Posts Tagged ‘Lawyer’

Should your lawyer have more brains or more sympathy?

September 17, 2010

My son recently joined medical school, and was given his first “patient” to diagnose. The students are graded not only on the correct medical diagnosis, but also on bed side manners. His “patient” (these are actually actors that med schools hire) presented herself with chest pain. After this experience my son asked me, whether if I was having chest pain, I wanted the doctor to say “everything will be alright” even though the doctor knows I may not. ie do I want a doctor to be sympathetic or do I want to hear the truth?

My answer to my son was that even though I don’t need the hand holding, because I am a very strong person, I’m sure most people do. ie, Hold their hand and break the bed news as gently as you can, but don’t hide the news.

Which is what a lot of unscrupulous lawyers do not do. I know many lawyers will promise clients the moon. Since I practice immigration law, I will keep my examples to immigration issues only.

When a client goes to a lawyer, a lot of lawyers lie—- no surprises here. “yes we can get that done”, “yes, we have done thousands of these.” These lawyers are very friendly, have the greatest bed side manners. Yet when they get the denials, they sound very sincere when they say, “i don’t know why CIS denied your case.” Any good lawyer knows what case is going to be approved and what case is going to be denied. Yet they do not refuse to take the case knowing they will get money to work for it.

Also just because a case can be filed, does not mean it should be filed. For instance, you can file a labor certification (PERM) for almost anyone. But if the next step, ie the I-140 does not go through, the PERM is useless. Same is true for certain family filings. Yet unscrupulous lawyers take the case, and the money to file the case.

Same is true for doctors. Both can be equally sweet and equally deceptive.

Yet clients, (and patients) choose doctors and lawyers by asking their friends, and by their professional’s bed side manner rather than objectively by their education and wisdom. If you want someone to hold your hands and cry with you, get a friend. If you want your doctor and lawyer to represent your interest, choose one who went to a good school, does not have any disciplinary violations, and is sincere in his  efforts. Generally foreign doctors and lawyers are less qualified simply because its easy to get into law schools and med schools in most countries. In India for instance the top students are engineers. Lawyers and most people in Humanities are at the bottom of the IQ heap.

In the end you are a consumer, and you have to do your due diligence or be duped.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information


Lincoln, the Lawyer

February 2, 2009

Not much is known about Lincoln as a lawyer.  But in fact, he was a busy lawyer. He, with his partners handled at least 5173 cases.  He was both a trial and appellate lawyer, though he was probably a better appellate lawyer than a trial lawyer.

In his notes for a Lecture on Law, Lincoln:

1. Discouraged litigation and looked for a peaceful solution to legal problem

2. Fee Retainers: encouraged lawyers to be reasonable and not charge abnormally.  But also do charge a retainer, because then you will feel “like you are working for something”

3. Be diligent and faithful. He acknowledged that lawyers have a “vague” reputation of being dishonest.

Above all Lincoln believed in the Rule of Law, that the legal principles that bind us together to form an orderly society. However, the rule of law has to coexist with the rule of equality to create a “liberal democracy which was the realization of a morally right political order”

Now, may be another lawyer from Illinois will merge the rule of law with the rule of equality.

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Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, Annie Banerjee, for more information.

I-140 Portability

May 30, 2008

You filed your I-485 under the July 2007 Visa Bulletin (VB No. 107). It has been more than 180 days. You cannot stand your employer, and have found a new employer who will continue the process. Can you Port your I-140 under AC21?

Below are some pointers to consider before you switch employers:

1. Is your I-140 approved?

If your I-140 is not approved yet, you need to decide if that case will be approvable. You have to decide if your first employer who sponsored you have the ability to pay, a valid job offer, etc.

If your first I-140 is approved already then porting becomes much easier

2. Is the new job same and similar?

The new ported job has to be same and similar. Both those jobs have to have the same DOT Code (for RIR and traditional cases) or SOC Code (for PERM cases), and the salary range offered in the underlying Labor certification has to be within a similar range. It is much better to have a copy of your original labor certification and the I-140 approval or receipt notice, to determine if the new job is same and similar.

