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Meet Our Staff

Global Immigration Partners > Meet Our Staff
Danielle Gotcher

Danielle H. Gotcher

Managing Partner

Danielle has been practicing law since 2005, representing corporate clients, professionals and employers.  A graduate of Boston University, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, both awarded Magna cum Laude.  Prior to law school, Danielle was selected to work in the White House, serving in the Office of Communications and Press for Vice President Gore.  She earned her law degree from Southwestern University in Los Angeles, and is admitted to practice law in the State of California as well as the Central District of California.  Before joining GIP, her practice focused on litigation, defending large retail chains, partnerships, insurance companies, employers and professionals against liability claims.  She joined GIP in 2012 and now focuses her advocacy experience and skills on the business immigration needs of her clients.  Danielle specializes in the Labor Certification (PERM) process, employment-based immigrant preference petitions and worksite enforcement (I-9) and compliance issues.  She enjoys and values the relationships she has created with her clients.

Jim Gotcher

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 non-immigrant visas for various professionals including engineers, doctors, nurses, professors and IT professionals and has successfully filed thousands of nonimmigrant petitions over the past 14+ years.

James R. Gotcher

Senior Partner Emeritus

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

Partner

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 cover 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 has successfully pursued matters under INA Section 204(L) on behalf of surviving family members to secure a priority date when an immigrant principal has died.

Richard received his law 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. 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).

David Raft

David B. Raft

Senior Supervising Attorney

David has practiced law since 1989, with a focus on immigration and nationality law matters since 1991.  Mr. Raft has been certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law matters since 2000. Since 1991, he has worked in various positions where he learned the fundamentals of both business and family immigration law. In the years since, he has developed highly advanced skills in both nonimmigrant and immigrant case types, including E, H, L, O, P, R and TN  non-immigrant visas for various investors, specialty occupation workers, multinational transferees, etc. Mr. Raft specializes in representing companies, regardless of size, with respect to their immigration programs while also representing individuals with respect to their business or family-based immigration matters. Mr. Raft is the former Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section as well as having written articles for industry publications and has spoken regularly at various Bar Association meetings.  Mr. Raft graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and obtained his Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law (Los Angeles) in 1989.

Benjamin

Benjamin Brueggemann

Senior Supervising Attorney

Benjamin Brueggemann has been practicing Immigration Law exclusively since 2007 with a primary focus on business immigration, immigrant investor and family immigration matters. He works closely with the firm’s clients on complex legal matters involving all major U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa classifications. Mr. Brueggemann manages and oversees the firm’s Immigrant Visa Department for the EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based green cards.  As part of Global Immigration Partners’ Management Team, Mr. Brueggemann represents domestic and international corporations, and its employees, allowing them to continue to provide their services/products at the highest level to the American Public.  Mr. Brueggemann has extensive experience representing companies and individuals, at a high volume, from various industries including Information Technology, Engineering, Automotive, Health Care, Business, and Finance.

As an Attorney representing individual investors through the EB-5 Investment Program, as well as the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Program, Mr. Brueggemann assists investors in fulfilling their American Dream, while creating jobs for U.S. workers and generating economic growth for the U.S. economy.  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 valuable experience to Global Immigration Partners.

Mr. Brueggemann also manages and oversees the firm’s Family Immigration Department representing individuals in their desire to unite with family as they pursue their aspirations of becoming Legal Permanent Residents and U.S. Citizens.  Mr. Brueggemann, being an immigrant himself, feels a deep connection to the Immigrant Community.  Having grown up in Germany, in a multicultural family of both German and Persian descent, Mr. Brueggemann understands the difficulties and intricacies of the immigration process.

Mr. Brueggemann received his Law degree from Vermont Law School and also received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in International Business, as well as a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in French from James Madison University in Virginia.  He is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he has served as an AILA Liaison in the past.  Mr. Brueggemann speaks German, Farsi, French, and English.  In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, tennis, basketball, and golf.  Mr. Brueggemann also enjoys art and travel while learning about different cultures and societies during his trips.

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro

Senior Immigration Associate

Michael received his J.D. degree in 1994 from Fordham University Law School, where he was a Member of the Fordham International Law Journal, received the prestigious Archibald R. Murray Award for Public Service and was on the Dean’s List.  Michael received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, with a minor in Music, Magna Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.95 from Yeshiva University. He has been a licensed attorney in good standing in New York since 1995. Michael served as a successful immigration associate and senior associate attorney for boutique immigration law firms in New York City for almost 20 years before joining Global Immigration Partners. He is a creative thinker, with expertise in preparing E, H, J, L, O, P and R visa petitions, as well as PERM, EB-1 and EB-2 NIW green card applications.  He also has experience in waiver applications and motions/appeals. Michael has managed complex cases for major national and international corporate clients, as well as for individual software developers, research scientists, athletes, graphic designers, marketers, models, musicians and other professionals.

