The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has selected Partner Mark Fleming as the recipient of its 2012 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation in the field of immigration law. The award is a recognition of Fleming’s pro bono work in Judulang v. Holder, a Supreme Court case that Fleming argued and won and that has been recognized as one of the most significant decisions in the field in 2011.
Judulang involved a challenge to a policy of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying certain lawful permanent residents the opportunity to seek relief from deportation – an issue that had divided the federal courts of appeals. Leading the WilmerHale team, Fleming argued the case on October 12, 2011. In a unanimous decision, the Court described the BIA's approach as "headscratching," compared it to a "coin flip," and invalidated it as "arbitrary and capricious" – an unprecedented result in an immigration case. A transcript of the oral argument is available here.
This award is the latest in a string of recognitions Fleming has received over the past year. He was recently recognized by Law360 as an “MVP of the Year” with distinction in appellate law, selected by Benchmark Litigation 2011 as a "Future Star," and named National Law Journal's “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” in June 2011.
The AILA Executive Committee will present the award to Fleming at a special ceremony on Thursday, June 14 during its Annual Conference on Immigration Law in Nashville.