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Consular Practice: A Comprehensive View

Speakers: Liam Schwartz, Melissa Bishop (DOS), Matthew Cottrell (DOS), Bryan Funai, Rachel C. Graciano (DOS), Kehrela M. Hodkinson, Stephen Pattison, Michael S. Rosenfeld, Eryn Potempa, Lois Gimpel Shaukat, and H. Richard Sindelar III

Available on CD

Seminar Outline Speaker bios Testimonials REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on October 16: E-1 and E-2 Visas: How to Avoid Being Intimidated by Obscure Terminology and Cumbersome Procedures and Maintain a Satisfying E Visa Practice

  • E Visa Terminology in Bite-Sized Easily-Digested Portions
  • E Visa Consul on E Visa Practice and Procedure
  • E Visa Processing Tips from London and Tokyo
  • The Economic Crisis and E Visas: Tips for Obtaining and Renewing E visas in a Climate of Economic Uncertainty

SECOND Phone Session on November 13: Learning from the Leaders: How In-house Immigration Counsel Approach the Visa Application Process

  • Identifying visa processing issues in advance
  • Tips for preparing an applicant for the visa interview
  • Crisis management: how to deal with visa delays (PIMS, SAOs, etc.) and denials
  • Blanket Ls and Es: special considerations
  • TCN Canada/Mexico vs. Home Country visa processing

THIRD Phone Session on December 4: Consul and Counsel: A Roundtable with Visa Consuls and Visa Attorneys

  • Challenges Faced by U.S. Visa Consuls in the Visa Application Process
  • Best Practices for Attorneys in the Visa Application Process
  • Tips for Problem Solving at Consular Posts

Citations for Session 1        Citations for Session 3


Liam Schwartz (Discussion Leader) is a recognized authority in employment-based visas and consular law. In all his professional endeavors, Liam is assisted and supported by his extraordinarily talented staff of Liam Schwartz & Associates. Liam's recent professional awards and activities include the following: Two peer selections in 2008 as one of the most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers globally: International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers; and Best Lawyers International. Author, "Consular Corner" column for and Current chair, Visa Committee, Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. Liam holds a J.D. degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and a B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University. He is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Israel.

Melissa Bishop is the Deputy Visa Chief and Fraud Prevention Manager at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. She joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 2002. She has served previously at overseas posts in Seoul and Mexico City. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (BA), Middlebury College (MA) and Santa Clara University School of Law (JD).

Matthew Cottrell is the Chief of the Visa Unit at the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver. He joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 2001. He has served previously at overseas posts in Guadalajara, Caracas, and Manila. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and the University of Michigan Law School.

Bryan Funai concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and corporate immigration law. In his corporate practice, Mr. Funai counsels clients on the establishment of corporations and limited liability companies, as well as on divestitures, consolidations and sale of companies. He assists clients with acquisitions and mergers, including stock and the asset purchase acquisitions. He often counsels clients on corporate structure, reorganizations and the establishment of subsidiaries. As part of these corporate transactions, Mr. Funai reviews, drafts and negotiates various contracts, including sales, confidentiality, purchase, acquisition, stock purchase, joint venture and license agreements.

Rachel C. Graciano is from Seattle, Washington where she studied history prior to entering the business world. She spent many years in the dot com industry where she specialized in contract negotiation for a wide range of industries to include the airlines, hotels, the cellular industry and the health care field. After the fall of 2001 Rachel changed her focus to disaster response & humanitarian work before ultimately accepting a position with the Department of State in the summer of 2006. She currently serves as the E Visa Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Kehrela M. Hodkinson was admitted to the California State Bar in 1980, after graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She established her first law office in Los Angeles, California in 1982, where her practice concentrated on nonimmigrant visas and employment and family-based immigration matters. After moving to San Francisco, California in 1987, she founded a second immigration law firm and continued to provide expertise relating to temporary and permanent visas for business personnel and family-based immigration. Since 1994, Ms. Hodkinson has exclusively practiced US immigration and nationality law in London, representing a broad range of corporate and individual clients in connection with nonimmigrant visa matters, immigrant visa petitions, extraordinary ability petitions and family-based immigrant petitions. In addition, she provides advice relating to maintaining permanent resident status and expatriation issues.

Stephen Pattison is a Partner with Magrath LLP advising companies and private individuals on all aspects of U.S. immigration and consular operations, including applications for business, investment and professional visas. Also advises clients on legislative changes to U.S. immigration law affecting their ability to pursue commercial and professional objectives in the U.S. Mr. Pattison received his JD from the University of Texas Law School, Austin.

Eryn Potempa is Associated US Immigration Counsel at Nike, Inc.

Michael Rosenfeld is VP Counsel for the Walt Disney Company.

Lois Gimpel Shaukat is Immigration Counsel at McKinsey & Co., Inc. in New York.

H. Richard Sindelar III is of Counsel at the Houston location of Tindall & Foster, P.C. Mr. Sindelaris recieved his J.D. from Geogetown University. He is part of the AILA National Business Advocacy Committee and involed in many community and legal organizations such as the Middle East Institute, Houston World Affairs Council, Houston Council on Foreign Relations, Texas Bar, District of Columbia Bar, Adjunct Professor, University of St. Thomas (2003 to present), U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer (1973-1995), Deputy Consul General, Monterrey, Mexico (1994-1995), Deputy Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Middle East (1991-1994), Montreal (1988-1991), Division Chief, Coordination Division, Office for Legislation, Regulations and Advisory Assistance (1986-1988) and Various Middle East and Advisory Opinion Posts (1973-1986). He is the author of "Right to Counsel," Georgetown Law Journal's 1983 Criminal Procedure Project and co-Editor of Crosscurrents in the Gulf (Sindelar & Peterson, eds., London: Crooms-Helm, 1988).


50% discount to attorneys working for a non-profit organization
50% discount to any attorney employed by any government agency
50% discount to an attorney that is unemployed

Additionally, for attorneys that have a specific hardship, please contact To avail of this discount, please contact

Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:

Audio CD of Thur, Oct 16, 2008 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Nov 13, 2008 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Dec 4, 2008 (90 Minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers