FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Jayne E. Fleming

Jayne E. Fleming

Reed Smith LLP
Pro Bono Counsel
San Francisco, CA, USA


Jayne E. Fleming is Pro Bono Counsel to Reed Smith where she leads the firm's Human Rights Team, comprised of more than 100 lawyers.

Fleming has represented torture survivors and asylum seekers from every continent and has extensive experience working with traumatized children who have suffered violence, displacement and family separation. Fleming has handled and supervised dozens of asylum cases. Many of Fleming’s cases have helped move the law forward in the area of gender-based violence. Some of her most well-known victories, include:

In Garcia-Martinez v. Ashcroft, Jayne convinced the Ninth Circuit that the systematic rape of women during the Guatemalan civil war was not merely criminal conduct, but a weapon of war used for political purposes. Given the political context, women survivors were entitled to assert asylum claims. Human rights experts hailed the court’s decision as an important victory for all women.

Jayne also recently represented a Honduran woman, who was subjected to child abuse and gang violence. Well aware that winning the case would be an uphill battle, Jayne flew to Honduras to meet with experts, wrote multiple briefs and declarations, and devoted hundreds of hours to witness interviews. The client was ultimately granted asylum on humanitarian grounds.

She also won asylum for a 17-year old girl from Guatemala who was persecuted on account of her indigenous origin. She also achieved stipulated resolution in a case on behalf of a 16-year old client from Guatemala who was subjected to extreme family violence and sexual abuse. In these cases and others, Fleming was able to provide the U.S. courts with essential evidence by flying in experts from on-the-ground relief agencies in other countries, such as the Center for Women’s Rights, which works directly with the most at-risk women and children in Honduras.

Fleming also won a significant asylum case in San Francisco Immigration Court on behalf of an 11-year-old girl, who had fled Honduras at the age of seven with her cousin, when their family had been targeted for death by gangs. These cases are traditionally hard to win, because of circuit court precedent that says that resistance to gang recruitment is not a basis for asylum.

Fleming also won protection for a teenage boy from Honduras, who was subjected to extreme sexual exploitation. She and her team are also currently representing a mother and her child who suffered disabling injuries in a train accident while traveling from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border. Fleming recently returned from Honduras on another fact-finding mission for her clients.

The team has also been on the cutting-edge of the numerous ICE detention issues making the headlines, including the successful representation of the mother of an HIV-positive asylum seeker, who died in ICE detention, because he was denied access to his medication and other adequate medical treatment.

Fleming’s team has also been deeply involved in immigration issues regarding unaccompanied children in California. 

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