Practice Areas

Specialized Skills

Identifying Winning Issues

With extensive experience in both trials and appeals, Ms. Chen is a master at identifying issues that other attorneys might miss, but which matter to appellate courts:

In an appeal of a conviction for a double murder with no eyewitness or physical evidence, she challenged the government's use of a forensic psychologist who testified that the murders were likely committed by someone with a very high opinion of himself and testimony that the accused was arrogant as evidence he committed the offense.  The Court of Appeals agreed with her and reversed the convictions and six life sentences.

In another appeal of a lengthy racketeering trial that presented numerous potential issues, Ms. Chen identified an erroneous jury instruction that went to the heart of the factual and legal issues of the case and which, when briefed and argued, resulted in a reversal of all convictions and a remand for retrial.

In another case, Ms. Chen crafted a post-conviction vehicle to vindicate a client who had been convicted of "honest services fraud" after the United States Supreme Court decided that her conduct did not violate that law. The "writ of error coram nobis" she filed resulted in the reversal of eleven counts of conviction, even though the convictions had long been final and her client had already completed her entire sentence. As a result, her client later had her professional license reinstated.

Obtaining Meaningful Results

When Ms. Chen meets with her clients, she listens carefully to fully understand what matters most to them. Only then does she tailor her approach to obtain the results they desire.

For example, in one case, because she listened to what mattered most to her client, she was able to save her client a substantial amount of money, shorten his sentence, and get him off of supervision. Her client's appeal was from a very short sentence and a longer supervised release (probation) term, but she learned that his real concern was the large restitution debt the government was collecting from him every month. Her investigation revealed that a substantial sum of money seized during the government's investigation was still available to pay off his outstanding restitution debt. She worked diligently to ensure the funds were used to pay off his debt, which also resulted in a resentencing where the client received an immediate release and his supervised release term was eliminated.

In another case, Ms. Chen was able to save the immigration status of a client who had pleaded guilty to a large fraud. While Ms. Chen was representing her client on appeal, she realized her client--a lawful permanent resident--did not understand her conviction would require she be deported and separated from her 5 U.S. citizen children. Ms. Chen negotiated an agreement with the government that allowed her client to withdraw her guilty plea and enter a plea to a different offense without the same immigration consequences. She also prepared a packet of materials for her client that resulted in her being released from Immigration the very day she was taken into immigration custody.

Thorough and Efficient Representation

Ms. Chen has practiced exclusively in criminal defense and related matters since 1999. In her practice, she has developed a broad and deep knowledge of federal criminal law, which has made her an invaluable resource to her clients and her colleagues. It also allows her to work efficiently, quickly homing in on what is most important to the people she represents and what will present the most compelling case to the court.

Practice Areas

  • white-collar offenses
  • drug offenses
  • immigration offenses
  • racketeering (RICO)
  • violent offenses