Attorneys, Legal Directors, Staff Attorneys | Abogados, Directores Legales

Richard L. Coshnear, Attorney and Removal Defense Legal Director

Richard L. Coshnear, Attorney and Removal Defense Legal Director

Office: B Street, Santa Rosa, CA and Petaluma, CA

After 12 years as a physician assistant in a farmworker clinic, Rick turned to law in response to the Proposition 187 attempt to criminalize immigrants and prohibit them from going to school or getting care at the clinic. He completed law school and opened an office in 2003, representing immigrants in removal proceedings, as well as with affirmative applications for residence, visas or citizenship for “low-bono” fees. During the campaigns to win a DREAM Act and a Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013, he and three immigrant women paralegals converted that law office into the non-profit agency, VIDAS, to offer lower-cost and pro bono services. He has been active in community organizing for greater immigrant rights with the Committee for Immigrant Rights, later known as Comite VIDA, helping to win new policies from the Sheriff and ICE regarding detention of immigrants.

Now, Rick is the Legal Director at VIDAS for the removal defense aspect of our work, supervising 3 attorneys and 4 paralegals. In the Secure Families Collaborative and with state grants, we provide pro bono representation to a caseload of about 40 Sonoma County Immigrants in removal proceedings, and a caseload of about 30 from other counties, and about 20 unaccompanied minors.

Julie Cyphers, Attorney and Affirmative Relief Legal Director

Office: Dream Center, Santa Rosa, CA

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Yolanda G Solano, Removal Defense Staff Attorney

Yolanda G. Solano, Removal Defense Staff Attorney

Office: B Street, Santa Rosa, CA and Petaluma, CA

Yolanda received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Planning from Sonoma State University in 2000 and a Juris Doctor from Empire College School of Law in 2010.

She worked as land use planner for the County of Sonoma for 17 years before joining VIDAS. While working for Sonoma County she also represented unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings under the County’s Pro Bono County Legal Services Project for Unaccompanied Minors, January 2015 to February 2019.

In 2019, she joined VIDAS legal services team as staff attorney, focusing on removal defense. Previous, she served as a member of the VIDAS Board of Directors from 2015 to 2019. She was also a member of the Committee for Immigration Rights of Sonoma County, 2013-2015.

Oscar Rojas-Fuentes, Removal Defense Staff Attorney

Office: Vallejo, CA

Having been born in Mexico has inspired Oscar to help others in seeking a better life outside of their native countries. He enjoys watching sports, especially futbol soccer from all over the world. Being outdoors with family and friends enjoying nature is one of his favorite pastimes.

Oscar is an immigration attorney working at the Vallejo Office. He represents many clients in all types of immigration petitions, especially in removal defense for those seeking humanitarian relief under the law.

Oscar Rojas-Fuentes, Removal Defense Staff Attorney
Jacqueline Brown Scott Legal Director

Jacqueline Brown Scott, Secure Families Collaborative Managing Attorney

Jacqueline is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she runs the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic and has worked as the Supervising Attorney since its inception in 2015. The majority of the clinic's clients are asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle in Central America and Mexico. Jacqueline has been in the field of immigration law, focused on removal defense and specializing in asylum, for over 15 years.

She started her career as an attorney advisor in the San Francisco Immigration Court for two years. She also worked for CLINIC's National Pro Bono Project for Children and had her own solo practice for eight years. Prior to law school, Jacqueline received an M.A. in International Relations, with a focus on migration and development.

Jacqueline served as an Asylum Liaison for AILA NorCal from 2015-2019 and she has been a co-coordinator for AILA NorCal's Family Detention section since 2016.

Berenice Espinoza, Removal Defense Staff Attorney

Office: B Street, Santa Rosa

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