Apr 25, 2011 Alana H. Rotter
Serving pro bono, Alana and Jonathan Rotter win Ninth Circuit reversal of order denying immigrants’ petition for relief

Cruz-Carbajal v. Holder (2011) 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 8516 (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) [unpublished]. Teaming up as pro bono counsel, husband and wife team Alana Rotter of GMSR and Jonathan Rotter of Kaye Scholer LLP argued that the Board of Immigration Appeals erroneously denied a motion for relief based on ineffective assistance of former counsel. The Ninth Circuit agreed, holding in a 2-1 decision that former counsel’s performance was inadequate as a matter of law. The Ninth Circuit further held that the Board misstated the legal standard for determining whether ineffective assistance was prejudicial. The court remanded to the Board to reconsider petitioners’ prejudice argument under the correct, more lenient legal standard.