Register for the ACES Immigration Conference by Wednesday to Save $100


August 2, 2019
Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, California

In response to popular demand, the ACES Interest Group is delighted to launch the first-ever ACES immigration conference! This advanced-level CLE conference, to be held in the very heart of the entertainment world—Hollywood—focuses specifically on culture, the arts, music, and emerging niche fields. Expert panelists will examine the immigration-related issues that lawyers face routinely in these practice areas, and will provide guidance on dealing with them successfully. Don't miss this unique and informative conference experience!

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Meet the ACES Faculty

Amanda Brill

Name: Amanda Brill - Conference Chair

  • Firm:
    • TL Brill Parisi
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Reality TV (and other emerging artistic fields)
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Turning around an O-1 and O-2 with a 24 hour approval and I-193 for a performer who was performing at an Academy Awards Party. We also learned about the Windsor Suite at Heathrow where CBP briefed our client (also where the Queen awaits her flights).
  • How did you get into this field?
    • Living in London, it's unavoidable. Lots of film and television here and I love it!
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Hearing from the rock stars of this field! They have so much knowledge to share!
  • Best quick tip:
    • Do your own research and when in doubt, utilize the ACES listserv!
Lauren DeBellis Aviv

Name: Lauren DeBellis Aviv

  • Firm:
    • Daniel Aharoni & Partners, LLC
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Advertising, Commercial/Film/TV Production, Music Industry, Fine Arts, Culinary, and various other art forms.
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • I love the cases where I help artists develop their niche and turn it into an area of extraordinary ability. Through career counseling and guidance, I once took a client who was interested in preserving Jewish culinary traditions and helped her build her career into becoming a Culinary Curator. She is now the top Culinary Curator for Jewish cuisine in NYC.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • I joined Daniel Aharoni in 2010; Daniel has been a legend in the O-1/EB-1 world for decades. He started his career in entertainment law and then transformed it into an immigration practice for the entertainers and other artists. I guess I just picked up where he left off.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • This is a once in an "AILA" lifetime opportunity for the "who's who" of the O-1/EB-1 world to come together and share the tools of their trade. Other AILA conferences barely scratch the surface of this practice area. At this conference you will hear from the experts who spend their days cultivating these cases, and I trust you will walk away with a tool chest full of practical applications.
  • Best quick tip:
    • Think of yourself as a curator of your client's evidence. Your job is to help guide them to come up with the appropriate narrative for the case.
  • Other interesting information you'd like to share:
    • You would be remiss to not attend this conference. Our office has never been so excited for a conference. Hope to see you there!
Ceridwen Koski

Name: Ceridwen Johanna Koski

  • Firm:
    • Ogletree Deakins
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Innovators (science and technology) and Entrepreneurs, Motion Picture, all types of Art and Design, Musicians, Culinary Artists, Athletes
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Entrepreneurs and creatives. Also challenging hybrid cases, i.e. the yoga instructor, the filmmaker/scientist.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • Ten years ago, a Swedish Jazz Singer asked for my help.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • O-1/EB-1 is the most exciting niche in business immigration because it allows us to really learn about what is going on in the world through our clients.
  • Best quick tip:
    • Self-selection is important. If a client/employee doesn't believe they qualify, believe them.
    • An editorial eye on these cases is important.
Eileen Morrison

Name: Eileen F. Morrison

  • Firm:
    • Law Office of Eileen Morrison
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Orchestra and other classical musicians, fine art painters, industrial designers, graphic designers, other design fields.
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Street artist who paints murals all over the world, quartets, a shoe collaboration designer, and a flute finisher.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • In my former firm, I was very interested in doing these cases and nobody else was.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • The opportunity to connect with other practitioners in this area and discuss strategy and different approaches.
  • Best quick tip:
    • Embed your evidence in the support letter so USCIS can't say they did not receive your documentation.
Protima Daryanani

Name: Protima Daryanani

  • Firm:
    • Daryanani Law Group
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Arts, film and TV, fashion, architecture and culinary.
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Influencers, cases for start-up fashion companies and the film and TV cases
  • How did you get into this field?
    • One of my friends who is a fashion agent mentioned Eric Bland worked in the field and since I'm fascinated by all things fashion and entertainment, I emailed Eric. It was a perfect match for my interests and I was so thrilled when he offered me the position in 2001. Together we grew the business into other creative fields. I love the creative challenge of an arts case or someone working in a new field.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • I think it is a great opportunity for seasoned practitioners to mingle with like-minded colleagues. It is a rare for all of us to be in the same room. Younger practitioners and those less experienced in the field will have access to experts in the field. How better to learn how to do a case?
  • Best quick tip:
    • How you tell the foreign national's story and present the facts is the key to winning the case. (My criminal law professor taught me that but it applies equally well in this field.)
Dan Berger

Name: Dan Berger

  • Firm:
    • Curran, Berger & Kludt in Northampton MA
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Music, especially classical music and ethnic music
  • How did you get into this field?
    • We do work with colleges and universities, and started talking to the music, drama and art graduates.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Bringing together people who think about these issues specifically to share ideas and strategies
  • Best quick tip:
    • Be realistic-it's natural to want to help, but sometimes for younger performers, it's better to spend a year abroad to build up a resume. At my age, I can reassure the younger artists that a year is not forever.
  • Other interesting information you'd like to share:
    • The best part is when I get to go to the performances after the client is here!
Karin Wolman

Name: Karin Wolman

  • Firm:
    • Law Office of Karin Wolman, PLLC
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Fine arts, classical music, architects/designers, academics/scientists, non-team sports.
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Anyone whose work blurs the boundaries between disciplines.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • I spent 4 years at the Brooklyn Academy of Music right when the O&P regulations were introduced.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Getting to see some of my most knowledgeable (& fun!) colleagues.
  • Best quick tip:
    • Never use a template for testimonials-If you can spot the cookie-cutter, so can the examiner.
  • Other interesting info you'd like to share:
    • If there is no union, the regulations allow advisory consultation by an individual peer expert-ISOs need to be reminded of this often.

