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How often should a lawyer or paralegal be available to their clients?

Simi Valley, CA |

My wife and I got our I-130 petition approved. She is the petitioner and I am the beneficiary. She signed a contract to have a lawyer help us with our case. I believe a paralegal prepared the contract and had my wife sign it along with a deposit. Since my wife signed the contract, we have not had any communication with anyone from the law office. My wife and I have called multiple times to find out who is the lawyer that is taking the case since I believe there are 4 or 5 lawyers in the firm. The many times that we have called a different secretary will tell us that they will relate the message and still no call back from anyone. What can be done in this case?? What should I do?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

If you do not receive a response after sending the lawyer or law firm a letter by certified mail requesting a status update on your case "within 2 weeks time" then you may want to contact a local bar association or the State Bar and file a complaint. It is important that you document it in writing. If you do not feel your relationship with your lawyer is satisfactory you may want to change lawyers. One bit of caution, you get what you pay for.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you! What would be a reasonable price? My wife and I got the I-130 approved on our own. The lawyer was going to help with getting an appointment to Juarez. Then fill out I-212 and I-601. They are charging total $7,500 is that not enough to have a good responsible lawyer? My wife and I are the ones constantly calling USCIS and the National Visa Center since National Visa Center cant't seem to locate my approved I-130. It is tough since I am in Mexico and my wife is in the U.S working many hours to pay the bills.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Ronald! My wife and have hope and will send a letter requestinga status update. Thanks again for this information!

Ronald Jeffrey Tasoff

Ronald Jeffrey Tasoff

Posted

That's the going rate, more or less, in So.Calif. (Some lawyers may charge more since you need both the I-212 and the I-601.) The "lost" I-130 is a different thing. Assuming the lawyer was not involved in the case when the I-130 got lost, he would be entitled to get paid to "fix" the problem. If he had done the I-130 himself (instead of you doing it) then some lawyers would not charge extra for the otherwise additional work. However, the lawyer or his office should return your calls, even if to say "nothing is going to happen for a month, don't call us". From the lawyers point of view, when quoting a fix fee you assume the client will call you every now and then.

Asker

Posted

Yes, any answer would give us an idea as to what to prepare for or who to refer to. We have just sent out a letter requesting a status update. Crossing my fingers for good outcome! I really don't want to cause any problems for anyone and respect the hard work of lawyers. Just REALLY want to come home to my wife and continue with our lives! Thanks for taking the time to provide helpful info!

Posted

In general an attorney should return a call or email to a client within a day or so. If you have not heard from them after repeated calls, I would immediately send a demand letter to them advising that unless they inform you of the status of the case, along with an invoice for time spent on the matter, that you may be forced to bring this to the attention of a grievance committee. I don't like writing that, but unfortunately it is lawyers like that who give us all bad reputations. Best of luck to you.

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Posted

Thank you Thomas! I know there are great lawyers out there!!

Posted

Write a written request to the managing attorney of the office. If he/she does not answer within a week, request your deposit back and hire another law firm.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

My wife and I have sent an update request by letter and my wife will be meeting with someone there (in person). What would be good questions to aske them?

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