Paul Raschke

"I am a U.S. lawyer who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. In January 2012, I first corresponded with Luigi Paiano regarding Italian citizenship. I tell you honestly, I wrote to him as a last resort, as a “Hail Mary” pass.

For some time I had been interested in pursuing dual citizenship. But when I researched the requirements, I knew I had an enormous problem. Everything I read said that citizenship was only available through the paternal, and not the maternal, line. But my paternal grandfather surrendered his Italian citizenship in 1920.

In my research, I came across references to an Italian lawyer, Luigi Paiano, who claimed to have success with petitions seeking recognition of citizenship based on the maternal line. He was my only hope.

So, I wrote to him as one lawyer to another. I cannot claim to appreciate the nuances of the Italian legal system. As I understand it, with my limited knowledge of Italian, Dott. Paiano employs a masterful legal strategy that essentially challenges the Italian law, as written, on the grounds that it unconstitutionally discriminates based on gender. The strategy is brilliant. Most importantly, it works. And with each success, future cases become easier.
The court in Rome issued its decree recognizing that I have been an Italian citizen since birth. I owe this extraordinary result entirely to Luigi Paiano, an exceptionally talented and intelligent lawyer who I am proud to call a colleague and a friend."