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Law360 Details Ninth Circuit Victory in Pro Bono Immigration Case

September 07, 2017

On August 30, 2017, Law360 reported on a Ninth Circuit pro bono win secured by O’Melveny on behalf of a Guatemalan immigrant seeking asylum under the UN’s Convention Against Torture. 

According to the article, the Ninth Circuit “found that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) abused its discretion by not more closely examining why a Guatemalan immigrant with obvious signs of mental illness was nevertheless ordered deported by an immigration judge.” The panel remanded the case to the BIA for a new hearing so that the mental state of O’Melveny’s client can be properly considered.

“This is an important victory for our client,” O’Melveny associate Matthew Smock told Law360 in the article. “We are pleased that Mr. Campos Mejia now has an opportunity to have a fair immigration hearing. Tuesday’s decision makes clear that the agency’s framework for assessing competency is mandatory and must be taken seriously by the immigration courts.”

Mejia is represented by Smock, a litigation associate, along with partner Amy Laurendeau, who focuses on class and mass tort actions involving product liability claims. They both reside in O’Melveny’s Newport Beach office.