Skip to main content

Motions to Suppress and to Terminate Removal Proceedings: Litigating Fourth Amendment Violations in Immigration Court


Speaker(s): Avantika Shastri, Francisco M. Ugarte, Jason R. Bartlett, Julia Harumi Mass, Nicholas S. Napolitan, Rosy H. Cho
Recorded on: May. 26, 2017
PLI Program #: 215186

Jason Bartlett has over fifteen years of experience in intellectual property litigation, commercial arbitration, and licensing. His engagements have involved a broad range of technologies and industries. In computers and consumer electronics, he has litigated and advised companies on design and utility patents relating to smartphone software and hardware, cellular telecommunications standards, self-balancing human transporters (“hoverboards”), drones, human-computer interfaces, global positioning systems, computer animation software, and field programmable gate array hardware.  In the life sciences, he has experience with monoclonal antibody therapeutics and diagnostics, vaccines, and medical devices.

Jason has represented clients in matters in the U.S. District Courts, the International Trade Commission, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Tokyo District Court, and a variety of international arbitral fora.

Jason has extensive experience representing clients in Asia and spent four years practicing in Tokyo. Jason joins MKW from Morrison & Forester where he was a partner in that firm’s Intellectual Property Group.


Julia Harumi Mass is a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. Since joining the ACLU in 2003, Julia has worked on a variety of issues including students’ rights, immigrants’ rightsfreedom of speech, and national security.

Since 2006, Julia has led the ACLU of Northern California’s immigrants’ rights work, which in recent years has focused on campaigns to limit local police and sheriff participation in immigration enforcement and litigation to increase access to justice for detained immigrants.

Her current cases include a suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for refusing to release documents that would shed light on the agency’s treatment of asylum seekers. She also led the ACLU of Northern California in obtaining a groundbreaking settlement to allow immigrants in detention to access phones to contact lawyers, families, and government agencies. For someone in detention, basic phone access is necessary to getting their fair day in court, and therefore their only hope for returning to jobs and families. Julia also brought a successful class action lawsuit challenging the practice of holding immigrants indefinitely without due process in mandatory detention. Thousands of California’s immigrants may now make an individualized case against their detention.

In another class action lawsuit, Julia and co-counsel asserted that simply being in detention is not a legitimate basis to subject individuals to shackles in immigration court. After over two years of litigation, U.S. immigration authorities agreed to major changes to their shackling policy in San Francisco Immigration Court.

This historic settlement directly affected thousands of immigration detainees and has national implications as a model for litigation and policy across the United States.

In 2015 and 2016, California Lawyer/Daily Journal honored Julia as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in the area of immigration. Prior to her work at the ACLU, Julia represented public and private sector labor unions and employees as an associate with Rothner, Segall & Greenstone in Pasadena, California. She also clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College and received her law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.


Rosy H. Cho is a San Francisco attorney whose practice is focused exclusively on immigration law  with an emphasis on family immigration and removal defense.  She has extensivev experience with marriage-based visas, naturalization and citizenship, removal and deportation defense, post-conviction relief, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For well over a decade, Ms. Cho has demonstrated a commitment to immigrants’ legal rights. Working closely with community based and nonprofit organizations, she coordinated the San Francisco Bay Area legal response to large-scale raids conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Following ICE work site raids in 2008, Ms. Cho worked with the ACLU and the law firm of Morrison and Foerster to challenge the unconstitutional practices of ICE.

In recognition of her services to the immigrant community, Ms. Cho was awarded the 2010 Phillip Burton Immigration and Civil Rights Award for Advocacy by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Since 2008, Ms. Cho has been selected each year for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers which is published annually in Super Lawyers Magazine and San Francisco Magazine for her professional achievements in the area of immigration law. In addition, Ms. Cho has been awarded the Certificate of Recognition for her Pro Bono services by the Northern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco Volunteer Immigration Pro Bono Program.

Ms. Cho regularly speaks at state and national conferences and has taught seminars on various aspects of immigration law.

Ms. Cho is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College. Ms. Cho is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice in the Northern, Central and Eastern District Courts of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Avantika Shastri is the Assistant Director of the Immigrant Legal Defense Program at Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco (JDC). She is also the Legal Director for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC). She oversees and coordinates the removal defense representation provided by the 15 partner organizations in the SFILDC, including legal strategy, collective advocacy, intakes and referrals, rapid response services, and legal training. Avantika also supervises and supports the legal programs of JDC’s Immigrant Legal Defense Program. Prior to her position at JDC, Avantika was in private practice for 11 years at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale in San Francisco, where she represented immigrants before the immigration agencies and federal courts. She specialized in removal defense, appellate litigation, family-based immigration, naturalization, and the immigration consequences of crimes. Avantika received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.


Nick Napolitan is a graduate of Columbia Law School, and a former clerk of the Honorable Samuel Conti in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  Nick practiced law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco, where he specialized in commercial litigation, False Claims Act litigation and securities class actions.  While at Morrison & Foerster LLP, Nick represented numerous individuals who were placed in removal proceedings following the raids on El Balazo taquerias throughout the Bay Area on May 2, 2008.  Nick now works as Senior Counsel, Litigation, for a San Francisco-based company.


Francisco is the first full-time immigration attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, where he advises criminal defenders how to avoid adverse immigration consequences for non-citizens during the plea bargain process.  He also provides direct representation for immigrants facing deportation due to a criminal arrest or conviction.  Previously, Francisco worked at Dolores Street Community Services, where he built the organization’s first deportation defense program designed specifically to defend non-citizens against illegal ICE workplace and home raids.  Francisco has successfully litigated dozens of removal cases, including cases where non-citizens filed motions to suppress evidence. In 2009, Francisco litigated Matter of Garcia-Garcia, 25 I&N Dec. 93 (BIA 2009), the first immigration case which held that a non-citizen could request a court to order that ICE remove an ankle bracelet from a non-citizen in deportation proceedings.  Francisco was recognized in 2015 by Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) for his work representing survivors of domestic violence wrongfully turned over to ICE for deportation, and in 2011 by Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) for his immigrant rights advocacy.  He frequently lectures on topics relating to deportation defense.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Central American Resource Center of San Francisco.