16 New Immigration Judges Sworn in On November 16, 2018

Wendy Barlow's picture

On November 16, 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) swore in sixteen new Immigration Judges in an investiture ceremony to sit at nine immigration courts and immigration adjudication centers [PDF version]. The sixteen new immigration judges were appointed by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions before he left his position. In this post, we will list the new immigration judges and the immigration courts on which they are now serving. To read our other posts on immigration judge investiture ceremonies, please see our article index [see index].

New York City Immigration Court

The New York City Immigration Court gained two new immigration judges.

Susan M. Beschta, Immigration Judge, New York City Immigration Court

Since being sworn in as an immigration judge, Susan Beschta tragically passed away at the age of 67 in May. We knew her to be an incredibly good person and are saddened by her loss. We are confident that she would have been a terrific immigration judge for many years. Below, we will summarize her biography from the EOIR immigration judge investiture ceremony news release. To learn more about her life, please see our obituary [see blog].

2002-2018: Assistant chief counsel and deputy chief counsel with the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in New York, New York.
2000-2002: Private practice.
1991-2000: Staff attorney, and subsequently senior attorney, with Immigration Refugee Services for Catholic Charities, in New York.
Law degree from the City University of New York School of Law in 1989.

Immigration Judge Beschta had extensive experience both in working as an attorney for ICE and with Catholic Charities in representing noncitizens seeking asylum and other forms of protection. The New York City Immigration Court would have benefitted greatly from her experience, knowledge, and temperament.

Lisa W. Ling, Immigration Judge, New York City Immigration Court

2008-2018: Assistant chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in New York, New York.
2007-2008: Judicial law clerk for EOIR through the Attorney General's Honors Program.
Law degree from New York Law School in 2007.

Immigration Judge Ling's experience comes exclusively from her work as an ICE attorney for the ten years preceding her appointment as an immigration judge.

Conroe (Texas) Immigration Court

The Conroe Immigration Court received two new immigration judges.

Mark S. Evans, Immigration Judge, Conroe Immigration Court

1997-2018: Assistant chief counsel, senior attorney, and deputy chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Houston, Texas.
1996-1997: Assistant district attorney with the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office in Richmond, Texas.
1991-1996: Private practice.
1987-1991: Assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, in Houston, Texas.
Law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1987.

Immigration Judge Evans has 21 years of experience as an attorney for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and DHS. Prior to that, he worked for two stints as a local prosecutor.

Billy J. Sapp, Immigration Judge, Conroe Immigration Court

2002-2018: Assistant chief counsel and senior attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001.

Immigration Judge Sapp had 16 years of experience as an ICE attorney prior to taking the bench as an immigration judge.

Fort Worth (Texas) Immigration Adjudication Center

The Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center gained three new immigration judges.

Sarah M. Ellison, Immigration Judge, Forth Worth Immigration Adjudication Center

2017-2018: Assistant chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Pearsall, Texas.
2014-2017: U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas.
2010-2014: Assistant district attorney with the District Attorney's Office, Bexar County, in San Antonio, Texas.
2009-2010: Private practice.
Law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in 2009.

Immigration Judge Ellison's experience was primarily as a local and federal prosecutor before working for one year as an ICE attorney.

Kelly N. Fowler, Immigration Judge, Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center

2017-2018: Special assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
2008-2017: Assistant chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Atlanta, Georgia.
2006-2008: Private practice.
Law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2005.

Immigration Judge Fowler worked for almost one decade as an ICE attorney before a one-year stint as a special assistant U.S. attorney.

Christopher J. Thielmann, Immigration Judge, Fort Worth Adjudication Center

2015-2018: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
2002-2015: Judge advocate with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Law degree from Florida State University College of Law in 2002; Master of Laws degree from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.

The majority of Immigration Judge Thielmann's experience came as a military lawyer, followed by a stint as a federal prosecutor.

Los Angeles Immigration Court

The Los Angeles Immigration Court gained one new immigration judge.

Daniel H. Malvin, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court

2016-2018: Supervisory administrative law judge with the Office of Medical Hearings and Appeals, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in Kansas City, Missouri.
2006-2016: Assistant chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in El Centro, and Los Angeles, California.
2012-2015: Special assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
1993-2006: Private practice.
Law degree from Loyola Law School in 1993.

Immigration Judge Malvin has an extensive resume of work in private practice, as a prosecutor, and as an ICE attorney. For the two years immediately preceding his investiture as an immigration judge, he worked as an administrative law judge for the HHS.

