Top Attorney – Lisa Brodyaga

San Benito, TX/Press/August 1, 2019 – Lisa Brodyaga (Deceased), Vice President, Immigration Attorney at Refugio del Rio Grande Inc., was selected for inclusion into the Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020 edition of The Who’s Who Directories.

Lisa Brodyaga was an Immigration Attorney and  the co-founder of Refugio Del Rio Grande, Inc., licensed to practice law in the State of Texas since 1979.  Since 1981, she was certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. At about that time, she became deeply involved with the work on behalf of the Central Americans. Refugio Del Rio Grande, Inc., is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) “refugee camp” on a 45 acre wilderness near San Benito, Texas, where She still serve as a volunteer attorney.

Most of her current work was on behalf of lawful permanent residents, caught up in the web of the 1996 amendments. Between 1996 and 2001, she litigated the issue of the retroactivity of the repeal of Section 212(c) relief, and represented approximately 50 or 60 LPRs under administratively final orders of deportation.  She won thirty-plus habeas cases, with more held in abeyance while INS appealed her victory, and managed to hold INS at bay until St. Cyr was decided, at which point INS withdrew its appeals.

Since then, she has been devoted to a similar struggle challenging the Fifth Circuit’s conclusion that state drug convictions treated as felonies by the state are aggravated felonies. This issue was also won at the Supreme Court, in Lopez v. Gonzales, 127 S.Ct. 625 (2006), holding that drug offenses which would be misdemeanors under federal law are not aggravated felonies, regardless of how they are characterized by the state.

Prior cases she has been involved in include Guevara-Flores, an antecedent to Cardoza-Fonseca, and Diaz-Resendez, giving a broad interpretation to the scope of review of discretionary decisions, (preIIRIRA), but still useful in some instances. She has received various national awards, from the National Lawyers Guild, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Lexis-Nexis. Early in her career, she taught at various law schools.

Ms. Brodyaga graduated in 1974 from Catholic University School of Law, in Washington, D.C. To keep her sanity, she raised animals, including horses, dogs, and a few head of cattle. To atone for all the paper she wasted on briefs and the like, she planted trees.

The Top Attorneys of North America, a New York based publication, distinguishes and profiles leading attorneys who have reached a recognizable degree of success and leadership in their field. The directory is valued for promoting awareness of the accomplishments within the North American legal community.

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