Crafting a Winning Direct Examination: Practical Tips and Examples

Crafting a Winning Direct Examination: Practical Tips and Examples

Crafting a Winning Direct Examination: Practical Tips and Examples - Recording (CLE Included)
Live Event Date: 9/30/2021
Format Length CLE Eligible
Web Seminar 90 min. Yes

Although filing proper evidence and meeting requirements of the law is clearly essential, most cases are won (or lost) based on the quality and persuasiveness of the direct examination. The ability to story-tell and consequently move the judge—and maybe even the DHS attorney—to find that your client is not only eligible, but also deserving of the sought-after relief, is the most important part of an individual hearing. The speakers on this intermediate session will provide practical tips and techniques to successfully prepare and execute a winning direct examination in immigration proceedings.

Featured Topics:

  • Narrative and Storytelling
  • Preparing Witnesses: Your Client, Supporting Witness, and Expert Witness Testimony
  • Avoiding Leading Questions and Objections
  • Showing Deference vs. Making Your Record (Despite DHS and/or the Judge)
  • Challenges When Appearing Telephonically or via Webex: Should You Advise Not to Proceed?
  • Using Stipulations to Narrow the Issues

AILA Membership Benefit – Access to Free Seminar Recordings (CLE Credit Available for $35)
Enjoy access to free seminar recordings (from October 2020–present) as an AILA Member. AILA encourages live attendance for those wishing to ask the speaker questions. CLE credit is included with purchase for live participants.

Recordings will be available approximately two weeks after the live event date. AILA members can access these seminars, with no CLE credit, for free. Recordings are CLE eligible in most jurisdictions and an administration fee is required to obtain CLE credit.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a web seminar recording.

Michael Sharma-Crawford (DL), Kansas City, MO
Michael Sharma-Crawford is a litigation attorney based in Kansas City. He practices with his wife Rekha Sharma-Crawford. In 2011 they opened The Clinic at Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, a 501(c)(3) non-profit law clinic that represents indigent non-citizens in the Kansas City Immigration Court. Michael was part of the team that litigated Mellouli v. Lynch 135 S. Ct. 1980 (2015).

Juliana Lamardo, Miami, FL
Juliana G. Lamardo was born in São Paulo, Brazil. She is licensed by the Supreme Court of Florida and the Southern District of Florida, since 2008. Juliana is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She is currently the AILA South Florida Treasurer and has been on the Board of Directors since 2020.  She speaks at various immigration-related seminars for AILA and Pincus Professional Education.

Anam Rahman, Fairfax, VA
Anam Rahman is a partner at Calderón Seguin PLC and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law School, where she teaches a clinical course on gender-based forms of relief. She sits as a board member for AsylumWorks, a local nonprofit helping asylum seekers rebuild their lives in the United States, and also serves on the AILA liaison committee for the Arlington Immigration Court. Anam received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School (2012).

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.

Eligible participants can receive up to 1.8 CLE credit hours. AILA will administer CLE credit only to individuals who register and log into the web seminar. AILA cannot verify your attendance and participation in this program unless you register directly for the web seminar and use your name to log in to participate in the program. Therefore, persons who log in or listen in on the web seminar as part of a group will not be able to obtain CLE credit.

Please note that your jurisdiction may limit the amount of distance learning credit you can earn. To view details on your jurisdiction's credit restrictions and CLE requirements, visit the CLE Center.

AILA has filed for CLE and specialized credit in all jurisdictions with mandatory CLE requirements. For details about specific approvals, contact us at

  • AILA applies for accreditation upon attorneys’ request after participation for the following states: AR, DE, IA, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MS, OR, TN and WY. Programs are typically approved.
  • Florida and Rhode Island - Attorneys must apply on their own for approval of seminars in FL and RI. Programs are typically approved.
  • The OnDemand Recording format does not qualify for CLE credit in the following jurisdictions: MO and PR. Please note that your jurisdiction may limit OnDemand credit based on the date of the original presentation. View the OnDemand Downloadable Expiration Chart for more details.

To receive CLE credit for the live event, attorneys must record web seminar attendance and the CLE code provided within one week of the web seminar date via webCLE.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a seminar recording.