On May 7, 2021, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled for Robbins Russell client Zhi Fei Liao. For years, the federal government has sought to deport Mr. Liao based on two state-law misdemeanors. Robbins Russell won a previous appeal that overturned an agency decision ordering Mr. Liao to be deported based on one of those offenses, but the Board of Immigration Appeals responded by ordering Mr. Liao to be deported based on the remaining offense.
The Third Circuit again appointed Robbins Russell to represent Mr. Liao pro bono. Robbins Russell associates Brandon L. Arnold and Anna L. Deffebach handled the second appeal, assisted by partner Joshua S. Bolian. Robbins Russell’s brief prompted the government to move to remand the case, without conceding error, so that the Board could consider the “extraordinarily complex and hyper-technical legal issues” identified by Robbins Russell. But Robbins Russell persuaded the Third Circuit to deny remand, over a noted dissent. The government then conceded error, and a unanimous Third Circuit panel overturned Mr. Liao’s deportation order and directed the Board to dismiss the deportation proceedings.