October 12, 2005

Jenner & Block recently persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to order a pro bono client a new asylum hearing, after the appellate court found that the presiding immigration judge had violated the client’s due process rights at her original asylum hearing by “arbitrarily” refusing to hear from two expert witnesses whom the client claimed would have corroborated her testimony.  Galicia v. Gonzales, Nos. 03-3868 & 04-3138 (7th Cir. Sept. 2, 2005).  

Under the supervision of Partner Daniel W. Smith, Associate Thalia L. Myrianthopoulos, who briefed the case with assistance from Associate Anthony S. Gabrielson, argued that the judge’s self-imposed time limit and frequent interruptions during the hearing denied the client an opportunity to “fully and fairly” present her case.

The Seventh Circuit agreed, ruling that “the actions of the immigration judge, when evaluated in their totality, deprived [the Firm’s client] her right to due process.”  

The client, who claims she was being persecuted in Guatemala for her husband’s political opinions, will be allowed to remain in the United States until a new decision is issued at the close of her new asylum hearing. 

Please click here to view the Seventh Circuit order.