Heather Goodfried

Attorney

Heather has practiced law since 2006.  She represents corporate and individual clients on various employment-based matters with a specific focus on O-1 and EB-1 extraordinary ability petitions, P-3 entertainer visas, and EB-2 National Interest Waivers. Prior to joining Global Immigration Partners, she represented clients on a wide array of U.S. immigration matters, with a focus on employment-based visa applications.  In her years of practice, she has built a strong knowledge base in nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for scientific researchers, medical professionals, engineers, IT professionals, business entrepreneurs, designers, and entertainment industry workers, including musicians, actors, graphic artists, and virtual reality visionaries, among others.  Heather received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She then went on to earn her Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern Law School, and is a licensed attorney in good standing in Washington.

Michelle Choe

Michelle A. Choe

Attorney

Michelle represents corporate and individual clients on various employment-based matters including adjustment of status applications, 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 proficient in Korean.

Andrew Greenwood

Andrew A Greenwood

Attorney

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.

Katie W. Wu

Attorney

Katie is an Associate with Global Immigration Partners. She has experience advising individuals and companies on a wide range of immigration matters, including nonimmigrant and immigrant employment-based visa cases, and investor visa cases. She provides immigration counsel to clients across different industries to ensure comprehension of and compliance with each respective immigration process and procedure. Katie received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law. Prior to joining Global Immigration Partners, Katie was an attorney for one of the world’s largest immigration law firms. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

Andrea

Andrea Fountaine

Attorney

Andrea is from Richmond, Virginia, and a graduate of the University of Virginia.  She is also a graduate of Arizona State University where she received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  Andrea has a diverse and extensive legal background and twenty plus years of experience in both the public and private sectors.  Before joining the firm, Andrea worked with the Department of Labor (DOL) for more than 6 years in their Audit and Appeals units in the Office of Foreign Labor Certification, Division of Operations in the Atlanta National Processing Center. In this role, Andrea provided oversight and technical guidance as a subject matter expert and advisor on programmatic and policy matters related to the administration of immigration services.  From her years with the Department of Labor, Andrea brings a unique set of skills and experience to Global Immigration Partners where she specializes in PERM-related, green card matters.

Onur Yildirim

Attorney

Onur Yildirim has exclusively been practicing Immigration Law since 2018 with a focus on H-1B (particularly third-party placement filings), H-4, L-1, and F-1 nonimmigrant visas in addition to applications for EAD (OPT and H-4).

A member of the Georgia Bar, Onur received his Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude, in International Affairs from the University of Georgia. He then went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia in 2018.

As a first-generation immigrant, former green card holder, and naturalized U.S. citizen, Onur has first-hand experience with the many difficulties and challenges posed by the U.S. immigration system and is committed to providing the best legal representation possible to those going through the immigration process. He is fluent in Turkish.

Brandon Neuman

Brandon Neuman

Attorney

Brandon has multi-faceted experience in immigration, business, political, administrative, non-profit, and national security legal issues. His practice focuses on treaty-based visas and complex business immigration matters for executives, managers, and people with specialized knowledge or extraordinary abilities (also known as TN, E-1/2, L-1, O-1, and EB-1 green cards). He is also a principal member of the firm’s litigation team, and has won lawsuits against USCIS and the Department of State.

He received his Juris Doctor with a Graduate Certificate in Business Law from the University of Southern California. During law school, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. Prior to law school, he graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a B.A. in history, political science, and philosophy. He is committed to helping the community and actively serves on the Council Committee for the Boy Scouts of America in Ventura County and volunteers as the General Counsel for the American Conservation Coalition.

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.

Socorro Ocampo

Sr. Managing Paralegal

Socorro joined Global Immigration Partners as a Sr. Managing Paralegal in 2018. Ms. Ocampo graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She entered the field of immigration law in 2006 and has worked for several law firms and solo practitioners in the Southern California area. Her experience includes handling immigration cases in the fields of NIV, IV, asylum, and deportation. As a fluent Spanish speaker and from an immigrant family, she is committed to helping others achieve the American dream.