About Us

A Message
From the Chair

Roy Petty

Hello Immigration & Nationality Law Section Members!

Throughout the 2022-2023 year we will bring you information on the intersection of immigration law and other Texas practice areas plus cutting-edge immigration issues that affect your clients. Have you wondered how a Texas common law marriage affects your client’s I-130 petition or whether a felony DWI will impede your client’s ability to obtain an immigrant visa or adjustment of status? Our speakers and authors have the answers for you.

We provide tools to better run your Texas law practice. We also help meet your annual MCLE and ethics requirements. If you are interested in board certification, we can help you along that path.

Join us for our monthly fourth-Tuesday-lunch-webinar on cutting-edge immigration topics. Due to the overwhelming success of last years’ immigration writing workshop, we are expanding this year’s writing workshop to allow for more participants. Legal writing experts will grade your assignments and give you feedback to become a better writer.

Give some thought to serving your fellow SBOT members by joining one of our committees. I hope to see you soon at one of our events.

Lastly, if you need to contact me, send me an email, or contact me at my office: https://www.roypetty.com/contact-our-office/

Roy Petty

Chair, Immigration & Nationality Law Section

State Bar of Texas

Leadership

Roy Petty

Chair

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Roy Petty

Roy Petty has practiced immigration law for more than 30 years. He focuses his practice on U.S. district court litigation. He is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Dallas Bar Association, Immigration Section, awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 for his years of dedication to helping immigrants and other immigration attorneys. He was elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Roy has served on the Dallas Subcommittee of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has testified as an expert witness in immigration matters in various Texas and U.S district courts. His personal interests include orchard and woodland management.

Matthew Myers

Term ends Summer 2025

Texas Bar College; Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Immigration Law; Top Attorney in Immigration Law by Austin Monthly.

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Matthew Myers

Matthew Myers practices employment and investor immigration law assisting with cases across Texas and the United States. After handling a high volume of complex immigration matters for the better part of a decade with one of the largest international immigration law firms, Matthew recently started his own inbound U.S. and outbound Global immigration law practice as a Partner with MW Law. He currently serves as the Chair of the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section, and he is an active member of the Austin Bar Association on the Lawyer Well-Being Committee and the San Antonio Bar Association as Vice Chair of the International Law Section. Matthew earned his B.A. from Austin College and his J.D. from Baylor Law School.

Melody Poole

(Term ends Summer 2025)

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation. Texas Bar College. Galveston County Young Lawyer of the Year.

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Melody Poole

Melody Poole practices immigration law in League City, Texas. Prior to opening her law office, Melody worked as a staff attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid. Melody currently serves as a director on the State Bar of Texas Immigration and Nationality Law Section and is appointed as an attorney member to the Grievance Oversight Committee of the Texas Supreme Court. She previously served six years on a District Grievance Panel, two as Chair, and as President of the Galveston County Bar Association, and President of the Galveston County Young Lawyers Association. She obtained her B.S. from the University of Texas at Dallas and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.

Claudia Hernandez

(Term ends Summer 2025)

San Antonio Mexican American Bar Association from 2016 – Present, 2021 President-Elect; San Antonio Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Section from 2015 – Present, Co-chair in 2015; alumna of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy; alumna of the Latina Leadership Institute

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Claudia Hernandez

Claudia Hernandez is an attorney at De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendariz, LLP where she practices immigration and civil law in San Antonio, Texas. Her primary focus is in deportation defense. She has successfully litigated numerous deportation cases in federal administrative courts and helped reunite families. Additionally, Claudia has aided immigrant families in adoption proceedings in Texas civil courts and aided victims of violence. Claudia is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Baylor Law School. While she attended school, Claudia worked with various groups, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Southwestern Voter Registration Education Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a part of the leadership committee for the GED Endowment and Scholarship Program which seeks scholarships to cover GED courses and exams for low income students. She was the former co-chair of the San Antonio Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Section and is an alumna of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy, and the Latina Leadership Institute.

Amy Thomas

Secretary

Justine Daly

Treasurer

Ross Miller

(Term ends Summer 2024)

Sang Shin

(Term ends Summer 2024)

Beatriz Hernandez

Immediate Past Chair

Whitney Drake

(Term ends Summer 2023)

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Whitney Drake

Whitney is a Senior Staff Attorney at American Gateways where she represents low-income clients in a variety of matters, including asylum, family petitions, naturalization, and humanitarian visas. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Texas School of Law. Before joining American Gateways, Whitney served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Priscilla R. Owen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and a legal fellow at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis.

Teresa Coles-Davila

Chair Elect

Board Certified Immigration & Nationality Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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Teresa Coles-Davila

Teresa Coles-Davila is the managing attorney for the Law Offices of Teresa Coles-Davila & Associates, P.C. since 2003 focusing her practice solely on immigration law. She was a visiting professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law from 2000-2002 and an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999. She received her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas (Houston, TX). She was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1998 and became board certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2006. Ms. Coles-Davila has served as the AILA / EOIR Liaison from 2007-2015, and also previously chaired the San Antonio Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Law Section from 2008-2015. Ms. Coles-Davila has served as a Family Based section Vice President for the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section, Vice President for the Detention and Removal section, and currently serves as Secretary for the Immigration and Nationality Law Section.

Christine Cha-Sartori

(Term ends Summer 2023)

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Christine Cha-Sartori

Christine Cha-Sartori is a Senior Attorney at Foster LLP’s Houston, TX office. A graduate of the University of Houston Law Center with an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Christine served as a law clerk at the University of Houston Office of the General Counsel and as Association of Women in Law (AWIL) Scholarship Director assisting in establishing the AWIL Ann Dinsmore Forman Scholarship to honor advocates of women’s issues in areas such as gender equality, domestic abuse, and women’s health. Her practice now primarily focuses on corporate immigration serving a wide clientele of small and mid-sized companies as well as large multinational corporations.

Ral Obioha

(Term ends Summer 2025)

Susana Castillo-Littlejohn

(Term ends Summer 2024)

Roberto Blum

(Term ends Summer 2024)