NYC Immigration Attorneys
The associate attorneys at Bretz & Coven work hard to uphold the rights of immigrants who want to live and work in the United States:
- Michele Wolgel
- Brian Wolf
- Diecelis Escaño
- Disha Chandiramani
- Patricia Camuzzi Luber
- Shari Astalos
- Amanda E. Gray
- Zlata Berman
Our goal is to help you find ways to remain in this country lawfully.
Contact our NYC immigration attorneys to learn more.
Michele Wolgel, Of-Counsel
Michele Coven Wolgel has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1984, and is also admitted to practice law in Israel. She has been practcinig Immigration and Naturalization Law for over 20 years, commencing with the law firm of Lebenkoff & Coven and continuing in Israel when she relocated there.
Mrs. Wolgel works regularly with the Consular Offices in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel. She has resolved difficult cases involving complex legal issues not only for her own clients in Israel, but for the clients of Bretz & Coven and of other immigration law offices in the United States.
She has a very high success rate in all of her dealings with everyday applications to the Consulate. When dealing with cases that are filed in the United States, Mrs. Wolgel works closely with Bretz & Coven.
Brian Wolf, an associate attorney with Bretz and Coven, practices exclusively in immigration and nationality law with an emphasis in deportation defense, criminal immigration issues and asylum related cases. Mr. Wolf is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar and the American Bar Association.
Prior to joining Bretz and Coven, Mr. Wolf served as a staff attorney with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a direct services organization that advocates for noncitizens in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention in Florence, Arizona. There, Mr. Wolf successfully represented clients before immigration judges with the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Mr. Wolf graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY) Law School in May 2009. During his time there, he worked with CUNY's renowned immigration clinic and interned with the New York Legal Aid Society Immigration Law Unit and Employment Law Project, with the private immigration firm Wildes and Weinberg, and with the immigration advocacy organization the Workplace Project.
Mr. Wolf has lived in abroad in Argentina and Mexico and is highly proficient in Spanish. He received his Bachelor of Science in political science from Northern Arizona University in December 2001.
Disha Chandiramani is an associate attorney with Bretz & Coven, LLP and is a member of the New York and New Jersey state bars. Disha has represented clients before the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Ms. Chandiramani completed her undergraduate studies at Penn State University, receiving a B.A. in the Administration of Justice and Psychology with a minor in the Spanish language, which she completed at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Disha received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law where she took part in the well-recognized Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic and successfully litigated a VAWA Cancellation of Removal case before the Executive Office of Immigration Review in New York. Disha also conducted a five week training session for Latina survivors of domestic violence at SEPA Mujer, an organization for the advancement of Immigrant women. She has working knowledge of both Hindi and Spanish.
Prior to working at Bretz & Coven, LLP, Disha worked at CONNECT, a non-profit organization in New York dedicated to the prevention and elimination of gender violence. There, she worked on numerous immigration applications helping survivors of domestic violence obtain legal status in the U.S. Disha also acted as a liaison for CONNECT by being an active member of the VAWA advocates group in NYC. She attended quarterly meetings at the New York Bar Association, keeping up to date on changing immigration laws and practices in NY.
Ms. Chandiramani's dedication to her clients and the practice of Immigration law is evident. She hopes to continue to provide exceptional services to her clients as an associate with Bretz & Coven, LLP.
Diecelis N. Escaño, born in the Dominican Republic, joined Bretz & Coven, LLP in 2011. She received her Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2007 and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Boston College. She is admitted to the New Jersey Supreme Court, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Dean's Diversity Council at Seton Hall University School of Law.
She has extensive experience representing clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. She has been successful in preventing the removal of many long-term residents, including domestic violence victims who fear persecution by their husbands in their native home country and homosexual men who are HIV positive and fear persecution in their home country because of their sexual orientation and their disease.
Ms. Escaño is also the Communications Director for the Socio-Cultural Center for the Children of Siloe, a nonprofit organization in Haiti that works to improve the lives of Haitian children in Siloe, Port-au-Prince by providing a safe place where they can build self-esteem and become empowered through educational and playful interaction, and activities.
Patricia Camuzzi Luber is an associate attorney who joined Bretz & Coven, LLP in November 2010. She is a first-generation American from Chilean parents and is fluent in Spanish. Ms. Luber received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in May 2006 and was a member of Moot Court. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1999. Ms. Luber is admitted to the Georgia State Bar, United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Ms. Luber began her immigration career while in law school when she interned at the Latin American Association and Catholic Charities in Atlanta, GA, assisting attorneys in effectively advocating for immigrants. Prior to joining Bretz & Coven, Ms. Luber worked at an immigration law firm in Atlanta, GA, for four years where her practice focused on removal defense and family-based petitions. She has successfully represented clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Shari Astalos is an associate attorney who joined Bretz and Coven in 2011. Ms. Astalos is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and a member of the New York, New Jersey, and Florida state bars. Ms. Astalos completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. While in law school, Ms. Astalos clerked for Ira Kurzban and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, where she focused on deportation defense and federal litigation on behalf of immigrants. Prior to working at Bretz and Coven, Ms. Astalos served as a law clerk to the Hon. David J. Issenman, J.S.C.
Ms. Astalos is a volunteer with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and a mentor at Upwardly Global. Ms. Astalos is conversational in Spanish, has a working knowledge of French and Hebrew, and has studied Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Italian, and Latin to varying degrees.
Amanda E. Gray, a native of Portland, Oregon, graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in May 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts at Whitman College in English Literature with a minor in Japanese. She joined Bretz & Coven in December 2005 and is admitted to the New York State Bar, United States District Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Since joining Bretz & Coven, Ms. Gray has successfully represented clients before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Immigration Court and at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York. Ms. Gray is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
Ms. Gray has been an advocate of workers’ and immigrants’ rights since starting law school in 2002. At CUNY, Ms. Gray took part in the well-regarded Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic, during which she was able to prevent the deportation of a long-term lawful permanent resident. She also participated in the Mississippi Project at the Workers’ Center for Human Rights in Greenville, Mississippi, worked summers at the Legal Aid Society and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York and was a member of Moot Court and Law Review. Ms. Gray has lived abroad and speaks Japanese.
Zlata Berman, originally from the former Soviet Union, is an associate attorney with Bretz & Coven, LLP. Ms. Berman received her undergraduate education at Temple University and her Juris Doctor from the Widener University School of Law and is a member of NJ and PA state bars.
As an attorney with over 6 years of experience, she offers solid expertise in various aspects of immigration law and in-depth knowledge of complex immigration proceedings. She has represented clients before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals and before the Second and Third Circuits. She served as Lead Trial Attorney in the case of Miltiadous v. Tetervak, 686 F. Supp. 2D 544, 548 (E.D. Pa 2010), a precedential decision, implementing the narrow exceptions or defenses contemplated by the Hague Convention on the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.
Prior to specializing in immigration, she was able to hone her trial advocacy skills as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, Pennsylvania.