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On May 22, 2017, a team led by Jenner & Block Associate Jonathan A. Enfield and Discovery Attorney Pedro I. Fernandez, supervised by Partner Gabrielle Sigel, won asylum for a Honduran woman and her young son who had fled from their home to escape the woman’s extremely abusive husband.
Mr. Enfield prepared a well-written and comprehensive legal brief. He and Mr. Fernandez tracked down witnesses in Honduras who were willing to testify, and Mr. Enfield lined up an expert on Honduran violence and police disinterest to testify at the hearing. Neighbors who could hear the violence and see its aftereffects never helped; police “took a report” but did not attempt to protect her when she went to the police with obvious injuries.
At the evidentiary hearing in the US Immigration Court, Mr. Enfield put on a compelling direct examination of the client. After the government conducted its cross, the judge announced that she did not need to hear redirect examination and that, based on the team’s brief, written declarations and exhibits and the client’s testimony, the judge was granting asylum to her and derivatively to her son. The government waived any right to appeal the decision.
Senior Paralegal Debra E. Abelson, Legal Secretary April Thomas and Case Assistant Annette M. Young provided invaluable assistance to the team (the judge commented on how well the briefs and exhibits were prepared for filing and use at the hearing). Associates Daniel W. Bobier and Alan J. Iverson and Staff Attorney Leonardo Morales helped moot a bilingual examination of the clients. Discovery Attorney J. David Pedraza provided key document translations, and the team appreciated the advice and support of Partners Michele L. Slachetka and Wade A. Thomson and of the National Immigrant Justice Center.