Sharon has over 22 years experience as an immigration lawyer. Her practice focuses on small business employment-based immigration, asylum with a focus on Syrian asylum, Iranian Christians, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) asylum, family-based immigration including transgender and same sex marriage-based immigration, removal defense, citizenship and appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sharon is certified as a specialist in immigration and nationality law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. She has served as treasurer, secretary, vice chair and chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Northern California Chapter. Sharon has served in various liaison positions for the local and national AILA and served as Chair of the Family Immigration Section of the Annual AILA Conference. Sharon is a frequent speaker at AILA conferences and provides trainings for many non profit organizations.
Sharon has been recognized by Northern California as a Super Lawyer between 2005 - 2013. She was awarded the First Annual Benito Juarez Human Rights Award for Outstanding Service to the HIV Immigrant Community presented by Aids Legal Referral Panel in 2008. Sharon has received a volunteer appreciation award from the AIDS Legal Referral Panel every year since 1997. Sharon has served as a mentor in asylum cases for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco since 1995.
Sharon has successfully litigated numerous cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including:
1. Reyes-Santos v. Holder, 2010 WL 2354207 (9th Cir. 2010) successfully argued that the Board of Immigration Appeals denial of a motion to reopen for asylum was in error. The Ninth Circuit agreed and remanded. Awarded attorneys fees.
2. Freire v. Ashcroft, 2005 WL 319109 (9th Cir. 2005) successfully argued constitutional rights of asylum seeker were violated.
3. Pitcherskaia v. INS, 118 F.3d 641 (9th Cir. 1997) submitted amicus brief on behalf of Amnesty International arguing on behalf of lesbian asylum seeker from Russia.
4. Avanesov v. Keisler, 2007 WL3250731 (9th Cir. 2007) successfully argued that the constitutional rights of a gay man from Russia were violated. Awarded attorneys fees.
Sharon has prevailed on mandamus actions on behalf of clients.
Admitted: California State Bar, November 1994
California Board Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law: 1998 to present
Law School: University of Michigan Law School, JD June 1994
College: Cornell University, June 1987, BA Economics
Memberships: American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Lawyer's Guild
Positions: Past Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Nor Cal Chapter