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The Categorical Approach Across Jurisdictions: A Step-by-Step Approach

October 17, 2017
Audio Seminar

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  • $199.00
Presented 10/17/2017
02:00 PM (ET)
CLE Eligible Yes
Length 90 min.
Format Live Audio Seminar
SKU AS2017-10-17

If you represent foreign nationals with criminal convictions, an in depth understanding of the categorical/modified categorical approach, particularly in light of recent court decisions, is critical to effective representation. The panelists will address the practical application of the modified categorical approach and additional defense strategies, and will review the latest developments and interpretations among circuit courts in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Mathis v. United States.

Featured Topics

  • The Categorical Approach Defined: Mathis, Taylor, Moncrieffe, Descamps, and Silva-Trevino
  • When Does the “Circumstance Specific” Approach Apply?
  • New Circuit Court Cases
  • Deconstructing a Conviction After Mathis
  • Statutes and Guidelines Most Commonly Requiring Use of the Categorical and Circumstance Specific Approaches
  • Step‐by‐Step Process for Using the Categorical and Circumstance Specific Approaches

Free Downloadable Seminar Recording Included with Live Registration Included with registration, participants in the live seminar will receive a free downloadable recording of the seminar. It will be available in participant's Agora Digital Library approximately 4-7 business days from the seminar date. Order Recordings


Sabrina Damast practices in the areas of immigration and nationality law and post-conviction relief. Before opening her own law practice, Ms. Damast served as a judicial law clerk in the Los Angeles Immigration Court and worked as an immigration attorney in private practice. As a law clerk, she conducted research and wrote more than 200decisions for dozens of immigration judges. Ms. Damast developed an expertise in all forms of deportation defense, including applications for asylum, permanent residence, NACARA, fraud waivers, and criminal waivers. As an attorney in private practice, she solidified these skills by representing clients threatened with deportation. Ms. Damast is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, swing dancing, and musical theater, and she is the leader of a local Girl Scout troop. Ms. Damast is a member of the New York and California Bars and is admitted to the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She frequently publishes articles, teaches CLEs, and gives presentations on immigration law.

Henry Cruz is a partner at Rios & Cruz, P.S., in Seattle, WA. He regularly practices before the immigration court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with a focus on removal defense. Mr. Cruz previously worked at Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice in Seattle, WA, and the Political Asylum Project of Austin in Texas. He speaks regularly on immigration litigation, crimmigration, and immigrant rights. Mr. Cruz is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.

Ben Winograd is an attorney at the Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center, LLC, in Alexandria, VA. He specializes in removal defense and principally litigates cases at the Board of Immigration Appeals and before federal circuit courts. Mr. Winograd also is the author of IRAC's Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions. He previously worked at the American Immigration Council, where he authored amicus briefs and practice advisories for immigration lawyers. Mr. Winograd is the recipient of the 2017 AILA Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award.

The speaker's/author’s views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided are based on the speaker's/author’s experiences and the current state of the law. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis for your unique situation as the law changes quickly and experiences may differ from your own.

Related Information In a two-part blog post, AILA members Mary Kramer, Michael Vastine, and Sui Chung report back on the Supreme Court oral arguments held October 2 on Sessions v. Dimaya, an important case for immigration lawyers relating to the definition of “crime of violence,” and October 3 on Jennings v. Rodriguez, an important case for immigration lawyers relating to prolonged detention. Be sure to check out the accompanying video for a clear discussion of some complex crimmigration issues.
AILA Member/International Associates $129
AILA Members’ Paralegals $129
AILA Nonprofit Members $129
AILA Law Student Members $129
Nonmember Attorneys $199
Other Nonmembers $199
Nonprofit Nonmembers $199
Nonmember Law Students $199
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The The Categorical Approach Across Jurisdictions: A Step-by-Step Approach audio seminar takes place Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the times noted below:

  • 2:00 pm-3:30 pm eastern time
  • 1:00 pm-2:30 pm central time
  • 12:00 pm-1:30 pm mountain time
  • 11:00 am-12:30 pm pacific time
The registration deadline for this seminar is 11:59 pm ET on October 16, 2017.

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