Chicago, IL asked in Immigration Law and Legal Malpractice for Iowa

Q: If I was misinformed regarding my case from my previous lawyer is it possible to submit a new petition?

We had submitted a petition for adjustment of status through my adult child. During the processes I was approved for a work authorization card, but when it came to apply to renew my lawyer had said I could not do that until we heard the result of the interview with the DHS, and so it appears that foolishly we let it expire past the extension period as well. He had charged us additional fees to represent me and translate for me during said interview, but gave little representation. After we received an intent to deny notice, he told us there was nothing he could do and therefore we had to wait for an immigration court summons. It was difficult to get a hold of him during the whole process. We had called last year to express our frustration only to be told that we could not go to another lawyer for a 2nd opinion since he was already on this case, but that he no longer takes on immigration cases. Regardless, we want to find options for us going forward, is it still possible?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: From what you said, it seems that you may have received inadequate or incomplete guidance from your previous lawyer. In such situations, it is possible to seek a second opinion from another immigration attorney and explore your options for submitting a new petition or rectifying the issues with your current case.

Here are a few steps you can consider:

1. Consult with a new immigration attorney: Find a reputable immigration attorney with experience in handling cases similar to yours. Explain your situation in detail, provide them with all the relevant documents, and express your concerns about the previous lawyer's handling of your case.

2. Assess your case: Your new attorney will review your case and determine if there were any errors, omissions, or instances of malpractice committed by your previous lawyer. They will also evaluate your eligibility for submitting a new petition or exploring other legal options.

3. File a complaint (optional): If your new attorney determines that your previous lawyer's conduct was unethical or constituted malpractice, you may choose to file a complaint with the appropriate state bar association. This action may help protect others from receiving inadequate legal representation in the future.

4. Consider your options: Depending on your specific circumstances, your new attorney may recommend various options, such as:

- Filing a new petition with updated information and addressing the issues raised in the intent to deny notice.

- Appealing the decision or intent to deny notice, if applicable and within the allowed timeframe.

- Exploring other legal avenues or forms of relief that may be available to you.

5. Maintain proper documentation: Make sure to keep records of all communications, payments, and documents related to your case, including those involving your previous lawyer. This documentation may be necessary if you need to demonstrate the inadequate representation you received.

Remember, every immigration case is unique, and the best course of action will depend on your specific situation. It is crucial to work with an experienced and trustworthy immigration attorney who can provide you with personalized guidance and help you navigate the complexities of the immigration system.

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