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Snell & Wilmer's Lindsey Martinez Obains Recovery For Clients in Pro Bono Human Trafficking Case

Lindsey Martinez, an associate in the firm’s Orange County office, recently obtained immigration status and monetary recovery in her pro bono representation of four victims of human trafficking.

Lindsey Martinez is a Commercial Litigation Associate at Snell & Wilmer
PRLog - March 20, 2013 - COSTA MESA, Calif. -- ORANGE COUNTY – Lindsey Martínez (http://www.swlaw.com/attorneys/Lindsey_Martinez), an associate in the firm’s Orange County office, recently obtained immigration status and monetary recovery in her pro bono representation of four victims of human trafficking. Martínez assisted her clients in obtaining T-visas to temporarily remain and work in the United States, and is working to secure their permanent residency. Additionally, her work during the sentencing phase of Maximino and Melinda Morales’ criminal trial helped lead to jail time for the traffickers as well as restitution for her clients.

“Lindsey’s representation of these clients illustrates the power of pro bono representation,” said Kirsten Kreymann, Pro Bono Director of the Public Law Center, who originally referred the case to Snell & Wilmer. “Once voiceless victims can now rebuild their lives and become survivors due to Lindsey’s hard work and dedication."

Martínez’s clients came to the United States from the Philippines after hearing of opportunities as elder caregivers in California. As stated in Maximino and Melinda Morales’ plea agreement, upon arrival in the U.S., Martínez’s clients began working long hours, often 24-hour shifts, at less than minimum wage. In 2010 the FBI raided Maximino and Melinda Morales’ facilities in Paso Robles, California. Following the FBI raid and resulting investigation, Martínez’s clients were referred to Snell & Wilmer for assistance in obtaining their T-visas. These special visas are available only to victims of human trafficking in the U.S. and must be certified by the FBI. Martínez prepared her clients’ applications and all four have obtained legal T-visa status in the U.S. and now work in legitimate elder care positions.

Maximino and Melinda Morales pled guilty to felony conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and were sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. Additionally, they were ordered to pay restitution to the nine Filipino victims who were not properly paid for their work. During the sentencing phase of the criminal trial, Martínez worked with the FBI, Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s office to provide victim impact statements from her clients and arranged for their restitution request with the Department of Justice. Martínez’s clients have received damages and expect additional compensation as the restitution is paid in full. Kreymann notes that restitution of this amount is rare in human trafficking cases and a key component to the healing process. In this case, the money received has given the victims hope for a better life and has so far been used to make charitable donations and assist their friends and families.

Martínez concentrates her practice on business litigation, franchise litigation and intellectual property litigation. She represents clients in matters involving breach of contract, fraud and other business torts. Additionally, Martínez represents clients in intellectual property and other litigation matters, including patent and trademark infringement, as well as Section 337 investigations before the International Trade Commission. She concentrates her pro bono work on assisting indigent non-immigrant victims of crime. Martínez earned her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and law degree from the George Washington University Law School.

About Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 400 attorneys practicing in nine locations throughout the western United States and in Mexico, including Orange County and Los Angeles, California; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.swlaw.com.

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Source:Snell & Wilmer
Location:Costa Mesa - California - United States
Industry:Legal, Pro bono
Tags:Lindsey Martinez, snell & wilmer, law, pro bono, Human Traffic
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