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GiVE Back: V&E Pro Bono Blog

Pro Bono Hero Spotlight: Ross Woessner

Together with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), ENR Associate Ross Woessner represents two Honduran children in a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) case. The children escaped horrible physical and mental abuse from extended family members to live a safe, happy life in Houston with their mom. 

Mr. Woessner and his clients recently appeared before a Harris County District Court to obtain an order that would allow his clients to apply for humanitarian relief before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The stakes were high. Mr. Woessner and his clients appeared before the Presiding Judge in a de novo hearing because the Associate Judge (analogous to a Magistrate Judge in a federal District Court) declined to make the necessary findings twice before. The de novo hearing was their last shot. In addition, the court is well-known for being highly skeptical of SIJS cases and routinely declines to make the findings necessary for humanitarian relief. In fact, a partner at one of V&E’s peer firms brought a SIJS case before the same court in October and did not succeed.

The Presiding Judge granted everything Mr. Woessner’s clients needed to apply for humanitarian relief, specifically a finding that it would not be in the children’s best interest to be returned to Honduras. The clients were overjoyed that they could stay with their mom. The family celebrated with hugs and tears outside the courtroom.

The Presiding Judge later followed with special thanks to Mr. Woessner, his Group Leader Larry Nettles, and V&E for their support of pro bono work.

Pro Bono Hero Spotlight: Ross Woessner

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