Las Vegas Immigration Court

Two new immigration judges were sworn in to sit on the Las Vegas Immigration Court.

Ann M. McDermott, Immigration Judge, Las Vegas Immigration Court

2009-2018: Senior deputy attorney general, chief deputy attorney general, and litigation bureau chief with the Nevada Office of the Attorney General, in Las Vegans.
2007-2009: Head administrator for the Real Estate Division of the State of Nevada, in Las Vegas.
2005-2007: Deputy attorney for injured workers for the State of Nevada, in Las Vegas.
2003-2005: Private practice.
Law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2002.

Unlike most of the new immigration judges, Immigration Judge McDermott had no prior experience as an ICE attorney. Instead, she worked for over a decade in various capacities in the Nevada state government, with a long stint in the Nevada Attorney General's office immediately prior to her being sworn in as an immigration judge.

Lindsy M. Roberts, Immigration Judge, Las Vegas Immigration Court

2015-2018: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada.
2004-2015: Private practice.
Law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2003.

Like her fellow new immigration judge on the Las Vegas Immigration Court, Immigration Judge Roberts did not work previously as an ICE attorney. Instead, she worked for over a decade in private practice before becoming a federal prosecutor.

Louisville (Kentucky) Immigration Court

The Louisville Immigration Court gained three new immigration judges.

Kelly Scot Johnson, Immigration Judge, Louisville Immigration Court

2012-2018: Assistant chief counsel and deputy chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Lumpkin, Georgia.
2010-2012: Assistant chief counsel with ICE, DHS, in Port Isabel, Texas.
2001-2010: Private practice.
Law Degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2000.

Immigration Judge Johnson served for nearly a decade as an ICE attorney at two locations prior to becoming an immigration judge.

Daniel P. Kinnicutt, Immigration Judge, Louisville Immigration Court

2005-2018: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky.
2003-2005: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.
2003-2003: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona.
1999-2003: Assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.
1994-1999: Deputy prosecuting attorney for the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in Tacoma, Washington.
Law degree from Seattle University School of Law in 1994.

Immigration Judge Kinnicutt was a career prosecutor with nearly two decades of experience as an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Robert Quincy Ward, Immigration Judge, Louisville Immigration Court

2017-2018: Executive adviser for the Office of Legal Services, Public Protection Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky.
2015-2017: Private practice.
1995-2015: Attorney with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Law Degree from University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law in 1994.

Immigration Judge Ward's experience came primarily as a military lawyer with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Memphis Immigration Court

The Memphis Immigration Court received one new immigration judge.

Renea Maree Hansell-Barton, Immigration Judge, Memphis Immigration Court

2003-2018: Law clerk, senior attorney, assistant chief counsel, and deputy chief counsel with the Office of the Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in Atlanta and Memphis, Tennessee.
Law degree from Georgia State University College of Law in 2003.

Immigration Judge Hansell-Barton's experience comes exclusively from her work as an ICE attorney for the fifteen years preceding her taking the immigration bench.

Seattle Immigration Court

The Seattle Immigration Court gained one new immigration judge.

Robert B.C. McSeveney, Immigration Judge, Seattle Immigration Court

2018-2018: Superior court judge for the Chelan County Superior Court, in Washington.
2011-2017: Immigration judge for the San Diego Immigration Court.
1994-2011: Municipal court judge for the City of Kent, in Washington.
1988-1994: Private practice.
1985-1988: Deputy prosecuting attorney and assistant city attorney for the City of Bellevue, in Washington.
Law degree from University of Puget Sound Law School in 1984.

Immigration Judge McSeveney is the only former immigration judge among the new immigration judges. He returns to the bench — this time with the Seattle Immigration Court — after a six year stint as an immigration judge on the San Diego Immigration Court. He has a combined eighteen years of experience as a local judge in Washington bookending his first stint as an immigration judge.

San Francisco Immigration Court

The San Francisco Immigration Court added one new immigration judge.

Scott D. Gambill, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

2008-2018: Assistant chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel, ICE, DHS, in San Francisco.
2004-2008: Staff attorney with the Northwest Justice Project in Spokane, Washington.
1999-2004: Staff attorney with Columbia Legal Services, in Spokane.
Law degree from Gonzaga University Law School in 1999.

Immigration Judge Gambill obtained his law degree twenty years after obtaining his baccalaureate degree. Since becoming a lawyer, he worked for two legal services organizations for nine years followed by a decade as an ICE attorney.

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16 New Immigration Judges Sworn in On November 16, 2018