Comm on Civil Rights and Comm on Immigration Representation

Thursday, January 17, 2019
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Total MCLE Credits: 2.00 (Professional Practice 2.00)
Concourse G, Concourse Level


ICE in our Courts: Practical Strategies for Protecting Clients’ Rights and the Rule of Law

Program Description
The distressing specter of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents invading courthouses to seize non-citizen litigants throughout New York State has engendered a climate of terror for immigrant and mixed-status communities seeking access to justice and protection of fundamental constitutional rights. “Statistics and reports from across New York State confirm that immigrants are declining to appear in court or to initiate legal actions due to fear of ICE. This tragic result also impacts the effectiveness of local law enforcement and residents’ engagement with essential government services.” (Letter to Hon. Janet DiFiore from New York City elected representatives dated February 15, 2018.) The increasingly aggressive tactics utilized by ICE in our courts requires attorneys to develop a cohesive strategy for litigating any case that involves non-citizen participants. This program will identify the variety of ethical, constitutional, and practical issues that arise from the presence of ICE in our courts. The program will also provide attorneys with practical suggestions for challenging ICE’s enforcement policy. Those who attend will leave with a better understanding of the current status of ICE’s policy toward courthouse enforcement actions in New York State and its effect on law enforcement, family court, and criminal defense practice. Finally, attendees will leave with tools to help them advocate for their non-citizen clients.

2:00 – 2:05 p.m. Welcoming Remarks and Introductions
Program Chairs

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. Grabbing the Bull by the Horns: A Discussion of Practical Approaches for Addressing the Presence of ICE in Our Courts (1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice)
Panelists will explain ICE’s current policy regarding its presence in our courts and set forth the variety of legal, practical and ethical issues that arise from this policy. Panelists will provide practical guidance for representing clients facing detention by ICE when they appear in court. The presentation will highlight the different strategies available to attorneys seeking to ensure protection of fundamental constitutional rights of their clients. 

Terry Lawson, Esq.

Bronx Legal Services | Bronx, NY

Lee Wang, Esq.

Immigrant Defense Project | New York, NY

2:55 – 3:10 p.m. Break

3:10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Unintended Consequences: The Impact of ICE in Our Courts on Law Enforcement (1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice)
Exploring the effect of ICE’s current policy on law enforcement, this presentation will highlight the chilling effect of the policy on both filing and pursuing criminal and civil cases. It will also explain the ethical obligations of prosecutors regarding pretrial discovery in criminal cases.

Tina Luongo, Esq.
Legal Aid Society | New York, NY

4:00 p.m. Adjourn