Our Attorneys


DAVID G. KATONA (PARTNER)

Mr. David Katona specializes exclusively in the area of immigration and nationality law and heads our business and family immigration practice. Mr. Katona earned his bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University, his Master of International Affairs degree from American University's School of International Service and graduated cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law. David Katona has worked as a senior attorney in the Immigration Department at Hodgson Russ LLP and has practiced as an immigration attorney at Bondy & Schloss LLP and at Susie Kim & Associates, PC. In addition to being a partner at Katona & Mir, Mr. Katona also currently serves as Of Counsel to law firms in New York City and Palo Alto, CA.

Mr. Katona is highly experienced in all aspects of business and family immigration as well as removal (or deportation) defense and federal appeals, and he has experience representing all types of businesses, from Fortune 500 to small- and mid-size companies, as well as individuals from all over the world.

Mr. Katona is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Assocation (AILA) and the NYC Bar Association. Notably, he previously served as the Chair of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) as well as the Chair of AILA New York's CBP Liaison Committee.  He currently serves as a member of AILA NY's District Office Liaison and Corporate Practice Committees.  Previously, he also served as the Vice Chair and Treasurer of the NY Chapter of AILA, the American Immigration Council (AIC) Ambassador to New York, the Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Committee of AILA's NY Chapter, and a member of the Immigration Committee of the NYC Bar Association. Additionally, Mr. Katona regularly conducts seminars and guest lectures on various immigration related topics. He also guest hosts a call-in immigration program on Aktina Radio (91.5 FM). In addition, he regularly authors articles on various immigration topics. Two articles by Mr. Katona were recently published by Aspatore Books, a division of Thomson Reuters.

SAMIYA (SIMI) MIR (PARTNER)

Ms. Samiya (Simi) Mir handles a wide variety of cases in the areas of employment and business law, litigation, and criminal defense. Her practice includes counseling both U.S. and multinational businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals on a wide variety of matters including litigation, employment, corporate start-up issues and compliance, contract negotiation, and copyright and licensing.

Ms. Mir earned her bachelor's degree in political science at Colgate University and graduated cum laude from American University, Washington College of law. Upon graduation from law school, she served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Vanessa Ruiz, D.C. Court of Appeals. Simi worked at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson from 2001 to 2004, where she practiced trial and appellate litigation and represented businesses and individuals on cases involving business litigation, securities, contract disputes, and white collar crime. She also served as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division where she defended indigent individuals on cases involving various types of criminal conduct.

Ms. Mir gives talks on business and employment law, and has also taught contracts and business law in Milan, Italy. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Fordham University School of Law.  She also teaches Negotiations and Dispute Resolution at Metropolitan College of NY.  Additionally, Ms. Mir is on the executive committee for the South Asian Women's Leadership Forum, Women in the Law, and is a member of Asian Women in Business.

ASHLEY SCHAEFER (ASSOCIATE)

Ms. Ashley J. Schaefer practices in the area of immigration law, providing a full range of legal services to corporate and individual clients in immigrant and non-immigrant visa matters.

Ms. Schaefer formerly worked at Malik & Popiel, P.C., a NYC-based boutique immigration firm where she specialized in employment- and investment-based visa matters, as well as family-based petitions.  Previously, she worked for the Law Offices of Kim & Cha LLP as an Immigration Associate.

She graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she served on the Connecticut Law Review and was recognized for top classroom performance, and she earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Schaefer is admitted to practice law in the states of New York and Massachusetts.

SHIVANI HONWAD (OF COUNSEL)

Ms. Shivani Honwad’s practice focuses primarily on business and immigration law. She covers the spectrum of business legal services, including corporate formation, business plan drafting, partnership agreements, initial trademark registration filings, contract review and negotiations, and non-disclosure agreements.  Ms. Honwad’s practice extends to the social media marketing and blogging space, assisting clients with sponsorship compliance.

Ms. Honwad graduated cum laude from New York University's Stern School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing & International Business and earned her J.D. from American University's Washington College of Law, graduating with Exceptional Pro Bono Service Honors. Ms. Honwad is admitted to practice in New York and served as the South Asian Bar Association of New York’s Vice President of Public Interest in 2015; she is also active with the New York State Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Ms. Honwad is a passionate advocate for the rights of women and children, particularly those who have been abused and/or trafficked. Ms. Honwad serves on the Young Executive Board of the Nomi Network, the Young Professionals Board of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), the American Bar Association Human Trafficking Task Force and is a member of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition. Ms. Honwad is also the co-founder of Meatpacking Films LLC where she and her partner produce short films raising awareness of human rights issues.

HOLLY SMITH-PAI (OF COUNSEL)

Ms. Smith-Pai practices exclusively in the area of immigration law. She has a long history of advocating for the rights of immigrants and has a wide range of experience, including experience in removal defense and complex family-based immigration matters.

Ms. Smith-Pai previously worked at a boutique removal defense firm in New York where she successfully representing clients before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals and US Citizenship and Services. Previously, Ms. Smith-Pai worked in Washington, D.C on comprehensive immigration reform and in Seattle with immigrant survivors of domestic violence.

Ms. Smith-Pai graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law where she received the Dean’s Award for Leadership in Race and Gender Issues. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University.

Ms. Smith-Pai is admitted to practice law in New York and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

JOEL NEGRIN (OF COUNSEL)

Joel Negrin has been engaged in the practice of general corporate and business law, contracts, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, finance, securities, and real estate development and finance since 1971. He has served as Vice President – General Counsel of Damson Oil Corporation, an American Stock Exchange listed company and leading national syndicator of financial products. Mr. Negrin was also a Corporate Partner at Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP from 1998 to 2003. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Pace University, Lubin School of Business.

Mr. Negrin is a graduate of Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, and the New York University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Committee on LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Entities, and of the NYC Bar Association.

Mr. Negrin acts as Of Counsel to Katona & Mir on a variety of complex business law matters including mergers and acquisitions, investment agreements, corporate compliance, and corporate structuring.

KELLY WEINER (OF COUNSEL)

Kelly Weiner provides counsel on a wide range of intellectual property and business-related issues. She regularly advises clients in the areas of: compliance with trademark, copyright, trade secret and advertising laws; brand strategy development and implementation; intellectual property disputes; the strategic development and negotiation of intellectual property-related transactions; and contract drafting and negotiation. Her practice has included Fortune 500 companies, mid size companies, start-ups and not-for-profit organizations.

Ms. Weiner earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law. She earned her B.A. from the University of Rochester. Ms. Weiner is admitted to practice in New York. She is a member of the International Trademark Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.