Government Grants Asylum to Orrick’s Supreme Court Clients in Closely Watched Immigration Case


Washington, D.C. – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP announced today that the United States government has granted full asylum to each of the three Demiraj family members Orrick represented in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that has received intense national media coverage. 

After 10 requests to delay its response to Orrick’s petition for certiorari in Demiraj v. Holder, the government closed Rudina Demiraj’s deportation case and granted asylum to the entire Demiraj family.  This outcome goes beyond what could have been achieved through Orrick’s Supreme Court petition, since the Court’s jurisdiction would have extended only to Mrs. Demiraj's application and that of her son, and the Court’s order could only remand the case back to the lower courts for further review.

Nearly ten years ago, a federal prosecutor in Texas asked Edmond Demiraj, Rudina’s husband, to testify against an Albanian mobster charged with human smuggling.  In exchange for his testimony, the prosecutor promised to protect Mr. Demiraj and his family.  When the mobster fled the country, the government returned Mr. Demiraj to Albania where he was shot by the same mobster against whom he had agreed to testify.  He later returned to the United States, and was permitted to stay temporarily, but his wife and oldest son faced deportation and the likelihood of death at the hands of the fugitive mobster.  After a federal appellate court denied the family any relief, Mrs. Demiraj engaged Orrick to represent her and her son before the Supreme Court. 

“We are extremely happy for the Demiraj family,” said Joshua Rosenkranz, head of Orrick’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice.  “All along, they have wanted to live the American dream legally and safely.  We are grateful for the enormous amount of media and amicus support for our petition, and for the government’s thoughtfulness in reaching this ultimate result.  We applaud the decision to right a grave wrong.  This is a great day for the Demiraj family and for their adopted home country.”

About Orrick’s Supreme Court and Policy Practices

Founded in San Francisco in 1863, Orrick today ranks among the world’s leading global law firms and boasts a top-tier Supreme Court and Appellate Practice.   Orrick’s attorneys have briefed and argued hundreds of appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and every federal court of appeals.  They include former Supreme Court and Court of Appeals clerks, and top appellate lawyers for government and advocacy groups.  The Appellate Practice draws on the firm’s wide range of expertise and resources, including the fast-growing Government Affairs and Public Policy Practice, whose devotion to the Demiraj case merits equal credit for this extraordinary success.  Attorneys in that practice group supplement traditional litigation skills with their deep knowledge and expertise in public and media relations, legislative advocacy, and policy work.  This synergistic approach to legal issues offers clients every opportunity to achieve their goals in the most efficient way—be that in the courtroom, the legislative chamber, the court of public opinion, or all three.

Chambers & Partners ranks Orrick’s lawyers and its practices among the world’s finest. The 2012 Chambers Global profiles Orrick’s strengths across 39 practice areas and 16 markets, and names 86 Orrick lawyers as leading practitioners worldwide. Law 360 recently recognized Orrick among its “Global 20,” a list of the most successful firms as measured by US and international expansion and results achieved for clients. In addition, The Financial Times includes Orrick on its list of the most innovative U.S.-origin law firms, recognizing both our transactional and litigation work.

Regardless of location, Orrick lawyers are committed to delivering advice of the highest quality, delivering commercial solutions and meeting our clients’ expectations for client service and value.