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Practice advisories

Find legal summaries, analyses, and guidance related to major court rulings from recent years.

Use these documents to stay informed of major updates in immigration law, navigate complex legal questions, and more effectively advocate for your clients.

General resources

  • 01

    Requesting ROPs and DARs from EOIR

    A summary of EOIR’s March 2022 procedures for accessing records of proceedings (ROPs) and digital audio recordings (DARs) outside of FOIA and provides guidance on using them. Last updated on May 9, 2023.

    Read EOIR procedures advisory

  • 02

    Virginia Firearms Offenses and the Categorical Approach in the Fourth Circuit under Gordon v. Barr

    A summary of Gordon v. Barr, 965 F.3d 252 (4th Cir. 2020), an overview of the categorical approach in the Fourth Circuit, and the four-step analysis for analyzing firearms offenses under the categorical approach. Last updated on July 30, 2021.

    Read Gordon advisory

  • 03

    Bringing Administrative Procedure Act (APA) Claims to Challenge Immigration Actions

    An overview of APA claims in the immigration context—including a history of immigration-related claims under the APA, considerations in bringing an APA challenge, types of APA claims, and Fourth Circuit and D.C. Circuit APA immigration case-law. Last updated on October 30, 2020.

    Read APA advisory

  • 04

    Post-Conviction Relief in Virginia

    A description of the legal standards for vacating a conviction in Virginia on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel pursuant to Padilla v. Kentucky and Zemene v. Clarke. Last updated on February 27, 2017.

    Read VA post-conviction relief advisory

  • 05

    Sotnikau v. Lynch – Fourth Circuit Holds that Virginia Involuntary Manslaughter is Not a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude

    On January 24, 2017, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a conviction for involuntary manslaughter under Virginia Code § 18.2-36 cannot be charged as a crime involving turpitude under immigration law. This practice advisory summarizes the decision and describes its implications for noncitizen defendants facing involuntary manslaughter charges in Virginia.To access the full decision, click here. Last updated on February 15, 2017.

    Read Sotnikau advisory

  • 06

    Mathis v. United States and the Categorical Approach: When the Record Matters

    A look at how the Supreme Court’s June 2016 Mathis decision impacts immigration adjudicators’ ability to turn to the record when analyzing state convictions. Practice tips offer guidance for building a protective record for noncitizen clients facing charges such as drug-related offenses, burglary, malicious and unlawful wounding, domestic violence-related offenses, fraud offenses, and larceny. Last updated on July 6, 2016.

    Read Mathis advisory

  • 07

    Mitigating Harm for Undocumented Defendants: Enforcement Priorities, DACA and DAPA, and U.S. v. Texas

    An explanation of the executive actions announced by the Department of Homeland Security in 2014, including those that remain in effect after the Supreme Court’s split June 2016 decision in U.S. v. Texas. An appended chart assists defense attorneys in crafting dispositions that avoid classification of undocumented clients as “enforcement priorities” and maintain eligibility for deferred action programs. Last updated on July 6, 2016.

    Read harm reduction advisory

  • 08

    Avoiding or Withdrawing a “Conviction” for Immigration Purposes Practice Advisory

    This practice advisory offers Virginia criminal defense attorneys three options to help prevent or reduce negative immigration consequences for their noncitizen clients, given the differences in the definitions of “conviction” between immigration law and Virginia criminal law, along with established case-law on plea withdrawal and deferred dispositions. Last updated on April 28, 2016.

    Read advisory on avoiding negative immigration consequences

  • 09

    Defending Immigrants Facing Controlled Substance Charges Practice Advisory

    This practice advisory provides strategies for Virginia defense attorneys representing immigrants charged with controlled substance offenses, considering the Supreme Court’s ruling in Mellouli v. Lynch (2015) and related precedent. Last updated on July 21, 2015.

    Read CSA advisory

  • 10

    Zemene v. Clarke Practice Advisory

    A discussion of the implications of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s decision in Zemene v. Clark (No. 140719), which addresses a criminal defense attorney’s duty to advise noncitizen clients about potential negative immigration consequences ​​that may result from the disposition of a criminal case. Last updated on March 6, 2015.

    Read Zemene advisory

  • 11

    Immigration Consequences of Juvenile Delinquency Adjudications

    A discussion of the immigration consequences of juvenile delinquency adjudications, highlighting potential adverse outcomes beyond inadmissibility and deportability grounds for Virginia criminal defense attorneys. Last updated on February 18, 2015.

    Read juvenile delinquency advisory

  • 12

    Omargharib v. Holder – Fourth Circuit Holds Va. Grand Larceny Is Not A Theft Aggravated Felony

    A summary and description of the implications of a Fourth Circuit ruling which held that Virginia grand larceny convictions (Virginia Code 18.2-95) cannot be charged as theft aggravated felonies under immigration law. To access the full decision, click here. Last updated on January 8, 2015.

    Read Omargharib advisory