Removal Defense Workshop


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Day 1

8:30-9:00         Registration & Coffee

9:00-9:30         Introductions, introduction to how workshop runs

9:30 – 12:00    Initial Master Calendar Hearings: Bond & Pleading

9:30-10:30       Overview: Bond

10:30-10:40     Break

10:40-11:40     Overview: Pleadings

11:40-12:00     Faculty mock bond/pleading

12:00-1:15       Lunch/Practice Management speaker

1:15-2:15         Preparation sessions

2:15-3:00         Mock hearings and debrief

3:00-3:15         Break

3:15-4:15         Contested hearing overview

4:15-5:00         Begin contested hearing preparation

Day 2

9:00-9:45         Contested hearing preparation, continued

9:45-11:45       Contested hearings and debrief

11:45-12:00     Faculty mock contested hearing

12:00-12:30     Workshop debrief



Scott Bratton is a Partner at Margaret W. Wong and Associates LLC, and is the head of the Litigation and Removal Department. His practice includes removal defense, political asylum, federal litigation, Ohio and federal criminal defense, naturalization, and assistance in business and employment-based visas.Mr. Bratton has practiced immigration law for almost eighteen years and has been the attorney of record on numerous precedent-setting cases, including Cece v. Holder, 733 F.3d 662 (7th Cir. 2013)(en banc), Mandebvu v. Holder, 755 F.3d 417 (6th Cir. 2014), Debartolo v. United States, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 10831 (7th Cir. 2015), and Madrigal v. Holder, 572 F.3d 239 (6th Cir. 2009). Mr. Bratton also represented President Obama’s aunt and uncle in their immigration court proceedings, which led to their applications being granted.  Scott is vice-chair of the Ohio Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Matthew L. Bensonis a Partner at Bartlett & Weigle Co., L.P.A. in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he practices primarily in the areas of asylum, removal proceedings defense, and family-based immigration.  Mr. Benson was previous Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (“AILA”) Ohio Chapter from 2011-2013 and has also been a member AILA’s National EOIR and ICE Liaison Committees.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kentucky and graduated magna cum laude from Northern Kentucky University.  He speaks regularly at seminars regarding various immigration law topics and has been listedas an Ohio Super Lawyer in the field of Immigration.

Blake Somers is owner and managing attorney of Blake P. Somers, LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he specializes in immigration law.  Blake has a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati.  Blake is admitted to the Ohio Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Fifth, and Fourth Circuits.  Blake is treasurer of the Ohio Chapter of the Immigration Lawyers Association.

Amy Bittner is the managing partner at Muchnicki & Bittner, LLP. Amy obtained her law degree from the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Prior to studying the law, Amy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and then a Master’s degree in Spanish, focusing on Latin American Literature and Culture. Amy holds a law license from the state of Ohio and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Amy regularly presents informative sessions to the community on immigration subjects and provides pro bono consultations organized through the Catholic Diocese of Columbus.  Amy is Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University and is chair of the Ohio chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Wayne Benos is owner and managing attorney of the Benos Law Firm, LLC since 2006. Wayne has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College fo Law.  From 2002 to 2006, Wayne was assistant chief counsel for the United States Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Wayne is the liaison of the Ohio chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for the ICE Office of Chief Counsel.