Hon. Robert
Vinikoor (Ret.)

Judge Robert Vinikoor joined the law firm of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., in 2017 after serving over 30 years as an Immigration Judge.

Judge Vinikoor was appointed as an Immigration Judge in January 1984. During his long tenure on the immigration bench, Judge Vinikoor has authored numerous precedent deciding cases covering topics such as crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felony offenses, frauds committed at the time of entry and/or adjustment and claims to U.S. citizenship. Judge Vinikoor’s decisions helped define the age limitations for K-4 beneficiaries seeking adjustment of status, the use of Section 245(i) to waive inadmissibility, and the scope of numerous discretionary waivers. A number of published opinions have addressed Judge Vinikoor’s expert analysis in cases involving burden of proof, marriage fraud, and Section 216(c)(4) evidence. During the past 30 years, Judge Vinikoor has heard evidence in asylum cases from around the world. His decisions have led to a better understanding of the scope and evidence needed to qualify as a “refugee” under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Upon his retirement from the bench, he was the second most senior Immigration Judge in the country.

Prior to becoming an Immigration Judge, he was selected under the Department of Justice Honors Program and started his employment with the Department in 1976 as a nationality attorney with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in Miami, Florida. From 1978 to 1982, he also served as a trial attorney in Chicago. In 1984, he was appointed special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

Judge Vinikoor has been a frequent lecturer and guest speaker on numerous immigration topics at bar association meetings, continuing legal education seminars and law school programs. Judge Vinikoor also taught new judges at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law Chicago teaching immigration law.


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