Immigration Law

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8 Jul, 2011

Should Non-Lawyers Be Allowed to Represent People before Immigration Courts?

Author |Immigration Law|1 Comment

Yesterday, the New York Times had an interesting piece about the role that non-lawyers play in New York immigration courts. Father Robert Vitaglione, a non-lawyer, represented people in immigration cases. The Times reports that:

For more than three decades, Robert Vitaglione never turned down a client, representing thousands of immigrants in New York’s overburdened federal immigration courts. But he is not a lawyer. He is a Roman Catholic priest without formal legal training or supervision — and it showed.

Disheveled and disorganized, Father Vitaglione sometimes jeopardized cases with his erratic behavior, according to a federal finding. His legal briefs included a blizzard of fonts and asides — “Deportation = Death” was written in bold in one.