McDermott Partner Paul Hughes, Recognized by the American Immigration Lawyers Association

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McDermott Will & Emery’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group co-chair, Paul Hughes, is one of two litigators to receive the American Immigrant Lawyers Association (AILA) Jack Wasserman Memorial Award in 2021. The recognition highlights excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law – an area in which Paul has had recent success.

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court handed McDermott a sweeping victory in Guerrero–Lasprilla v. Barr, a case addressing judicial review over administrative agency actions in the immigration context. The decision held that courts may review not just purely legal questions, but also, the application of law to undisputed facts. This consequential decision will be cited across administrative law for those seeking expansive review of agency actions.

Nassrallah v. Barr was another 7-2 Supreme Court win for McDermott this Term, again addressing the intersection of administrative law, judicial review and the United Nations Convention against Torture. Crucial to victory, was McDermott’s advancement of a statutory interpretation argument that had been overlooked by all 10 courts of appeals to have previously addressed the issue. As a direct result of the innovation brought to arguments by this team, Nasrallah now establishes important new protections for those who may be subject to torture or extrajudicial killing following deportation.

An experienced appellate lawyer, Paul has argued nine times at the US Supreme Court, including in February, March, October, and December 2019, March 2020, and January 2021. He has argued more than 45 cases, including before en banc sittings of the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, and before panels of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, DC, and Federal Circuits.

About McDermott


McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. Our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and more than 20 locations to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,200 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.