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Should I sue my lawyer?

Tucson, AZ |

Hello, this is my story.
I came in the USA in 2008 under an F1 visa and i fell out of status on October,6 2011.
My girlfriend that i have been dating for 6 months before i fell out of status and I got married on October,18th 2011. I did some research about the AOS process and hired an immigration lawyer on November 25th 2011. The lawyer told me since my girlfriend was not making enough money that we had to get a sponsor to file the I-867 (affidavit of support).
I was married, living with my wife and searching for a sponsor not until this month on July, 4 2012... i got pulled over; arrested by a cop and got transferred to an immigration detention center. I was desperate and worried sick. After spending a week at the detention center i got out on a $4500 BOND. I contacted my lawyer: he told me that my situation has gotten complicated and that this case now wasn't his area of expertise anymore and that i had to hire someone else. I had paid him $1200 and nothing was accomplished. I later found out that during those 8 months of despair while waiting for a sponsor, i could have sent in my AOS documents to the USCIS or at least have my wife file the I-130. I now have to hire another attorney at law to represent me during my immigration hearing.
I really am emotionally, physically and financially drained.
MY QUESTION: Should i let my lawyer get away with this? Was he supposed to wait for a sponsor to send my AOS? was there really nothing he could have done?

Note: I am not trying to take advantage of this situation for bad reason. I have no more money left. I love my wife; want to continue my studies and really hope i don't get deported. I think my lawyer should have at least given me half of my money since he didn't send anything to the USCIS.

i should rephrase the question. Can i have a refund? i feel like nothing been done I wasted 8 months and $1200

Attorney Answers 4

  1. When you Re married to a USC it is prudent to file the i130 and I 485 together and the 864 needs to be filed with that package. So the attorney was right in waiting. He could notvhavecknown you werecgoingvtobrun into problems. While you could have filed the i130 in advance none of us do that as it usually is a time waster. I suggest you work it out and see if any refund can be made to help you with the expenses or if the papers were already completed you can get those and not have to pay for those again. Good luck. You should be ok.

  2. (1) $1,200 is incredibly cheap for preparing and filing an AOS one-step application ... did he draft any preliminary forms, or perform any other work before you told him that your wife didn't have a sufficient income?
    (2) US CIS pre-screens filings and will usually send a request-for-evidence within 30 days of filing, if the I-864 doesn't show sufficient income.
    (3) If you don't show sufficient income, or have a financial co-sponsor, CIS will deny the entire application, keeping the approximately $1,500 filing fees.
    (4) Until they see sufficient income, CIS will not issue any temporary work permits.
    (5) If, after reading this, you still think that the attorney didn't do 'anything' for the money you paid, you can contact the state bar association.

    Capriotti International Law

    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

  3. I don't see what the attorney did wrong. The I-130, adjustment and affidavit of support are normally mailed in at the same time and there is no point in filing them if you do not meet the requirements or have a cosponsor who does. The attorney has no responsibility to find you a cosponsor, that is yours alone. Even if the attorney had filed the I-130 alone (which is not normal), you still would have been out of status and would have been arrested and would have to post the bond and go to court. The real problem is that you were out of status and that is not the fault of your attorney. Thus, you would most definitely lose in a lawsuit based upon the facts you have given. The fact is that when you fell out of status you violated immigration law and now that you are arrested your situation is extremely complicated. What you need now is an immigration attorney experienced in court who can file the papers in front of the judge and get you out of this. Also, unless your wife's income has changed you will still need a cosponsor. My firm handles these types of cases.
    Nick Misiti
    Misiti Global
    212 537 4407

    Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  4. There is no basis for a suit. Your failure to get a sponsor for the I-864 was what was preventing the filing, and your arrest is what complicated the case.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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