Attorney Profiles: Musa Obregon & Associates
S. Michael Musa-Obregon
Our firm is headed by S. Michael Musa-Obregon, a former New York City prosecutor who is highly experienced in immigration law, deportation, criminal deportations,
asylum, residency, citizenship, and business immigration law.
S. Michael Musa-Obregon has successfully tried many dozens of immigration cases to verdict. Using effective legal strategy and rock-solid legal preparation combined with a keen understanding of the immigrant communities he represents, Mr. Musa-Obregon has repeatedly obtained extraordinary results for his clients.
A native New Yorker raised in the Bronx, and the son of immigrant parents from international backgrounds, Mr. Musa-Obregon is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, a school that will always hold a special place in his heart. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts in History from Georgetown University in 1988 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1991. As a student, Mr. Musa-Obregon also worked as a judicial law clerk for a federal judge in Philadelphia, the late U.S. District Judge Clifford Scott Greene.
After graduating from Penn Law School, Mr. Musa-Obregon served for several years as an Assistant District Attorney, a criminal prosecutor for New York City under the Honorable Richard Brown. Wanting to realize his life-long dream of defending people, he launched his private practice in 1993.
Being involved with immigration law for more than 25 years, Mr. Musa-Obregon has attained a high level of expertise in the field of immigration law and deportation. As a researcher at Georgetown University's Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. in 1987, he studied the immigration problems and issues confronting Mexican migrant workers in Lubbock, West Texas. Under the auspices of
U.S. Catholic Charities Migration Project, he began his legal career working at the grass roots level, defending Mexican migrant workers in Lubbock, Texas. In Texas, Mr. Musa-Obregon handled thousands of immigration applications of migrant workers applying for legalization and other benefits in 1987. His work culminated in the production of a documentary film on the immigration issues facing Mexican migrant workers in West Texas.
While in private practice in the most densely immigrant-populated area of the United States- Jackson Heights, Queens - Mr. Musa-Obregon personally defended hundreds of immigration matters ranging from tough criminal deportations, to political asylum, complex family petitions, appeals and motions to reopen. As a New York immigration defense lawyer, he has worked with immigrants from all over the world, including
Eastern Europe, (Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Uzbekistanis, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Czechs, Georgians, Moldavians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbs, Croats, etc), Latin America (Colombians, Ecuadorians, Dominicans, Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Hondurans, Guatemalans, etc), the Middle East (Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Algerians, Tunisians, Moroccans, Kuwaitis, Bahrainis, Saudi Arabians, Yemenis, etc), The Caribbean, (Guayanese, Jamaicans, Haitians, Barbadians, Trinidadians, the Antilles, - and The Indian Subcontinent (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans), etc. Defending immigrants from incredibly diverse backgrounds in the bustling melting pot that is New York City, has sensitized Mr. Musa-Obregon to the specific needs and the cultures of clients from all these regions.
As an immigration lawyer, Mr. Musa-Obregon is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Immigrant Defense Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Immigrant Defense Project of the New York State Defenders Association.
He is a regular speaker at the Center for New Americans of the New York Public Library, and is a regular invited guest at various New York City colleges and universities, high schools, churches, mosques and temples where he lectures before assembled members, students and parents on issues involving immigration law, the rights of immigrants and police-youth interaction in the inner city. Mr. Musa-Obregon has been a featured commentator on Spanish Television and Radio and Television on
Telemundo, Univision, MundoHispanoTV, Cosmovision and Radio-WADO on issues impacting immigrant communities. For many years Mr. Musa-Obregon has regularly hosted several educational immigration radio programs entitled
"Su Mejor Defensa Legal" and produces a weekly television show "Su Derechos Legales con el Abogado Michael Musa-Obregon". He has also hosted similar shows on Haitian Radio on
Radio Tropicale in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Mr. Musa-Obregon is also a television reporter with MundoHispanoTV and regularly interviews luminaries in the legal, political and the world of entertainment. Mr. Musa-Obregon speaks Spanish, has a working knowledge of French, and understands some Polish and Arabic.
Mr. Musa-Obregon's international interests extend to music: he is an avid fan of world music including Arabic, Greek, and Turkish orchestral and dance music as well as Salsa and Afro-Cuban Jazz. Mr. Musa-Obregon is studying percussion including the doumbek, congas, timbales and other percussion instruments, sometimes joining musicians during concerts, clubs and jam sessions in the NY-NJ metropolitan area. He also raises beautiful Cocker Spaniel puppies, which he counts among his "best friends."
Arlene Gordon-Oliver, Of Counsel
Arlene Gordon-Oliver is of counsel to Musa-Obregon & Associates exclusively in the field of Bankruptcy. Ms. Gordon-Oliver has over 20 years of experience in bankruptcy/ debtor and creditor rights, representing debtors, creditors and trustees in Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 proceedings.
In July 2011 Ms. Gordon-Oliver was appointed to the panel of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees by the Department of Justice to oversee the marshaling, liquidation and distribution of assets in bankruptcy proceedings, on behalf of the United States Trustee, Region 2.
Prior to her appointment as a bankruptcy trustee Ms. Gordon-Oliver was a principal of the law firm of Rattet, Pasternak & Gordon-Oliver, LLP located in Harrison, New York.
