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Can I sue my attorney or refuse to pay bill for legal fees if i believe he has commited malpractice?

San Bernardino, CA |

My immigration attorney told me I had no way to adjust status here in the U.S because I EWI at the age of 2. He said the only way to do it was to file for "cancellation of removal" and had me file a fake asylum, so that my case would be referred to an immigration judge, which I very stupidly did. Now I am in removal proceedings and have my first court hearing in feb. I've done some research and realize now that we don't have a very strong COR case, we don't even have children. I've also learned that I'm eligible for parole in place, because my husband is in the military. My husband and I decided we want to get the COR case terminated, and that we no longer want to work with that attorney, but he is charging us $2500 to ask the judge to terminate the case, that's money we just don't have.

I feel that putting me in front of an immigration judge was a very stupid move, he made me believe that I had very good odds with a cancellation of removal case, and had me file a fake asylum... All of this when we could have just requested "parole in place," I feel he's made a mess of things and don't see why I should have to pay $2500 to get out of it. Now I'm not sure what to do.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. mam, you can sue the attorney but that does not solve the immediate problem. go ahead and apply for parole in place even while the court is pending. you should quietly and calmly request a refund of legal fees because you do not want to place his license in jeopardy for advising you to falsify an asylum claim. might work. still you have to live with the consequences of lying on the asylum application. you did sign it after all. so you were his co conspirator. kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. don't trust your research, you are not an attorney. you never had a strong case. only 4000 cases are approved per year by law. while the cor is pending you can apply for an employment authorization. i would go with the parole in place first, then squeeze the attorney who you consipired with and finally go a reputable attorney and tell them what the two of you did.

    The advice that I give in each answer or legal is not intended to take the place of an in person consultation. A complete answer takes an in depth interview. After all, it is a life that is at stake. If you are in another city that I do not service ask me and I might be able to recommend you an attorney there. In general, in Houston, I recommend Adan Vega or Bruce Coane, Specialists. In Dallas I recommend Richard Fernandez, Elizabeth Cedillo or Yong Wood as highly skilled and experienced. In South Texas I recommend Jodi Goodwin from Harlengin or Leonel Perez of Edinburg. In San Antonio I recommend Bob or Nancy Shivers or drive to Austin to see me or my talented associate Jacqueline Watson.

  2. You have to sue him for malpractice. You can't just make a judgment on your own that he committed malpractice. That has to be decided through litigation which, of course, you have to pay for. Unless and until you do, you run the risk of him suing you for the fees he charged.

    Kevin King, Principal- Essential Law Services. HTTP://ESSENTIALAW.COM. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice for a particular case. This post does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author of the question answered. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with me or another qualified attorney off-site.

  3. Please fully discuss with a reputable lawyer. Based on information and belief, the ethics lawyers at EOIR are reviewing and determining discipline for attorneys who file asylum cases in order to get their clients into removal proceedings for purposes of filing for cancellation and getting them work authorization. This sounds like your situation. However more facts are needed. Please retain counsel to fully discuss your options and carefully consider how to best proceed.

  4. You need to consult with a legal malpractice attorney immediately to explore your rights.

    I am a lawyer licensed to practice in Illinois and Wisconsin. To the extent your issue arises out of the law of another jurisdiction, the information I provide should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction.

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