checking out a lawyer to see if they are real
Last time I was in the D.R. I was waiting in line in immigration and a person came up to me and told me he was an immigration lawyer and would assist me. HE DID NOT GET ANY EXTRA MONEY FROM ME AS I DID NOT HAND ANY MONEY TO HIM THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS OF GETTING MY TEMPORARY RESIDENCE CARD.
He spoke English really well and I asked him a lot of questions and he seemed like a very honest and good person. I could feel it and he even took me to a supermarket afterward in his car and dropped me off there. He did not ask for any money.
On the business card he gave me at the top and in the center is the emblem of the Dominican Republic which looks official and on the left side of the business card are these words:
* Asuntos Migratorios en general
* Traducciones de todo tipo de Documentos
In the middle of his card was his name and underneath his name the Spanish word for lawyer: Abogado
At the bottom right of the card his telephone number and cell number but not the numbers of immigration in Santo Domingo.
Could this be a genuine immigration lawyer? Remember, he did not get any money from me for helping me through the immigration process of paying an extra $100 for something new they had added to the process in immigration. This was paid across through the window. I can not remember exactly what that $100 payment was for but checked with another lawyer and they confirmed that immigration was now asking for it.
HOW DO I CHECK THIS PERSON OUT IF I WANT TO KNOW IF HE IS A GENUINE LAWYER SINCE HE HAS NO OFFICE ADDRESS ON THIS CARD. COULD THAT MEAN THAT THE IMMIGRATION DEPT. IN SANTO DOMINGO IS HIS PLACE OF WORK AND HE DOES NOT HAVE AN OFFICE? DOES HE SOUND GENUINE TO YOU?
Besides answering the questions directly above, is there a telephone number I can call to find out the credentials and place of work of a person who claims to be a lawyer? How do I check out if a person is a lawyer or not? What is that website or phone number I can access to check out the genuineness of someone claiming to be a lawyer?
Enter his name into the Colegio de Abogados de la Rep. Dominicana register:
Consulta de Miembros
(Not sure how reliable it is - I entered the names of two lawyers I know and only one came up with a match.)
In general it's preferable to use a lawyer who has been personally recommended. The lack of an office address would make me think twice, too.
I called someone who claims to be a lawyer and they gave me their lawyer number at the Collegio Dominicano De Abogado. They told me they were one of the members of the college. I have their number. I wonder if the website above will give me more detailed info if I input their number? I will look.
update: I entered the lawyer's number and their name DID COME UP which confirmed them as a lawyer. I then clicked on their name on the website and got further details. So if they can tell you their number at the college then you can confirm if they are a lawyer or not by imputing their number into the space and pressing the "buscar" button.
Last edited by bobsimmons; 01-11-2010 at 10:49 PM.
It seems to me the guy invested a little time and courtesy in the hope of some future trade. Why not. It cost him nothing. It helped you out. So maybe the next time you need a hand you will call him. Can't hurt and can sure help.
Listen to Hillbilly's advice. Someone who took the courtesy of helping you out and not asking for anything in return at the first encounter (at the immigration office) is enough to trust and if he did give you his business card with valid address and phone numbers chances are very little that he is not a con artist.
Whether the person shows up or not on the Colegio de Abogados site does not reveal the person's intention since not only is that website fallible but also there are many lawyers that are not registered in the Colegio de Abogados for some reason or other that are true honest and dishonest/crooked lawyers as well.
I don't know the guy or anything about him but I do know that there are very few lawyers in the DR (none that I know of) who will even attempt to handle more than one of the various areas this lawyer claims to handle as stated on his card, unless the card is for the whole firm, and even then most law firms in DR tend to specialize in either Labor law, Civil, or Criminal law, not all three.
Maybe Civil and Labor, as the two occasionally overlap, but civil and criminal lawyers are generally very hesitant to give advice on areas other than their own, and even dress differently - or so my labor attorney told me last time we were in court together. He said, "the guys with the Armani suits are the civil lawyers, and the ones with the beat up shoes are the criminal lawyers"
Well said MrMike..
don't know the guy or anything about him but I do know that there are very few lawyers in the DR (none that I know of) who will even attempt to handle more than one of the various areas this lawyer claims to handle as stated on his card, unless the card is for the whole firm
Well, you would be surprised, but if you venture out of Santo Domingo and Santiago, to smaller places like Bonao, Hato Mayor, El Seybo, Barahona, Monte Plata, etc. most of the lawyers actually do EVERYTHING - and that means EVERYTHING that brings in the money to pay the rent.
Originally Posted by MrMike
I do know MANY lawyers in those places (including Higuey) that do several or most of the areas. In Higuey I know lawyers (usually sole/small practice) that do criminal, civil, land, etc. And if you talk about CAMPO places, than be 1,000% sure that lawyers there do absolutely ALL and EVERY aspect(s) of the law available in the DR.
Dont Use Dominican Lawyer
I hired 2 of the best Immigration Lawyers in DR for my wifes Citineship to USA. Never, ever, ever use DR Lawyer. They made mistake after mistake after mistake and delay after delay, Then when I demanded my money back they told here to watch me closely as I was crazy. It is the typical DR blame game. I filled the I-130 and G-325a forms out by myself and have never had a problem with the U.S. Embassy processing the paperwork. FYI use a lawyer in the USA. I know a couple of them that are fully competent from Dominicans here that brought there family to USA.The only reason why I do not post the Dominican Lawyers names is because they returned my money.
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