How to ask about reliablility?
We live in a virtual world, so as long as you do your homework and check out the attorney's qualifications, I would be totally comfortable hiring an attorney whom I have never met. Now, bear in mind that there are various caveats to that recommendation. 1) Check out that the individual is an actual attorney in good standing with his or her state bar, 2) INMHO, it's important for immigration attorneys to be members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), 3) it's important for the attorney to have great expertise in the field of business immigration law, O-1's in particular.
As far as payment is concerned, you should pay in a way that you can track. Hence, credit card or check would be advisable.
It would depend. You should check to make sure the lawyer is actually licensed. Did you find any reviews? Google the person. Check with the state bar association for the state in which he/she is licensed.
You can check the state bar where licensed for disciplined complaints.
I would not recommend it. At least call and speak with the attorney about the process.
Contact immigration attorney Gintare Grigaite at 646-407-2331. Answers on AVVO do not constitute legal advice and do not form attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney for a legal advice.
You should do everything my colleagues have said, speaking by phone or skype will give you an idea of who your are dealing with. I've never had an overseas client without making and receiving plenty of phone calls.
While email is good for some type of communication, phone calls in certain situations clear things up faster than ping-ponging emails or chatting, imho.
This answer should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied on to take any action whatsoever; neither does it create a lawyer-client relationship.