Meet Our Staff

Global Immigration Partners > Meet Our Staff

Danielle H. Gotcher

Managing Partner

Danielle represents companies large and small sponsoring employees for work authorization in the United States.  She heads the firm’s compliance practice, providing practical and strategic advice, training and guidance on avoiding civil and criminal penalties. Danielle also supervises a team of attorneys and paralegals filing hundreds of petitions each year before the immigration authorities. She has successfully pursued administrative appeals from cases improperly denied by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service as well as the Department of Labor, and she routinely advises clients throughout the United States on immigration strategy and compliance with US immigration laws. Before joining GIP, Danielle practiced for 10 years as a litigator, and she now brings her advocacy skills and hands-on court experience to her current practice. She also previously served in the White House Communications office.

Danielle graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University with two Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Communication, and she received her law degree from Southwestern University in Los Angeles.  She serves as a member of the Board for Women 2 Women Westlake Village, and has volunteered her time assisting the Southwestern Moot Court team.  She lives in Thousand Oaks, CA with her husband (and law partner Jim Gotcher), and their daughter.

James K. Gotcher

Senior Partner

James K. Gotcher has practiced law since 2006. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he initially worked in the front office of the Oakland A’s baseball club. Subsequently, he graduated from Southwestern University School of Law. Since 2001, he has worked in various positions with the Gotcher Law Group where he learned the fundamentals of business immigration law. In the years since, he has developed highly advanced skills in the area of H1B non-immigrant visas for various professionals including engineers, doctors, nurses, professors and IT professionals. Mr. Gotcher specializes in third-party placement filings and strategizes with small and large companies that provide and/or utilize contractors and sub-contractors. He had written a regular column on this subject for the India Times, as well as articles for other industry publications.

James R. Gotcher

Senior Partner

James R. Gotcher has practiced law since 1976. An Air Force veteran and graduate of Loyola Law School (Los Angeles), he initially worked as a deputy district attorney for the County of Los Angeles. In 1978, he moved into private practice, emphasizing representation of business immigration clients. In 1988, his practice was acquired by Coudert Brothers (at that time the largest law firm in the world, with offices in 28 countries) and he became the head of the firm’s worldwide business immigration practice. In late 1993, he left Coudert Brothers and resumed his private practice in Los Angeles. His principal clients have included Japan Airlines, the California Institute of Technology, and Adaptec. He is a former Chairman of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section, and he has published a book, authored numerous articles as well as spoken widely on business immigration topics.

Richard A. Harding


Richard specializes in business immigration matters including H-1B (including third party placement), L-1, and related student visa issues (F-1, OPT, STEM extensions). Previous business representations include a wide variety of industries including information technology staffing companies, engineering services firms, physical therapy clinics, and financial services firms. Previous individual representations include changes of status between H-4 and F-1 statuses, applications for EAD (OPT and H-4), and responding to a variety of RFEs related to status issues arising from CPT and OPT.

Richard received his Juris Doctor degree with a specialization in Business Law from UCLA School of Law in 2013 and was selected for the Order of the Coif. During law school, Richard was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs and oversaw the publication of four issues. Richard is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California. Before attending law school, Richard earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from CSU, Northridge and completed his master’s thesis on advancements in medical science related to the bubonic plague pandemic (1894-1910).

Benjamin Brueggemann

Senior Supervising Attorney

Benjamin Brueggemann has been practicing Immigration Law exclusively for more than ten years with a primary focus on business immigration and immigrant investor matters. He works closely with the firm’s clients on complex legal matters involving all major U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications. As the PERM Practice Manager, Mr. Brueggemann manages and oversees the firm’s PERM Department for all EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based green cards.

Mr. Brueggemann has extensive experience representing companies and individuals from various industries including Information Technology and Engineering. Furthermore, Mr. Brueggemann has worked at one of the Top 25 EB-5 Law Firms in the United States where he represented hundreds of individual investors from all over the world, including China, Vietnam, and India, in the EB-5 process. Mr. Brueggemann brings this experience to Global Immigration Partners.

Mr. Brueggemann is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he has served as an AILA Liaison in the past. He received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in International Business and Bachelor’s of Arts degree in French from James Madison University in Virginia and his Law degree from Vermont Law School..

Michelle A. Choe


Michelle represents corporate and individual clients on various employment-based matters including Labor certification applications, I-140 immigrant preference petitions and nonimmigrant visa applications. Prior to joining Global Immigration Partners, she represented clients on a wide array of immigration matters, including family and employment-based immigration and nonimmigrant visa applications. She also has experience in family law, which has prepared her in dealing with the detrimental immigration consequences related to divorce and separation. Michelle grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia. She then went on to earn her Juris Doctorate degree from Mercer Law School in 2013.

Michelle currently focuses her practice on U.S. Immigration Nationality law. She is fluent in Korean.

Andrew Greenwood

Andrew A Greenwood


Andrew is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Andrew received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.  Following law school, Andrew joined the Disney Global Mobility team where he helped procure Chinese work visas for Disney cast members building the Shanghai Disney park.  He also worked with Disney Legal as they prepared US nonimmigrant visa applications for Disney cast members.   Following this role, Andrew joined a small firm in Encino specializing in O-1 visas and EB-1 green cards.  Andrew now brings this experience with him to Global Immigration Partners where he specializes in H-1B matters, particularly third-party placement filings.

Heidi Elliott

Office Manager

Heidi Elliott has been working in the Immigration field for over 28 years. She initially started in this field back in 1986 with Ron Gotcher, and worked for Ron for several years preparing employment-based applications before moving to a larger law firm where she worked for 20 years before returning to GIP. She has processed all types of immigrant and non-immigrant petitions and is experienced in all aspects of Immigration applications and procedures. She moved to Global Immigration Partners in February 2010 as the Lead NIV Paralegal, and as the firm grew, she was promoted to Office Manager/Senior Managing Paralegal of the firm, where she now oversees the training of all paralegals and staff.

Lupita S. Rynott

Sr. Managing Paralegal

Lupita S. Rynott joined Global Immigration Partners as a Sr. Paralegal in August of 2014. She has been working in the Immigration field for over 30 years. Lupita initially started in this field back in 1986, and has worked for several law firms on a variety of family and employment-based applications. She was promoted to Sr. Supervising Paralegal in the IV department with our firm in November 2015, where she applies her extensive knowledge and experience in this area to assist clients and the training of paralegals. Her number one commitment is to ensure that the clients are provided with the upmost professional service and to make the process go as smoothly as possible.