Do you know how to select a lawyer to represent your interests? The selection of a lawyer to handle your immigration case is one of the most important decisions you make. You are committing your hard earned money to a lawyer to not only handle the case competently, but to also deliver a desired result. In addition, with immigration law, you often do not get second chances. Sure, there are appeals and motions to reopen. However, every time you lose you compromise your case and your future status in the United States. Filing fees are expensive. For instance, with the amendments to the current Senate Immigration Bill, proposed fines have been amended to $1,500 for registration to obtain the proposed blue card.
Flashy websites, lawyer advertising and client referrals are the manners in which the public learns about a lawyer before the lawyer is hired. Although these are all ways of getting a client in the door, how does the client know or have the confidence that the lawyer will not only be successful but will not cause harm to their case? The individual must research the lawyer's experience. Every potential client that I meet is given a copy of my bio. Yes, clients can go to our website and check me out. Yes, a client can Google me also. However, I want to make sure that the person who sits in front of me and pays for my advice values my opinion and understands the education, training and experience that goes behind every opinion that I give.
My experience speaks for itself. An example of my experience is who quotes me as a reference. I was contacted by the New York Times when Justice Sotomayor was going through her confirmation hearings. I endorsed her because I had a lot of experience in front of her when she was a Judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Indeed, I argued 24 cases that appeared before Justice Sotomayor. My experience in front of Justice Sotomayor is so significant that it is included in her biography, Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream By Antonia Felix. Mr. Felix elected to relate my comments and observations about Justice Sotomayor to bring light to the "isolation" that Federal Circuit Judges experience in their work. Mr. Felix used my description of the Second Circuit being a "hot bench." The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Justice Sotomayor's biography:
The isolation of the appellate judge's working life is balanced out, however, during oral argument in the largely vacant courtroom, where judges are free to question and engage in discussion with the lawyers as much as they desire. The Second Circuit is known as a "hot bench," a court in which judges ask a lot of questions, and the style of the court matched Sotomayor's perfectly. H. Raymond Fasano, an immigration lawyer who appeared before her twenty-four times, said "she isn't afraid of running a hot bench" and admired her for it. Fasano . . . explained that "when a judge asks a lot of questions, that means she's read the record, she knows the issues and she has concerns that she wants resolved. And that's the judge's job."
I am honored that a Justice of the Supreme Court cited me in describing the work that she did before she became one of the most powerful and influential people in the United States. The Supreme Court is part of our government's checks and balances. The power of the Supreme Court is based on the Supreme Court's ability to act as the interpreter and arbiter of the Constitution. Neither the President nor Congress has the right to do this. The Supreme Court is the only body that has the right to interpret what the Constitution says and it is this right that gives it the power to rule on all aspects of government.
I hope that this has given you pause to think about who has the experience to be your lawyer.