Civil Litigation Clinic Students “Learn Law. Live Justice.” While Assisting Immigrants

Posted 2014-12-18 2:38pm

Students from the Civil Litigation Clinic at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law fulfilled the school’s motto – “Learn Law. Live Justice.” – by assisting several immigrants in needs during the Fall 2014 semester.

Students Michael Benjamin, Michael Bowen, Jennifer Durdella, Paul Petrick, and Vincent Scebbi assisted mothers and children who recently arrived from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras and were detained in Artesia, N. Mex. The Artesia detention center drew extensive media coverage and was the subject of a federal lawsuit during this time. Under the supervision of Adjunct Clinical Professor Jennifer Peyton – one of Cleveland’s most experienced immigration lawyers and an avid volunteer with the C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Committee of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society – the students drafted motions and otherwise assisted with many of the bond hearings involving the detainees.

Students Samantha Solomon and Keith Oliver also secured a rare win with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in Washington, D.C., saving an immigrant from immediate deportation following a decision by an immigration judge. Under the supervision of Clinical Professor Doron Kalir, the students carefully studied the record of the proceedings, conducted extensive legal research, and drafted a brief in support of Petitioner D., a Greek-born female who moved to the United States over 45 years ago at the age of two. Ms. D faced deportation after an immigration judge – before whom she appeared pro-se – found she committed an aggravated felony. The students made several arguments on appeal that were all accepted by the BIA resulting in the case being remanded to the immigration judge in Florida for reconsideration.

Photo: Students Michael Bowen, Jennifer Durdella and Vincent Scebbi discussing their work in the Civil Litigation Clinic.

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