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Unethical Lawyer--Please help

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  • Unethical Lawyer--Please help

    My alien husband and I hired an immigration lawyer to file all the paperwork for a Green Card. His services included I-485, I-130, I-864, etc. My husband received his Green Card in August of 2004. When it came time to prepare and file the I-751 joint application and necessary evidence my husband saw this same lawyer for assistance. My husband arranged all the meetings and phone conversations with this lawyer. I told my husband I wanted to attend, but due to a heavy travel schedule I was unable to attend. My husband prepared the I-751 and evidence in June of 2006 and presented the joint application for my signature. The lawyer in question prepared no documents; however, there were two meetings charged to a credit card and approximately 5 phone conversations lasting more than 10 minutes in length on a cell phone. My husband and I were having problems at the time, but we were going to counseling at the time. Against my will I signed the I-751 and then immediately contacted our lawyer for assistance. All along I kept thinking to myself that our lawyer couldn't ethically entertain questions wherein the outcome would be in conflict with the original Green Card. I had a false sense of security in that I assumed he had to act on my behalf as well due to the Mutual and Joint Disclosure agreement signed during the original Green Card process. The attorney handling the case would not return my call. I finally got someone in their office to answer the phone and after explaining the situation I received a phone call. At this point he informed me that due to a conflict of interest he could longer represent me or my husband. He also said that he was unable to disclose any conversation discussed with my husband. However, he said he would answer any questions I had pertaining to the law. This is where it gets "good"..... I did ask several questions wherein the answers he provided were sufficiently vague. He never said no exactly and never said yes.

    Here is an example.

    I asked: "Do I have any recourse? Can I remove my signature from that I-751?"

    He replied: Well.....I paperwork is being processed....You signed the document and that basically means you are validating the marriage and it is very hard to reverse that now...."

    Should he not have told me that Mendes v INS allows me to remove my signature before adjudication? Should he not have pointed me in the right direction...?

    I can provide more information if necessary.

    Please help. IMHO...this lawyer was unethical. I may now be responsible for my alien spouse for 10 years (I-864).

    How should this lawyer have handled the situation?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    My alien husband and I hired an immigration lawyer to file all the paperwork for a Green Card. His services included I-485, I-130, I-864, etc. My husband received his Green Card in August of 2004. When it came time to prepare and file the I-751 joint application and necessary evidence my husband saw this same lawyer for assistance. My husband arranged all the meetings and phone conversations with this lawyer. I told my husband I wanted to attend, but due to a heavy travel schedule I was unable to attend. My husband prepared the I-751 and evidence in June of 2006 and presented the joint application for my signature. The lawyer in question prepared no documents; however, there were two meetings charged to a credit card and approximately 5 phone conversations lasting more than 10 minutes in length on a cell phone. My husband and I were having problems at the time, but we were going to counseling at the time. Against my will I signed the I-751 and then immediately contacted our lawyer for assistance. All along I kept thinking to myself that our lawyer couldn't ethically entertain questions wherein the outcome would be in conflict with the original Green Card. I had a false sense of security in that I assumed he had to act on my behalf as well due to the Mutual and Joint Disclosure agreement signed during the original Green Card process. The attorney handling the case would not return my call. I finally got someone in their office to answer the phone and after explaining the situation I received a phone call. At this point he informed me that due to a conflict of interest he could longer represent me or my husband. He also said that he was unable to disclose any conversation discussed with my husband. However, he said he would answer any questions I had pertaining to the law. This is where it gets "good"..... I did ask several questions wherein the answers he provided were sufficiently vague. He never said no exactly and never said yes.

    Here is an example.

    I asked: "Do I have any recourse? Can I remove my signature from that I-751?"

    He replied: Well.....I paperwork is being processed....You signed the document and that basically means you are validating the marriage and it is very hard to reverse that now...."

    Should he not have told me that Mendes v INS allows me to remove my signature before adjudication? Should he not have pointed me in the right direction...?

    I can provide more information if necessary.

    Please help. IMHO...this lawyer was unethical. I may now be responsible for my alien spouse for 10 years (I-864).

    How should this lawyer have handled the situation?

    Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      I think there's a discussion about Ethics, Practice and Professionalism on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (www.aila.com) web site. That may give you leads on how to approach this issue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Much appreciated!!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          isn't "unethical lawyer" redundant?

          Comment


          • #6
            eilick,

            I think that you are confusing yourself.
            Your primary goal is to find ways to remove your signature. Now you are switching to unethical lawyer issue. Do you want to waste your time to make this lawyer ethical? Pick your battle. If the lawyer is unethical, find someone else that can help you out.
            As to your goal of removing your signature, this can actually bring you the same trouble you are trying to avoid. You dont want to be responsible for your alien for the next 7 to 10 years? Then let the immigration process roll. Here is the reasoning: when you first signed the petition for the green card (conditional one), you became liable for him for the next ten years or until your alien becomes citizen. Since he received GC in 2004, if you file I-751 now, he will be elligible to become citizen by the time this application is approved. Then he can file for naturalization and hopefully (if you hang in) become citizen. After that, you are free of liability.
            But if you create trouble now, then he will have to go through alot of other things to take his chances of getting approved. If approved, he may have to wait couple more years before applying for naturalization. During that time, you still will be liable although you removed your signature.
            So, the best avenue for you would be to fast forward the process so that you both can have peace of mind.
            One thing I would like you to pay attention to is to make sure emotions do not cloud your judgement. Whatever is happenning between you two, do not try to hurt him. Because attempting to do so, will distract you and you might end up creating more trouble for yourself.

            So, keep it cool. When you got into the relationship, everyone was friendly, now if things dont go as expected, try to take separate ways with dignity and respect for each other. I personally dont believe that there is any value in making ennemies.

            But again, I am just a little african who believe that human relations are priceless.

            Comment


            • #7
              I advise you to look for an ethical lawyer.

              Comment


              • #8
                that would be like looking for life as we know it on the moon.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yet your retarded Republican Party still supports trillion dollar missions looking for life on Mars and wars.

                  Mods it's time to remove someone12.

                  Aren't you people that run this forum lawyesr anyway? You gonna take that?

                  Comment

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