graduate studies in Tuebingen, Germany and earned a JD at the University of Georgia. Gregory Siskind is a founding partner of Siskind Susser and a member of AILA for over two decades. He writes several books including the annually published LexisNexis J-1 Visa Guidebook, the ABA s Lawyers Guide to Marketing on the Internet and SHRM s Employer s Immigration Compliance Desk Reference. In 1994, he created the first immigration law web site and in 1998 he created the world s first law blog. Greg has written numerous chapters for AILA publications, served on dozens of AILA CLE panels and been a member/chair of numerous AILA committees and now serves on the Board of Governors. Jay I. Solomon is a partner in the Immigration Practice of Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP. He has been practicing immigration law full time more than 25 five years. Mr. Solomon is the former President of the Georgia/Alabama Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In 2014 he was awarded the President's Commendation for Exemplary Service by the AILA. Mr. Solomon is a founding member of IMMLAW, the national consortium of preeminent immigration law firms, and frequently speaks on immigration matters. He is listed in the Chambers USA Guide (since 2006), Best Lawyers in America, the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. He has also been included in the Georgia Super Lawyers edition of Atlanta Magazine.
19 Jean C. Sperling, owner of Sperling Law Group, obtained his Juris Doctor from Georgia State University. He specializes in the areas of Criminal Defense, Post-Conviction Relief and Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions. He is an active member of Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL). He has participated as guest speaker in several ICLE presentations on Criminal Related Immigration Consequences, including ICLE presentations for State and Superior Court Judges in the State of Georgia. He is fully bilingual (English Spanish). Irene Steffas began her practice in 1983 in Texas with a focus on maritime law. Collisions at sea, salvage and Jones Act cases were wonderful to study, but not as interesting in real practice. Like a strong current, her deep family roots moved her back to her native state of Florida where she worked in a small civil law firm and volunteered to help a beloved colleague with her adoption caseload. In 1986, Ms. Steffas founded the Law Firm of Irene Steffas, P.C., which now specializes in adoption, immigration and assisted reproduction technologies. By the late 1990 s, Ms. Steffas distinguished herself as an expert in the area of intercountry adoptions by speaking at national conventions for the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA), the American Immigration Lawyers Associations (AILA) and state CLE seminars. Ms. Steffas has also committed herself to assisting children in foster care who do not have legal immigrant status in the United States. Among other notable accomplishments, Ms. Steffas participated in INS s First Children s Conference in 2000 (Ms. Steffas was the only non-government attorney to participate in the conference). She has served in the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Program as a good will ambassador in such countries as Spain, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Adoption agencies continue to seek Ms. Steffas advice and assistance as they process visas for adopted children through the US Embassies, while foreign courts refer to Ms. Steffas expertise as they request Legal Opinions on the rights of adopted children in the United States. Ms. Steffas is a member of: State Bar of Georgia, State Bar of Florida, AILA, AAAA, Georgia Association of Licensed Adoption Agencies (GALAA). She speaks English and Greek. Caroline E. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and has been practicing law since 1994, specializing in business and family immigration. She founded her own immigration law firm of Caroline E. Taylor, LLC in Ms. Taylor represents a wide variety of domestic and multinational corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and employees in all aspects of business-based immigration, including temporary and long-term visas, employment authorization, and permanent resident status (green cards). She also represents individuals with family-sponsored immigration matters and naturalization. Ms. Taylor is a frequent speaker on current immigration issues, particularly focused on assisting startup companies in developing effective corporate and transnational HR strategies to maximize their business and immigration benefits. Kim Thompson is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP and serves as chair of the firm's Global Immigration Practice Group and co-chair of the International Employment Practice Group. She began practicing in this area in 1990 and her practice focuses on business immigration matters, including visas, I-9 compliance, governmental audits and investigations, and U.S. Department of Justice charges of discrimination. She graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1989 and has a Master s in International Relations and a Bachelor s in Biological Sciences from Florida State University. Kim has been selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers every year since 2005 and, in 2005, was named one of the "Top 50 Female Georgia Super Lawyers." Kim has also been listed inchambers USA, America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2009, in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010, and in 2012 was named one of Georgia Trend magazine s Legal Elite. Aimee C. Todd is of counsel at Troutman Sanders LLP. Her practice concentrates on business immigration and employer compliance, including I-9 and E- Verify counseling. She also has an active pro bono practice in VAWA, U and T cases. Aimee is a frequent speaker and author, former AILA Atlanta chapter chair, and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA and recognized as a Rising Star by Georgia Super Lawyers. She received the 2014 GAIN AILA Volunteer Mentor of the Year, the 2007 AILA Sam Williamson Mentor Award and the 2006 Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation S. Phillip Heiner Award for outstanding pro bono services. Laura