March 28, 2024

Law firm files amicus brief in rare en banc review by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Law firm principal Joel B. Rudin is vice chair of the amicus committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”).  Today, Mr. Rudin filed an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief, on behalf of the NACDL and numerous other defense lawyer organizations, to be considered by the full, or en banc, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  The issue is an important one:  whether a criminal defense attorney is required to warn a client of the possibility he may be stripped of his citizenship and deported if he pleads guilty to an offense for which such denaturalization is authorized.  Despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that a defense lawyer must warn their client of the “immigration consequences” of a criminal conviction such as deportation, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit, by 2-1 vote, held that this rule did not include the possibility of denaturalization even though it usually leads to deportation.  The amicus brief was authored by Matthew A. Wasserman, a former associate with the firm now employed by the Innocence Project, and edited by Mr. Rudin.  The appeal is scheduled to be heard by the full complement of 13 judges comprising the Second Circuit on May 22, 2024.  The amicus brief can be accessed here.