NSU Law Alumnus Wins His First Case at the Supreme Court of the United States

Posted on: 05/06/2013

When NSU Law alumnus, Angel L. Arias (JD 2004), joined his fellow NSU Law alumni in April 2012 to be sworn in to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, his timing could not have been better. On October 10, 2012, he sat second chair during oral argument before the Supreme Court.His client, Adrian Moncrieffe, is a legal alien originally from Jamaica. Moncrieffe faced deportation after being convicted under Georgia law for possession of 1.3 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute. On April 23, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of Moncrieffe v. Holder, in favor of Arias’ client when it reversed and remanded the case back to the 5th Circuit. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion. The Court’s holding: “If a noncitizen’s conviction for a marijuana distribution offense fails to establish that the offense involved either remuneration or more than a small amount of marijuana, it is not an aggravated felony under the [Immigration and Nationality Act] INA.” Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito wrote dissenting opinions. See, Moncrieffe v. Holder (2013 WL 1729220).

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