Ms. Gordon-Oliver also serves as a presiding justice on the Greenburgh Town Court, Westchester County, New York. She was first appointed by the Greenburgh Town Board on October 15, 2007 and was subsequently elected to the Court on November 7, 2007 for a four (4) year term commencing on January 1, 2008. In November 2011, Judge Gordon-Oliver was re-elected to the bench for a second term and is currently the senior justice on the court.
Ms Gordon-Oliver earned her undergraduate degree at Baruch College, City University of New York in 1986, where she graduated cum laude, with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She earned her law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1992.
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE:
New York State
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
BAR ASSOCIATION AFFILIATIONS:
Ms. Gordon-Oliver is a member of various national and local bar associations including the following:
- Chair, Westchester County Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee 2007-present
- Chairperson, Bankruptcy Law Section of the National Bar Association 2001-present
- Vice-President 9th Judicial District, New York State Bar Association 2011-present
- Treasurer, Westchester County Bar Association 2011-present
- Member, Judicial Council of the National Bar Association 2008-present
- Member, Nominating Committee of New York State Bar Association 2009-Sept 2010
- Elected Delegate from the Ninth Judicial District to the House of 2005-2009
Delegates for the New York State Bar Association
- Member, Board of Governors National Bar Association, 2001-present
(the nations' oldest and largest association of African American lawyers, judges, legal scholars and law students)
- Past President, Westchester Black Bar Association 2001-2003
She is also a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the New York State Magistrates Association, the Westchester Magistrates Association, the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York and the Westchester Women's Bar Association.
Prior to being elected to the Greenburgh Town Court, Judge Gordon-Oliver was a member of various non-profit organizations, including: the Parkway Gardens Civic Association; the Executive Committee of the NAACP Greenburgh/White Plains Branch; and Westchester the Black Women's Political Caucus, Inc. Judge Gordon-Oliver also previously served as an Arbitrator in the White Plains City Court where she arbitrated small claims cases pending in said court.
AWARDS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Ms. Gordon-Oliver is a frequent speaker at various national and local bar association continuing legal education programs.
In recognition of her achievements and dedicated service to the bar and the community, Ms. Gordon-Oliver has been the recipient of several awards and commendations from various organizations.
Benjamin Weisenberg is an immigration defense attorney. At Musa-Obregon & Associates, he practices at the formidable Varick Street Immigration Court in Manhattan, 26 Federal Plaza and 970 Broad Street in Newark. He earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in criminology and sociology. After graduation, he decided to further his education at Capital University Law School, where he focused on criminal litigation and graduated with honors.
Before working at the firm, he interned at the United States Attorney office in Columbus, Ohio. There, he assisted in prosecuting environmental crime cases. Additionally, he worked as an Assistant City prosecutor at Whitehall Mayor's Court in Ohio. Mr. Weisenberg uses his strong background in criminal prosecution to create aggressive defense strategies for his clients in court today. During law school, he gained a valuable understanding of international law while studying conflict resolution and international law in Jerusalem, Israel and the Netherlands.
Pedro J. Moreno
Mr. Moreno concentrates in the fields of criminal defense and general immigration law including deportation defense. Mr. Moreno is admitted to the New York and Havana bars.
Multilingual in English, Spanish, French and Italian, Mr. Moreno holds an LL.M
Masters of Law degree concentrating in Comparative Law from the University of Miami Law School. Before joining Musa-Obregon & Associates, Mr. Moreno worked as Special Counsel at the Miami office of Hunton & Williams, a large American corporate law firm where he worked on an international litigation involving alleged violations of RICO, the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Prior to emigrating to the U.S., Mr. Moreno served as In House counsel for two Latin American corporations conducting commercial, regulatory and litigation defense in many national and international matters.
A 1992 graduate of the University of Havana where he received his LL.B,
Law degree, Mr. Moreno also studied International Development Law in Rome, Italy, where classes were taught in French language, in the European civil law tradition. Mr. Moreno also served as a criminal trial lawyer for the Public Defenders Office in Havana where he defended many persons accused of crimes and tried many criminal cases to verdict.
Peter Kapitonov, a native of the Bronx and an attorney licensed in NY and NJ, manages the NJ practice of Musa-Obregon & Associates, concentrating in criminal defense and general immigration, including deportation.
A sergeant in the United States Marines, Mr. Kapitonov served in Fallujah in Operation Iraqi Freedom and participated in operations in the US and Japan.
A graduate of the famed Bronx High School of Science, Mr. Kapitonov went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NY minoring in law, philosophy, and history. Dean-listed with
high honors at the New York Law School he graduated with Honors
cum laude and twice received the Alfred D. Lerner Schorlaship for "a veteran of the armed forces who demonstrates excellence in legal studies. " Mr. Kapitonov also served as In-House Counsel for a real estate holding company in NY handling residential and commercial disputes in court.
Wanting to fulfill his passion of defending people and serving the immigrant population, he joined Musa-Obregon & Associates. While in law school, Mr. Kapitonov interned for the Honorable Judge Richard L. Price of the Bronx Supreme Court and drafted judicial decisions for the judge and assisted in judicial proceedings including search warrant applications. During law school, he also interned at Appellate Advocates in NY drafting appeals for people convicted of serious felonies crimes.
Mr. Kapitonov who is fluent in Russian, has received numerous awards including a Certificate of Recognition from Senator Carl Andrews NYS Senate 2nd District, the NY State Assembly Certificate of Merit, the NYC Council Citation and various military awards and honors.