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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Secures Lifesaving Ruling for Client in Pro Bono Immigration Case

October 8, 2014

Wiley Rein secured a lifesaving ruling from an immigration judge on behalf of a pro bono client from Central America who had fled his home country after his friends and many of his relatives were brutally killed by local police and organized crime members.

At the September 6 trial, which was closed to the public, Wiley Rein attorney Michael Connolly persuaded the judge that if their client returned to his home country, government officials would either kill him or help others to kill him.  He had been targeted by the local police because he had refused to participate in drug trafficking and had repeatedly written anonymous letters about police corruption and gang activities.

Proving such claims in immigration court is usually a very high burden to satisfy, but the judge granted protection for Wiley Rein’s client after concluding that the evidence weighed overwhelmingly in his favor.  The decision means the client can lawfully stay in the United States and will be eligible to obtain a work permit.

Mr. Connolly was assisted in this case by Wiley Rein attorney Craig G. Fansler and several members of the firm’s Support Staff.  The firm took on the case at the request of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, a nonprofit group that works to ensure that all immigrants are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect for their human and civil rights.

Wiley Rein and its lawyers have been recognized numerous times over the firm’s 30-year history for their pro bono contributions, and the firm prides itself on a strong tradition of pro bono service to local and global communities.