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  • Press Release
    December 01, 2015

    New Legal Book Explores Immigration's Impact on Wisconsin Law

    Madison, WI – With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on what kind of counsel defense attorneys should provide to noncitizen clients, the State Bar of Wisconsin is releasing a new book to help lawyers become more familiar with immigration and its impact on state law.

    Immigration Consequences of Wisconsin Criminal Offenses, written by Milwaukee Attorney Davorin Odrcic, explores U.S. Supreme Court decision Padilla v. Kentucky. Padilla directs defense attorneys to advise their noncitizen clients of the potential immigration repercussions of pleading guilty to certain offenses.

    Katie StenzFor more information contact Katie Stenz, public relations coordinator, State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at org kstenz wisbar wisbar kstenz org, or by phone at (608) 250-6025.

    “Sooner or later every criminal law practitioner is going to represent a client who is not a U.S. citizen,” said Kathy Pakes, primary book reviewer and assigned counsel division director for the State Public Defender. “When that time comes, it is imperative the lawyer recognizes that resolving criminal charges can directly affect the client's immigration status and trigger deportation proceedings.”  

    The book is divided into three sections and is available on for pre-order until it becomes available for shipping next week.

    The first section of the book provides the framework for defense attorneys to understand the relationship between criminal offenses and immigration consequences. The second section of the book analyzes the immigration consequences of approximately 80 select Wisconsin criminal offenses using this framework. The final section of the book focuses on the practical implications of crimmigration practice, including a client questionnaire, suggestions for how to find out if the client is a citizen, fee-agreement clauses, checklists of deportable and inadmissible offenses – and more. 

    A helpful feature of the new book, according to Pakes, is that the author discusses the most common criminal offenses in Wisconsin and explains how resolution of those offenses might affect a client’s immigration status.

    For noncitizens, a guilty plea, criminal charge or conviction can mean much more than jail time – it can mean deportation and other serious immigration consequences. Noncitizen defendants in Wisconsin frequently plead guilty to offenses without fully understanding the ramifications.

    “While federal immigration law and procedure can be intimidating, failure to address immigration issues can have devastating effects on a client and his or her family, and lead to a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel against the lawyer,” Pakes added.

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