Comment: Immigration Attorneys and Securities Liabilities

ILW , being an immigration law publisher for the past 20 years, cares deeply about the long term health of the immigration bar. ILW has the best interest of the immigration bar in our heart, and we have a long track record bearing this out. We want to bring a point to the attention of the immigration bar.

We talk regularly to securities attorneys in the course of our business. Some of them have pointed out to us that most immigration attorneys are making an elementary mistake of suggesting to their clients "good" regional centers or "how to find good RCs". If an immigration attorney were to suggest a project is "good" that creates a securities liability for the attorney. An immigration attorney can fully legitimately evaluate any immigration aspects of the project, such as the job count without incurring any securities liability whatsoever. However, saying the project is "good" or "short-listed" based on such things as deal structure, deal term, location, track record or any criteria is tantamount to recommending an investment which opens the immigration attorney to securities liability. The liability of this kind is not just limited to professional liability, but extends to personal liability. You are welcome to check this with a securities attorney.

We are making no claim regarding the ethics of directing investors to specific Regional Centers--we are simply pointing out the liability that act is burdened with it even if it is within the bounds of securities laws. A typical $15,000 I-526 attorney fee is a very small premium to underwrite insurance on a $500K investment over 5 years--and there is no reason why an immigration attorney should shoulder such unnecessary risk, opening themselves to an out of proportion risk for a relatively small reward.

By suggesting to an investor that an RC or project is good, the attorney is leaving the realm of providing legal advice and entering the world of providing financial advice. Typically, in order to do so, a person should be either a representative of a registered broker-dealer, or be a registered investment adviser. Those two classes of individuals are regulated, trained and held to a standard of professional conduct, which if they follow, insulates them from potential liability in the event that an investment doesn’t work out as expected. A lawyer who dispenses financial advice will be held to the standard of these investment professionals. If they do not follow the professional standards, then personal liability will apply and it is the kind of liability that is typically disclaimed by legal malpractice insurance.

Historically, Chinese investors have been reluctant to sue, but that is not true of investors of other nationalities like India. Also, remember that almost the entire bulk of EB-5 investments have taken place during an economic upswing from 2008 to the present. The EB-5 industry has not seen a recession yet. When a recession hits, there will inevitably be failures and investors affected by the failures will be looking for parties to sue including their immigration attorneys if they pointed them to their project, however innocently.

Be safe; don't be sorry. Don't suggest to any client what is a "good" project other than the job counts. We are disappointed that bar associations have thrown attorneys to the wolves by not stressing this point. We encourage bar associations to caution attorneys about not taking on unnecessary liability.

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Focus: H1B to EB5
Exhibition/speaking opportunities for March 2019 H-1B events are available. Please see below for our current H1B to EB5 Expo schedule:

  • Washington, D.C. - Monday, March 11 ( 1 Seat Available )
  • Dallas, TX - Wednesday, March 13 ( SOLD OUT )
  • Seattle, WA - Friday, March 15 ( SOLD OUT )
  • Philadelphia, PA - Monday, March 25 ( 3 Seats Available )
  • Phoenix, AZ - Wednesday, March 27 ( 3 Seats Available )
  • San Jose, CA - Friday, March 29 ( 2 Seats Available )

Format:
Half Day Event for Indian H-1Bs considering EB-5 Option (Speaking Opportunity included) Please bring brochures, PowerPoint presentation, table displays and business cards.
Special Note for Attorneys: This event will feature two immigration attorney panels solely on immigration law matters. The only way an immigration attorney can participate and speak at this event is if they are nominated by an issuer who is exhibiting at the event (there is no fee charged to immigration attorneys).

EB-5 Issuers only - $3,999 per city for H-1B Event
(Inquire about Discounts and also about Platinum Level)

For more info please call (212)545-0818 or email webmaster@ilw.com or click here.

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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Arlington, VA - Catholic Charities Diocese or Arlington is seeking for Immigration Attorney. Immigration Staff Attorney will prepare a wide range of immigration cases for submission to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of State, Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She/he will represent clients before the USCIS Washington District Office, Arlington Asylum Office, ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations, Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals, (BIA), including removal proceedings. Staff Attorney will coordinate all aspects of a client’s case, including client communication, relevant research, drafting personal statements preparing immigration forms, writing briefs, drafting court motions and orders, and advocacy with law enforcement and other agencies. Assist in the supervision of volunteers and student interns. Solicit the help of volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and others to assist with the provision of services when necessary; Provide in-service training to staff and volunteers on immigration-related skills and knowledge; Participate as needed in agency and program-wide data collection, fundraising, training, and strategic planning; Participate in meetings with immigration legal service community-based organizations; Participate on a periodic basis in day-long weekend naturalization workshops; Juris Doctor degree and admission to the bar of any state; Minimum of two-three years of experience practicing family-based immigration law; Advanced proficiency in Spanish and English (writing and speaking) required. http://www.ccda.net/ for full details and to apply.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney or paralegal
New York, NY - Boutique immigration law firm in Downtown Manhattan is looking for a contract attorney/paralegal for immediate start on a three month assignment (with potential to move into a full-time role) who is excellent at preparing H-1B and / or O-1 visas. Must know how to work an H-1B or O-1 from initial consult, through full preparation of the petition until filing and answering any post-filing questions. Experience must include strategizing the O-1 petition; ability to discern appropriate testimonial letter signatories; identifying the strengths of the case under each of the regulatory criteria; reviewing and identifying evidence; drafting testimonial letters; drafting the main submission and putting the whole case together. Must be able to work with minimal supervision. Candidates must have impeccable english grammar and written skills. Candidates must be well presented and professional, and available to join all initial client consultations at the office. To apply, email your resume together with a cover letter and a writing sample for submission to: jobs@cammisamarkel.com. In the SUBJECT line please answer the following question: Which American fashion photographer was born May 15, 1923 and died on October 1, 2004?

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
New York, NY - Boutique NYC immigration law firm is seeking a full-time Attorney with 3+ years experience in U.S. business immigration law. The ideal candidate: Utilizes their superior knowledge of U.S. Immigration law and comprehensive experience to determine the best case solution for each client; HaHas experience working across a broad range of case types including: H-1B, B1 in lieu of H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1A, O-1B, P-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, J-1, H-3, TN, Change of Status to B-2 or F-1, I-130, DV lottery selectee, PERM, I-140 (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3), Porting of an I-140, NIW green card; s experience working across a broad range of case types including: H-1B, B1 in lieu of H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1A, O-1B, P-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, J-1, H-3, TN, Change of Status to B-2 or F-1, I-130, DV lottery selectee, PERM, I-140 (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3), Porting of an I-140, NIW green card; Will enjoy a senior role, responsible for managing and training paralegals; Has exceptional organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail, and is adept at prioritizing and managing a large caseload to meet deadlines; Is results oriented and thrives on complex immigration issues; Possesses impeccable communication skills; Is current on changes in law, new policy memos and immigration news. Applications: Email your resume including a cover letter outlining your suitability for the role, and a writing sample to jobs@cammisamarkel.com. In the subject line, include the answer to the question: Which American artist was born on December 22, 1960 and died on August 12, 1988?

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