Name: Fuji Whittenburg

  • Firm:
    • Whittenburg Immigration Law
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Individuals and companies in the arts, entertainment, fashion, music, technology, animation, new media, and video gaming industries.
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Most recently, filing O-1s for influencers, which has been really exciting and opened my mind to the types of evidence that can be used to demonstrate EA. I just recently filed an O-1 for a Mentalist performing a show in Vegas, which was also fascinating. I love this area of immigration law because I get to learn interesting things about different fields in arts & entertainment so am always feeling culturally enriched while challenging myself professionally.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • During my first year of practice, in LA, arts/entertainment cases were assigned to me-first with fashion models, and then it expanded into MPTV, music and other fields. Once I started, my practice and experience in the area just grew, as did my appreciation. I love what I do.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Getting to hear from my fellow experts, seeing colleagues, and attending an advanced-level conference focused on arts & entertainment, which is the bulk of my practice. Oh, and it's in my hometown of LA-the entertainment capital of the world!
  • Best quick tip:
    • Paper up. Document the documents. Try to meet each criterion with several forms of credible evidence (e.g., Letter + IMDB + contract + press + information about the company)-which will make your case easy for the officer to approve. Use the regs and memos for guidance and language.
  • Other interesting info you'd like to share:
    • Even though I've filed hundreds of O-1s, I still go back to the regs each and every day. I check AILA InfoNet for memos and practice pointers, and bounce ideas off colleagues. What worked on your last case may not work on your current case so be creative and look at each case with a fresh pair of eyes.
Catherine Haight

Name: Catherine L. Haight

  • Firm:
    • Haight Law Group, PC
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Sports (major leagues, eSports, X-games), Motion picture/TV, Art
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • NHL, NBA, MLB, eGamers
  • How did you get into this field?
    • Represented one team 15 years ago and it blossomed through referrals.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Being around colleagues who understand O's and P's!
  • Best quick tip:
    • Refer to the O and P regulations in extreme detail as you are preparing the case.
  • Other interesting info you'd like to share:
    • My personal rule-don't ask for tickets to events; wait until they are offered to you!

Name: Elissa Taub

  • Firm:
    • Siskind Susser PC
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Circus performers, ballet dancers, filmmakers, musicians and other assorted fields from time to time
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • Those involving unusual fields! I love learning about a field I haven't previously encountered.
  • How did you get into this field?
    • They were the first types of cases I worked on when I first joined the firm, and as my practice has grown and evolved, I've continued to maintain a practice in this area.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • I'm excited to network and meet with attorneys who, until now, I only know via email and social media. I am also excited for the in-depth, expert panels, because I think they will be top-notch. I wouldn't miss this conference!
  • Best quick tip:
    • Learn as much about the client's field as you can and do your best to educate USCIS about it.
  • Other interesting info you'd like to share:
    • As with other areas of immigration law, this field is changing rapidly. The ACES listserv has been an invaluable resource to keeping on top of trends.
Becki L. Young

Name: Becki L. Young

  • Firm:
    • Grossman Young & Hammond, LLC
  • Which entertainment and culture areas do you focus on?
    • Hospitality (including chefs, sommeliers, restaurant managers, event managers, mixologists – even a few butlers and gelato makers!)
  • What has been some of your most interesting ACES cases?
    • All the hospitality cases are a lot of fun – the biggest legal challenge was persuading USCIS that “butling” is an art. It is - if you google “butling arts” you will see that I am not making this up!
  • How did you get into this field?
    • It all started with a super-exclusive resort in New York that was having staffing challenges due to its remote location and need for highly qualified staff. We started doing J-1 visas for that client, and that branched into all sorts of immigration work for all sorts of hospitality clients. O-1s and EB1-1s were a logical progression since most of our clients are high-end individuals and hire top-notch talent from around the globe.
  • What excites you most about this conference?
    • Getting to brainstorm with other practitioners on the latest trends, as well as tips and tricks for O-1 and EB1-1 cases.
  • Best quick tip:
    • For O-1Bs, I always say publications are the litmus test. If someone comes to me with at least five solid publications, that’s usually a sign that they qualify and will be able to document the other criteria.
  • Other interesting information you'd like to share:
    • Remember that you can get an O-1 if you are the top of any field. One of my first experiences with the category was as a young paralegal, when I worked on an O-1 for a pantomime artist. I later met someone who did a lot of O-1s for rave DJs. Really, the sky is the limit and O-1s are a great opportunity to learn about interesting people and the fascinating work they do!