Orrick Team Wins Second Circuit Pro Bono Appeal


An Orrick pro bono team scored a significant pro bono victory in a Second Circuit immigration appeal.

The case challenged a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision that classified our client’s prior convictions as crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs) and rendered him ineligible for adjustment of status (a defense to removal).

Ned Hirschfeld, supported by Danny Rubens and Andrew Silverman, argued in the Second Circuit that the BIA impermissibly departed from its own precedent on CIMT requirements without a reasoned explanation. Unanimously backing our argument that the BIA’s decision was a procedural error, the Second Circuit panel vacated the prior decision and remanded the case back to the BIA with instructions to reconsider—and adequately explain—its approach to CIMTs, as well as to address whether any new rule could be applied retroactively to our client.

The case came to Orrick through the Second Circuit’s pro bono program; Danny is a member of the court’s Pro Bono Panel.

Ned’s successful oral argument is the latest example of Orrick associates securing success in significant appellate litigation. This summer, Easha Anand scored a major win in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which in an en banc ruling overturned the life-without-parole sentence of a juvenile offender from Arizona, and Rachel Shalev successfully argued a case in which the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit invalidated a debtors’ prison scheme. Earlier this year, Chris Cariello won a copyright case in the Ninth Circuit. Now-partner Brian Goldman won a major Second Amendment en banc case in the Ninth Circuit two years ago as an associate.

Bloomberg Law recently profiled Orrick’s approach to building a pipeline of experienced appellate lawyers.