Greetings, post-COVID world! In our Brave New era of appeals-only, I’ve compiled some information for new attorneys seeking information about my services. In short, I write immigration appeal briefs, for clients and attorneys. Here’s what the process looks like, and how to approach me.
What services does TIA offer?
My office provides appellate advocacy in the realm of removal defense. In essence, this means that I provide legal research and writing, including Immigration Judge briefs, BIA briefs, and Court of Appeals briefs. I also sometimes delve into related fields, such as habeas and AAO appeals.
When I work for an attorney, I do not interact directly with the clients; and, although I sometimes advise on it, I do not assist with evidence-gathering in the individual case. (One exception: I sometimes provide case strategy advice and country conditions evidence on IJ asylum briefs.) I do accept Motions to Reopen, but with this caveat.
What does the hiring process look like?
Generally, this is what happens:
- I’ll take a look at the decision that needs appealing;
- I’ll have a brief discussion (over phone and/or email), with the attorney, in which I give a price quote and a proposed due date (this serves as our “consult” phase);
- I’ll provide a short contract over email exchange;
- The contract commences once payment and the relevant record of proceedings are received by my office. Unfortunately, there is no exception to the pre-payment policy, but I keep my prices as affordable as possible, especially in the asylum arena.
The preferred payment is square invoice, but I’ll also accept timely checks sent to my office P.O. Box. At this point (this could change), I am almost always available with at least 2 weeks notice, and sometimes sooner. I charge a flat fee that is no higher than the going rate, but that must always be prepaid. I provide a complete, proof-read, fully file-able product, with a certificate of service—but I don’t file it myself.
As part of the contract, I provide the date the attorney can expect to receive the brief from me. It is usually around 2-3 days before the brief is due; and, especially as the due date approaches, I am highly accessible via text, DM and email. I always give my all on a brief, which means I sometimes end up taking a few hours more than I expect. Also, when I first start working with attorneys, I offer one round of edits, in case I don’t argue something they were expecting. (I haven’t yet had any requests for those.)
Finally, if you’ve got a non-detained BIA appeal awaiting a briefing schedule, I generally advise that you wait until the due date is set before approaching my office.
How do I approach TIA about a potential attorney brief?
At this phase of things (February, 2023), email is the fastest and most preferable way to approach me about a case. There’s a “contact” button on this website; you can also DM me on linkedin or facebook. If you’re a new attorney, please simply:
- Email me the type of work you’ve got (IJ brief, BIA brief, etc);
- Include the existing due date of the project;
- Include the decision (if any) on appeal, or the NTA (if it’s a crimmigration brief).
After doing this, an attorney can expect to hear back from me within 24 hours (though it’s usually more like 1 or 2). However, please note, I am GenX, which means I am oriented to the general 9 to 5, worker-protection approach to business-y things. So by “within 24 hours” I mean within 24 *business hours, not midnight on a Saturday.
If I’m able to consider the project, I’ll say so explicitly and we’ll arrange our mini-consult by phone, in person, or email—whichever the attorney prefers; and, if works out, we’ll get the ball rolling.
My client wants to hire Dr. T directly. What should they do?
Noncitizens wishing to directly appeal should contact my case manager, Clara Eugenia Ospina White, at (901) 654-6821, or firstname.lastname@example.org. That is a mobile number, so it can be texted, and she speaks English, Spanish, and a little Italian. Consults are telephonic and ALWAYS required, but if an attorney I know well refers me a case, I’ll put the $200 consult fee towards their overall price. All clients, of course, sign a written retainer with our office.