  1. What if my first Employer withdraws the I-140?

It is not a problem if your first employer withdraws the I-140 after 180 days of the filing of the I-485.

  1. Can you port to a different Geographical location?

Yes, you can take a new job anywhere in the US and port the I-140

5. Should the new employer have the ability to pay?

Although technically the only factor that counts is whether the two employments are same and similar, the question of whether the new employer has the ability to pay can be a factor in adjustment of status

  1. What’s the worst case scenario?

If the I-140 Portability is denied for some reason, you can always retain the Priority date of the old labor for the adjustment under 8 C.F.R 204.5(e). But you have to start with a fresh PERM filing. This means if your 6 years of H-1B are over, you might have to go back to your home country until you can get your green card.

How to Choose an Immigration Lawyer

April 28, 2008
I have been practicing Immigration Law in Houston for the last 11 years, having graduated third highest from South Texas College of Law. I have seen many clients been swindled, abandoned, and left out of status for inadequate representation. So here are my tips on HOW TO CHOOSE A LAWYER. These are general tips for choosing any lawyer in general, and immigration lawyer in particular. I am assuming that readers of this blog will NOT go to a notario, or a lawyer not qualified to practice law.
HOW BRAINY IS YOUR LAWYER—–Ultimately a Lawyer is selling his/her brain power to you. The lawyer has to assess your situation and give you a creative solution. Thus his/her law school standing, how well she did in her class matters. Many lawyers practicing Immigration Law are not graduates of American Law Schools. The degree that you should be looking for is the JD degree. These foreign lawyers come over here, and do an LLM in Law. No American student does an LLM. You do not need to sit the competitive LSAT exam to get into an LLM program. Any law school, including Harvard, will take in ANYONE able to apply and afford tuition to their LLM programs, because law schools do not fill up their LLM classes. Foriegn lawyers often come from countries like India, where you do not need a brain to get into law school. (The science education in India is excellent, not law) So ask your lawyer if she/he has a JD, (and not an LLM) if so from where, and what his/her class standing was. Choose based on your lawyer’s brains, not his/her ability to be nice to you.
I am sure none of those foreign lawyers could get into any law school in the US in a JD program. Law unlike medicine is NOT universal. It is specific to a country, a region. Foreign lawyers often do not have a clear picture of our body of law, our principles and constitution.
EXPERIENCE-Your Lawyer should have substantial experience (at least 5 years) in doing your type of cases. For instance if you have a family immigration case, going to a lawyer who only does business immigration law or assylum, will not help you. If you have a knee problem you go to an orthopedic specialist, not a dermatologist. So ask your Lawyer how long she has experience and in what type of cases. Do your due diligence and google search and learn what you can before engaging them.
BIG FIRMS WHERE THEY WONT CARE ABOUT YOU: So you walk into this shiny office of a big law firm, to be interviewed by a partner. He promises you that they know the “immigration Officers and have all positive results.” You pay big bucks as retainer. That’s the last time you ever talk to a lawyer. Your case is being handled by a paralegal, who has no brains. You leave messeges and e mails, none of which are returned. Please bear in mind, that unlike most other countries, NO LAWYER in the US has any special relationship to the Government. The big bucks that you paid just went into the lawyers pocket and his expensive upkeep. In general, turn around time is much slower in big law firms. In Immigration Law the day you file your case is your priority date and that date MATTERS. Most big law firm will take upto a month to file your case, a valuable time loss for you. So ask your lawyer about who specifically will do your case (a lawyer or a paralegal), who will return your phone calls/e mails, and when will they actually file your case.
FEES: Last but not least is the money. I would choose the middle of the road fees. The lower end fees are generally charged by incompetent lawyers, who may take your money and may not even file your case. The higher end fees go towards a shiny office for your affluent lawyer. Generally the middle of the road fees are the best.