USD School of Law Professor Shaun Martin Quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune about Inconsistent Verdicts in Asylum Cases

Professor Shaun Martin Quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune about Inconsistent Verdicts in Asylum Cases

Professor Shaun Martin

San Diego (September 1, 2020) –USD School of Law Professor of Law Shaun Martin was recently quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune about subjective factors that influence outcomes in cases of asylum. The article discusses inconsistencies among judgments in immigration cases, including a focus on the disparity among one family member claiming asylum at the border together with the same justification and the other family member being denied. However, because their trials took place in separate locations, with different judges, and with varied types of detainment, the family members ended up with different results. Because of outcomes like this, case decisions appear indiscriminate, making appeals the last hope for many seeking asylum to avoid persecution in their home countries.

In the article, Martin discussed the immigration appeals process as it relates to reversal rates on appeal for individual judges and noted that a reversal rate of 20 percent is a red flag for the Board of Immigration Affairs (BIA) when looking at judges’ decisions. Said Martin, “A consistently high reversal rate like that would cause you to look very closely to see if the judge was doing something systemically wrong.” The Union-Tribune analyzed numerous proceedings, and according to the BIA in the cases they reviewed, a frightening statistic of more than 1 in 5 judges nationwide make the wrong decision at least 20 percent of the time.

Click here to read the full article by Kate Morrissey and Lauryn Schroeder in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

About Professor of Law Shaun Martin

Professor Shaun Martin teaches in the areas of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and Civil Litigation. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1995, was named Herzog Endowed Scholar in 2007 and received the Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1999 and 2006. Professor Martin serves on the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct for the State Bar of California and on the Advisory Rules Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research

Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Beth Colton
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