FY 2006 – 2011, Orlando Immigration Court
Judge Lippman was appointed as an immigration judge in May 2008. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1974 from the American University and a juris doctorate in 1978 from Akron University School of Law.
From 1985 to May 2008, Judge Lippman served on the Board of Immigration Appeals as a team leader, senior attorney advisor, and attorney advisor.During this time, from 2007 to 2008, he served as a Temporary Board Member.
From 1990 to 1991, Judge Lippman served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs.
From 1975 to 1985, he served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve. From 1975 to 1979, he was a law clerk in private practice. Judge Lippman is a member of the Ohio and Hawaii bars.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Detailed data on Judge Lippman decisions were examined for the period covering fiscal years 2006 through 2011 During this period, Judge Lippman is recorded as deciding 550 asylum claims on their merits. Of these, he granted 124, gave no conditional grants, and denied 425.
Converted to percentage terms, Lippman denied 77.3 percent and granted (including conditional grants) 22.7 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Lippman’s denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period. (Rates for years with less than 25 decisions are not shown.)
Compared to Judge Lippman’s denial rate of 77.3 percent, nationally during this same period, immigration court judges denied 53.2 percent of asylum claims. In the Orlando Immigration Court where Judge Lippman was based, judges there denied asylum 61.2 percent of the time.
Judge Lippman can also be ranked compared to each of the 256 individual immigration judges serving during this period who rendered at least one hundred decisions in a city’s immigration court. If judges were ranked from 1 to 256 – where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 256 represented the lowest – Judge Lippman here receives a rank of 59. That is 58 judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 197 denied asylum at the same rate or less often.
Ranks are tallied separately for each immigration court. Should a judge serve on more than one court during this period, separate ranks would be assigned in any court that the judge rendered at least 100 asylum decisions in.
Why Do Denial Rates Vary Among Judges?
Denial rates reflect in part the differing composition of cases assigned to different immigration judges. For example, being represented in court and the nationality of the asylum seeker appear to often impact decision outcome. Decisions also appear to reflect in part the personal perspective that the judge brings to the bench.
Why You Need an Attorney
If an asylum seeker is not represented by an immigration attorney, almost all (87%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful. In the case of Judge Lippman, 4.7% were not represented by an attorney. For the nation as a whole, about 11.1% of asylum seekers are not represented.
Asylum seekers are a diverse group. Over one hundred different nationalities had at least one hundred individuals claiming asylum decided during this period.
As might be expected, immigration courts located in different parts of the country tend to have proportionately larger shares from some countries than from others. And, given the required legal grounds for a successful asylum claim, asylum seekers from some nations tend to be more successful than others.
For Judge Lippman, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before him came from Haiti. Individuals from this nation made up 34.5 % of his caseload. Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Lippman were: Colombia (14.5 %), Venezuela (11.1%), China (9.5%), Russia (4.5%).
In the nation as a whole during this same period, major nationalities of asylum seekers, in descending order of frequency, were China (23.3%), Haiti (8.4%), El Salvador (5.9%), Colombia (5.5%), Guatemala (5.3%), Indonesia (2.9%), India (2.6%), Venezuela (2.5%), Ethiopia (2.1%), Albania (2%), Honduras (2%), Mexico (2%), Guinea (1.6%).