Toro came to Georgia in May 2011 feeling extremely disgruntled with the legal profession after three years of civil litigation practice. Following a bit of soul searching, she eventually found herself working with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), managing a leadership program and promoting the civic engagement and leadership of the Latino community in Georgia. It was through this work that Laura found her passion in advocating for immigrant rights and empowerment by encouraging their participation in civic matters, such as registering to vote, voting and running for public office. After two years in this line of work, it was only natural for Laura to transition back into the practice of law, but this time with the purpose of utilizing her legal skills in order to help disadvantaged members of the community by working as a Staff Attorney with Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities of Atlanta (CCA). Laura has been with CCA since August 2014 and is looking forward to a long and happy career in immigration law, while still remaining passionate about the civic engagement of the immigrant community as a whole. Laura is fluent in English and Spanish; proficient in elementary Dutch; she enjoys camping, hiking, reading the Outlander series, walking her dog and Netflix binges. Graduate of the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, with a BA from Loyola University Maryland. Licensed in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (2008) and the State of Georgia (2012). Reid Trautz is a lawyer serving as the Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association s Practice and Professionalism Center, where he provides ethics guidance and management advisory services to lawyers to help improve their businesses and the delivery of legal services to their clients. Reid is a nationally recognized advisor, author and presenter on practice issues, including launching a law practice, business process improvement, law practice technology, and legal ethics. He is co-author of The Busy Lawyer s Guide to Success: Essential Tips to Power Your Practice, published by the ABA, and is a frequent contributor to legal publications nationwide. Reid is a long-time member of the ABA Law Practice Division, serving as chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2012, and an elected Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He is admitted to the bars of Minnesota (inactive), Virginia, District of Columbia, and U.S. Supreme Court. Michael S. Vastine is a Professor of Law and Director of the Immigration Clinic at St. Thomas University School of Law. Michael joined the St. Thomas faculty in His practice and research focus on immigration litigation, particularly regarding the deportation consequences of criminal convictions and the due process rights of immigrants. In 2013, he was awarded the AILA Elmer Fried Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at its annual conference. He is on the Executive Committee of the South Florida Chapter of AILA, among numerous other service positions in regional and national organizations of attorneys and legal educators. Michael participates in or leads significant litigation in the federal, state and administrative courts, including seminal cases in the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Michael has served as counsel for amicus curiae in numerous other challenges to restrictions on relief from removal and challenging findings of immigration consequences flowing from criminal convictions. His litigation highlights include co-representing and arguing the lead post-padilla v.
20 Kentucky case, Hernandez v. State, at the Florida Supreme Court (reversing the long-standing precedent that Florida s judicial plea colloquy cured ineffective counsel regarding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea) and representing the successful petitioner in Donawa v. U.S. Att y Gen, (11th Cir. 2013) (establishing that a conviction under Florida Statutes / (sale or delivery of a controlled substance) should not be considered a drug trafficking crime aggravated felony in removal proceedings). Michael is widely published in law journals, the Lexis-Nexis Emerging Issues series and Bender s Immigration Bulletin and is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional and national meetings, conferences and teleseminars of immigration practitioners and legal educators. Olsi Vrapi is the managing partner at Noble & Vrapi, P.A. with offices in Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM and El Paso, TX. He has served in various capacities at AILA including as part of many conference planning committees, chairing several of them, publications board, amicus committee and has participated in many national and local liaison committees. He is an adjunct professor at University of New Mexico School of Law. David A. M. Ware is a 1981 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced exclusively in the area of immigration and nationality law since 1982, with a consistent academic focus. Mr. Ware is active in AILA, NAFSA, and NACUA, and is a frequent speaker and author on immigration topics, including recent AILA and ILW publications and BusinessWeek online. He currently is in his second term on the AILA DOL Liaison Committee, and has previously served on the TSC Liaison and Foreign Student Committees. He also currently serves on the NACUA Notes Editorial Board. He maintains offices in Metairie and Baton Rouge, LA, as well as Seattle, WA, and lives on Delta Airlines. Karen Weinstock is the managing attorney of Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, and specializes in solving complex immigration problems and providing case strategy and management for organizations and individuals. Her expertise is in representing U.S. and international companies in the technology and healthcare industries as well as universities, researchers, physicians and investors with their immigration needs. She is the author and editor of The H-1B Book, published by Immigration Law Weekly, and a speaker on immigration law topics in conferences around the world, publications and the general media. Karen is originally from Israel and immigrated to the United States in She is fluent in English, Hebrew, and Spanish.