From left to right: Immigration Law Section Chair Michael Greenberg and Vice Chair and Newsletter Editor Alan Pampanin.
Note from Immigration Leadership
Welcome to the Immigration Section newsletter.
This newsletter continues to provide practice alerts, timely
articles and news of interest to practitioners in the area
of immigration law. As a member of the Immigration Law
section, feel free to contact me at [e-mail michael], with any suggestions or
information which you think will be useful to your fellow
Michael D. Greenberg, chair
Alan Pampanin, vice chair and newsletter editor
Immigration Law Section Council
Upcoming Immigration section council meeting
As a member of the Immigration section, you are invited to
attend the Immigration Law Section Council meeting on
Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West
As a member of this section, you can keep abreast of the meeting
dates and other important information here.
Immigrants and the DPH Drug Lab Scandal
The DPH drug lab scandal has impacted many of our immigrant
clients. If you believe you may have a client who could obtain
immigration relief as a result of the issues at the DPH drug lab
you should contact your client and see if they would like to pursue
relief based on the problems at the lab.
If after meeting with your client you make the decision to
pursue relief, the first thing you should investigate is whether or
not the drugs were analyzed at the DPH Hinton Lab. If so, you most
likely have an argument in the case. As of now, the only person who
has been fired and is currently under investigation is Annie
Dookhan, however more and more every day is being discovered
regarding her malfeasance at the lab and how it could have affected
all of the other drug testing that was being done there. The entire
DPH Hinton lab has been closed, which is indicative of the depth of
the issues there.
If the client is in immigration custody, you should check for an
immigration detainer before arguing for release on bail because
once they are in ICE custody it is more difficult (and sometimes
completely impossible) to get them to state court to resolve the
criminal case or argue a motion for new trial. Keep in mind that
many judges are willing to waive the client's appearance if they
are in immigration custody because the judges are aware of the
difficulty of having clients brought in from immigration
If your client is in removal proceedings, check to see if a
Dookhan/Hinton lab drug case is the basis for removal or if it is a
bar to relief from removal. If so, ask the immigration judge to
continue the removal proceedings while the client pursues
post-conviction relief. It is presently the posture of the
immigration court that you need to show a Dookhan certificate to
obtain a continuance.
If a client has a final order of removal and the order is based
solely on Dookhan/Hinton conviction or if the conviction barred
relief from removal, file a motion to reopen the immigration
proceedings and request a stay of removal ASAP. You may also
want to contact the client's consulate and request travel documents
not be issued until the motion for new trial or motion to vacate
has been adjudicated.
It is important in all of these cases to be sure that on your
filings you indicate that they involve immigration consequences for
your client. Indicate to the clerk and to the court in the title of
your motion and on your cover letter that it is a "DPH Drug Lab
Case" and that your client is an immigrant with immigration
consequences as a result of the conviction.
Special sessions are being heard in several courthouses
throughout Massachusetts for these cases. In some counties,
attorneys have the option of either filing their Dookhan motions in
a special session or sending them directly to the sentencing judge.
In other counties, all Dookhan motions are being funneled into a
special session, regardless of where the attorney tries to file
them. We are learning more as each day passes in how these cases
are being handled.
here to view the FREE MBA "Training Related to Dookhan and
Other DPH Cases," available via MBA On Demand.
Save the date: Immigration Law networking event
Mark your calendars! The Immigration Law section council will be
sponsoring a networking event for section members on Wednesday,
Feb. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.
Look for further details on www.massbar.org.
Pro Bono Opportunity: Dial-A-Lawyer
The Immigration Law Section Council will be co-sponsoring one of
the monthly MBA Dial-A-Lawyer sessions in the spring.
The Dial-A-Lawyer program is held on the first Wednesday of each
month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.
Participation is limited to six/seven attorneys from the
Immigration Law section.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Jean
Stevens at [e-mail jstevens]. The exact date will be
© MIKE RITTER 2012
2012 Access to Justice Award recipients.
Nominate a colleague for an MBA Access to Justice award
Submission deadline Monday, Nov. 26
The MBA is accepting nominations for the 2012-2013
Access to Justice Awards.
To nominate and recognize an unsung hero of the legal profession
or a law firm that has made a significant difference for low income
litigants interfacing with the justice system, submit your
nomination by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26 to:
Massachusetts Bar Association
Access to Justice Awards
20 West St., Boston, MA 02110
We encourage nominations from local and affiliated bar
associations, government agencies and/or legal services
Click here for a nomination form.
The goal of section councils is to offer members opportunities
for professional growth and development through participation in
section activities. One opportunity available to section members is
publishing articles which are of interest to fellow practitioners.
The MBA provides several forums for articles by section members -
Lawyers Journal and the Massachusetts Law
If you are interested in writing an article for any of these
publications or if you have seen articles which you think may be of
interest to other Immigration Law Section members, please contact
Jean Stevens for more information regarding this
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Join the conversation today
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launched in July 2009. All three social media platforms feature
information about the MBA including CLE, events and news.
As an MBA member, we encourage you to both post items of
interest to you, and the greater legal community, on these pages
and comment on items already posted.