It is almost always a good idea to have an attorney prepare you for the questions you'll be facing during the marriage green card interview process, and I think it is ESPECIALLY SO based on the facts you cite herein.
Individuals represented by an attorney are usually treated with much more courtesy and respect than if appear solo and unrepresented. Especially so if an attorney filed your case and suddenly you appear by yourselves.. You could be creating the impression that the attorney withdrew last minute, when he/she learned of... "fraud"?
Also, an immigration attorney will make sure that USCIS does not "abuse" you during that interview by asking objectionable questions, as well as ensuring that your answers are understood and properly registered; etc.
Last, but not least, immigration attorneys usually know almost every adjudicating officer at the local USCIS district office. That could help "smooth" things along.. Don't you think?
But on the other hand, if your marriage is a "sham" or doubtful at best, and entered solely for the main purpose of obtaining a green card, then no lawyer, no matter how good can possibly help you.. You decide..
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
I don't know about the elevated suspicion of fraud due to the lawyer not showing up to the interview. I think the USCIS knows that lawyers and their clients commonly agree on a limited representation where the client pays less while the lawyer does less (does not come to the interview).
Personally, such representation is ok by me in straight forward cases. Your case, as you know and as my fellow lawyer here correctly suggested, is not such a case. I think a lawyer should come to the interviews in difficult cases or shouldn't take those cases to begin with.
Let's hope you've done extra homework preparing your proof of bona fide marriage, including, if necessary, detailed and convincing affidavits from friends and relatives. This, on a balance, is more important than a lawyer's presence at the interview.
In addition to the information in the previous responses, it sounds like the attorney you and your spouse have engaged recommends that he be hired to represent you at the interview. If you are reluctant to follow your attorney's advice, I strongly recommend that you schedule a meeting to let him know you have lost confidence in his advice and to ask him to respond to your questions. As others have replied, the details you mentioned do sound like ones that would make it highly valuable to have an attorney provide representation at the interview.
Additionally, in assessing the wisdom of paying the incremental cost for representation at an interview, one must make a decision about just how important it is to succeed in the case. For some people, this is nearly the most important matter in their lives, for others, being able to remain in the U.S. as a Permanent Resident may be a far less crucial matter in their lives.
[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]
David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway, Poorak & Kennedy, P.C.
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * firstname.lastname@example.org
[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.] David N. Soloway Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. 1800 Century Place, Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com 404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * email@example.com