Nationwide — Attorney Zulu Ali, founder and principal of the Law Offices of Zulu Ali & Associates, LLP, the largest Black-owned law firm in California’s Inland Empire, wins a landmark decision establishing the standard to present claims under the United Nations Convention Against Torture; which he argued before the United States Court of Appeals on behalf of his client, Eric Blancos Hermosillo, a foreign national, in the case of Eric Hermosillo v. United States Attorney General Merrick Garland.
On September 14, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided in a published 2-1 decision that after reinstatement of a 1999 removal order, Blancas Hermosillo expressed a fear of returning to his country of origin prompting an asylum officer to conduct a reasonable fear screening interview to determine whether Blancas Hermosillo should be given the opportunity to establish his claims at a hearing before a Judge on his application for relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Consequently, Blancas Hermosillo was denied a hearing and never had the opportunity to fully present his case in light of his expression of fear. The court agreed with attorney Ali and remanded the case with instructions to provide a hearing under the United Nations Convention Against Torture before a judge. The decision establishes the standard as to the right to present a claim under the United Nations Convention Against Torture before a judge.
Attorney Ali comments: “I have been arguing this position for years with stern opposition. Persons seeking protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, like my client Mr. Blancos Hermosillo, have long been denied their rights. They get cutoff right out of the gate with no remedy just to face death with no real options. This win shows what you can do with the right passion, consistency, faith, and hard work. My staff did a great job in assisting me in this case. Justice delayed is still Justice”.
A former police officer and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Attorney Ali earned a juris doctorate in law (J.D.) from Trinity International University; a masters in administration of justice (M.S.) and business (M.B.A.) from University of Phoenix; a degree with a focus on African studies from Regents College through a consortium with Tennessee State University; and is a doctoral candidate researching pan-African business and trade at California Southern University.
In 2007, inspired by the legacy of civil rights attorneys Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and Avon Williams, Jr., who used the law and courts as a vehicle to make change and protect all people against injustice, Attorney Zulu Ali opened the Law Offices of Zulu Ali & Associates, LLP with a focus on representing persons accused of crimes, immigrants, and persons seeking civil justice in state and federal courts. Ali is on the list of counsel at the African Court of Justice and Human Rights in Tanzania (Africa) and the International Criminal Court at The Hague (Netherlands).
Attorney Ali served as Director of the American Committee for United Nations Oversight, an advocacy group that lobbied the United Nations for police reform in 2015. He is the Director of the Stop and Frisk Youth Leadership Academy, which mentors and trains at-risk youth to deal with police encounters; Director of the Southern California Veterans Legal Clinic, a legal clinic offering no cost and low cost legal services to military veterans; and a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. serving on the international governing body (Grand Council) as General Legal Counsel.
Attorney Ali, a distinguished biographee of Marquis Who’s Who and a recipient of the Albert Neilson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021), received the Marquis Who’s Who Humanitarian Award for 2022. In 2017, Ali was recognized as one of the most influential African American Leaders in Los Angeles by the National Action Network founded by Reverend Al Sharpton.
Attorney Ali has been honored as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in his area by the National Black Lawyers and National Trial Lawyers; Top 100 Lawyers by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys, American Institute of Legal Counsel, American Jurist Institute, and Attorney & Practice Magazine; and Rue Ratings Best Lawyer in America.
He is the founder and CEO of 10 Nubian Queens & 5 Kings Media, a mass media production company focusing on black family and social justice content in film, radio, theater, music, and book publishing.
Additionally, Ali is the host of the radio talk show Justice Watch with Attorney Zulu Ali, which broadcasts from NBC Radio studio in Redlands, California; and he is a member of the National Black Radio Hall of Fame – Chicago chapter.
A devoted family man, Ali has been married to his wife (Charito) since 1986 and they have four adult children (Christine, Whitney, Ashley, and Lynda), five grandchildren (Amayah, Tye, Izem, Amina, and Nasira), and resides in Southern California with his family.