The categorical approach is the single most important tool for defending a noncitizen who has been convicted of a crime. This is especially true now that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the strict, and beneficial interpretation of this approach in U.S. v. Mathis (2016), so that a lot of past precedent is overruled to the benefit of immigrants. In this interactive webinar experts will take participants step-by-step through this approach, from the basics to cutting edge defense strategies.
Kathy has served with the ILRC since 1987 and has contributed to numerous ILRC projects. Kathy graduated from Stanford University and Boalt Hall School of Law. She taught immigration law as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University and New College School of Law, and supervised students at the Stanford University Law School Immigration Clinic. Her expertise includes the immigration consequences of criminal convictions; issues affecting immigrant children and mixed families; immigration consultant and consumer fraud; naturalization; family immigration; legal status for immigrant victims of domestic violence through the Violence Against Women Act provisions (VAWA); and trial skills. She is the primary author of Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit, which in its current form and as the former California Criminal Law and Immigration has been a publication since 1990. With Norton Tooby, she is the co-author of the 2014 CEB publication California Criminal Defense of Immigrants, and for many years was co-author of the section on defending noncitizens in the CEB manual California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice. She also is a co-author of the ILRC's Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Courts. She has helped found coalitions and projects to address these issues, including serving as a co-founder of the Defending Immigrants Partnership and the Immigrant Justice Network. She authored briefs in key Ninth Circuit cases on immigration and crimes. In 2007, she received the Carol King award for advocacy from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and she served as a Commissioner to the ABA Commission on Immigration from 2009-2012. Prior to working at the ILRC, Kathy was in private practice with the immigration firm of Park and Associates. She is conversant in Spanish.
Brigit Alvarez, Principal Attorney - Law Office of Brigit G. Alvarez
Brigit Alvarez is the principal attorney at the Law Office of Brigit G. Alvarez, a boutique law firm exclusively handling family and removal defense immigration matters. She secured a published decision in Rendon v. Holder, 764 F.3d 1077 (9th Cir. 2014). Brigit served as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law with the Asylum and Refugee Law Clinic. She assisted in drafting legislation for $3 million to non-profit agencies providing legal services to unaccompanied minors (Cal. SB 873; Sept. 2014) as well as legislation aiding crime victims in obtaining “U” visa certifications (Cal. SB 674; Oct. 2015). She is the recipient of the Honorable Benjamin Aranda III Award for Outstanding Public Service. Brigit is a board member of Jovenes, Inc., and also an active volunteer for immigrant rights organizations throughout the Los Angeles area.
Kara Hartzler, Appellate Attorney - Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Kara Hartzler is an appellate attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders, she served as the Legal Director and Criminal Immigration Consultant at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, where she specialized in the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She has authored numerous books, articles, and resources for defense attorneys, including Surviving Padilla: A Defender’s Guide to Advising Noncitizens on the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions. Kara also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona College of Law and testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration on the detention and deportation of citizens and other due process violations in the immigration system. She is the recipient of the 2013 David Carliner Public Interest Award, the 2013 Randy Tunac Courage in Immigration Award, and the 2010 Robert J. Hooker Award for service to the defender community.