My last name is pronounced: gwah-DAH-nyoh.
Past Work Experience
I have had a solo immigration law practice since 2011.
Before setting up my solo practice, I worked for an immigration law firm called Bretz & Coven, LLP. I worked there from 1997 to 2010. In 2006, I became a partner at Bretz & Coven, LLP. At Bretz & Coven, LLP, I ran the firm’s federal practice and oversaw all of the firm’s briefs and motions before the Board of Immigration Appeals. I either litigated or supervised every case that Bretz & Coven, LLP, had that resulted in a precedent decision in the federal courts between 2002-2010. I ran the firm’s weekly attorney meeting and supervised the firm’s attorneys. I also trained the firm’s new attorneys and ran the intern program. I successfully litigated numerous cases in immigration court.
I am an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. I have taught at Brooklyn Law School since the Spring 2012 semester. I teach a course that I created called, “Immigration Workshop: Deportation Defense.” I was an adjunct professor of law at the Fordham University School of Law for the Spring 2011 semester. At Fordham, I worked in the Immigrant Rights and Access to Justice Clinic. I supervised law students in preparing asylum applications.
After I graduated law school, I volunteered for three years with Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (“PLS”). While my work at PLS did not involve immigration law, the time that I spent there was influential on my work as an immigration attorney because I developed experience as a litigator.
I was also a teacher at the New York Paralegal School from 1997 to 2001. Teaching at a paralegal school was very influential on my work as an immigration lawyer because in addition to refining my oratory skills, I also developed the ability to explain complex legal concepts in simple terms.
Other Experience and Accomplishments
I have been a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association since 2002.
I have successfully litigated thirteen petitions for review that resulted in precedent decisions in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
I currently serve on the Amicus Committee for AILA’s National Office. I have been on AILA’s Amicus Committee since June 2009. The term “amicus curiae” is latin for “friend of the court.” The AILA Amicus Committee selects cases involving immigration issues of national importance and submits briefs in those cases on behalf of AILA before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. I have personally worked on amicus briefs for AILA before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. On June 14, 2010, all of the members of the Amicus Committee, including me, received the Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation from AILA.
I currently serve on the Advisory Board to the Immigration Unit of the Brooklyn Defender Services. I have served on the Advisory Board to the Immigration Unit of the Brooklyn Defenders since 2011. The Advisory Board to the Immigration Unit of the Brooklyn Defender Services is a group of lawyers that provides advice to the immigration lawyers at Brooklyn Defenders.
I served on the Advisory Committee to the Legal Action Center (“LAC”) of the American Immigration Council (formerly known as the American Immigration Law Foundation) from 2007 – 2010. The Advisory Committee consulted with the staff attorneys of the LAC.
I was selected to serve on these three committees due to my reputation as an immigration lawyer. While my work with these organizations has been as a volunteer, they invited me to work with them.
I have been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2012. Martindale-Hubbell provides a peer review rating of lawyers based upon their professional ability and ethics. AV is their highest rating.
I have been listed in the New York Metro Edition of the publication, Super Lawyers, for the years 2008-2014. According to Super Lawyers, no more than 5% of the lawyers in a state can be selected to be in Super Lawyers.
I have been listed in the publication, Best Lawyers, for the years 2013-2014. Best Lawyers is a publication that uses peer review to select the top attorneys in their field of practice.
I am regularly invited to speak at continuing legal education classes regarding immigration law. In order for attorneys to maintain their license to practice law, they must take continuing legal education classes. Since 2003, I have taught over 40 continuing legal education classes. I was selected to teach these continuing education courses due to my reputation as an immigration lawyer. I have taught continuing legal education courses on virtually all of the areas of immigration law that I practice. Among the areas of immigration law that I have taught continuing legal education courses have been: (1) practice in immigration court; (2) criminal immigration and post-conviction relief; (3) practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals; (4) naturalization; (5) asylum, withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture; (5) petitions for review; (6) mandamus actions; and (7) habeas corpus petitions.
I have had 17 articles published relating to immigration law.
I have been a judge at the Annual NYU Moot Court Board Immigration Law Competition for the years 2006 to 2011 and 2013 to 2015.
I am admitted to practice law in New York State.
I am admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Western, Southern, and Northern Districts.
I am admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.
I am admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.