List of representative cases
At Will Employee, Don’t Bet On Your Employer’s Promise
Employment Law / Employer’s Negligence
When Your In-Laws Are Badly Advised By Their Attorneys
Domestic Law / Malpractice Fraud
When you think you don’t have any problem
A Unique Journey From Pakistan to the United States
Our client, living in Pakistan, had an arranged marriage with a dual citizen (U.S. / Pakistan) who lived in the United States. During their twelve year marriage, our client’s husband would visit her only once a year for about a week and never acted on his perennial promise to bring her to the United States. Her husband obtained a Pakistani divorce giving her nothing, no alimony, no property, no monetary award, nothing. Client came to the United States with a tourist visa and retained our services. We successfully argued before the Maryland court that the Pakistani divorce, although valid in Pakistan, should not be recognized in Maryland as being against Maryland public policy. We then obtained a U.S. divorce granting to our client a monetary award of $250,000 plus $27,000 in attorney fees. Concurrently with the divorce proceeding, we successfully petitioned the U.S. immigration services to grant our client permanent resident status (Green Card) on the basis that she had suffered extreme cruelty from her U.S. citizen husband.
Our client worked for a U.S. Fortune 500 company. The company had agreed to take care of obtaining her H-1B visa and, thereafter, a green card. However, because the employer miscalculated the duration of the H-1B status, our client became ineligible for the green card. She was terminated at the end of her H-1B status and offered $5,000 in compensation. The employer claimed that no additional compensation was warranted because she was employed “at will” and could have been terminated at any time. The lower court sided with the employer stating that the employer should not be held accountable for its mistake because it was not in the business of providing legal advice. In other words, and according to the judge, it was unreasonable for the client to expect that her employer would handle her immigration applications without negligence even though it had a full time employee to deal exclusively with immigration issues. We appealed the decision. A few days before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was scheduled to hear our brief, the employer made a confidential offer of settlement which our client accepted happily.
Our client’s wife died suddenly while visiting her mother in New Mexico. He immediately traveled from France to New Mexico to take care of his wife’s funeral and retrieve his two year old daughter who had been visiting with her mother. Unknown to our client, his in-laws were already planning with their attorney to transfer custody of his daughter to his wife’s twin sister. Upon his arrival in New Mexico, his mother-in-law begged him to stay in New Mexico a few weeks with his daughter allegedly to help her deal with the loss of her own daughter. Our client accepted. The next day, the lawyer for the mother-in-law asked him, through an interpreter since the client did not speak English, to sign a legal document. Our client signed the document after being told that the only purpose for the document was to allow his daughter to be covered by her grandmother’s health insurance while she stayed in New Mexico and that he could revoke his signature at anytime. At 11 pm the day of his wife’s funeral, our client was abandoned along a highway in the middle of nowhere by his in-laws who kept his daughter.
The next day he discovered from us that the legal document he signed transferred custody of his daughter to his mother in-law and granted to him only supervised visitation.
Our client had no money and his in-laws and their attorneys surely expected that he would not have the financial means to fight a custody battle in the United States. We agreed to represent him on a contingency fee basis and advanced on his behalf part of the money necessary to retain co-counsel in New Mexico. The custody battle in New Mexico was very fierce and lasted five months before the client was finally able to get his daughter back and return to France. His mother in-law, under pressure from our claim for malicious prosecution, agreed to pay most of his attorney fees incurred during the custody battle. We then worked closely with our client while in France to encourage him to grant liberal visitation rights to his mother in-law despite what she had done. With great wisdom, our client recognized that the culpable party was not his in-laws but their attorneys who, at a minimum, failed to advise his grieving mother in-law that their abduction plan was cynical and illegal. Our client and his daughter have since then had a great relationship with his mother in-law.
On behalf of our client, we later sued his mother in-law’s attorney for malpractice and fraud. Our client had incurred a total of $20,000 of actual damages including lost wages and unpaid attorneys fees as a result of the alleged malpractice and fraud. A few days before the trial, the client accepted the attorney’s offer to settle the case for $230,000.
Our client came to us about three years after he had filed his naturalization application, which was not yet adjudicated, although he had been fingerprinted three times. Faced with unresponsive explanations from the administration, we filed a complaint before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to find its conduct illegal and to order an immediate adjudication of the client’s application. In response to the complaint, the immigration services naturalized the client a few weeks later and paid $3,000 in attorney fees.
Our client obtained his green card on the basis of his marriage to a U.S. citizen. Three years later, still married and living with his wife, he applied for naturalization believing that the only difficulty would be to answer the naturalization questions such as how many stars there are on the U.S. flag. Although he answered these questions correctly, his application was denied on the basis that he allegedly claimed during the interview to be still living with his wife, failed to disclose that he was no longer living with her at the time of the interview and failed to prove that he had a genuine marital relationship with her.
Upon the client’s representation that he was never asked during the interview to confirm his current address or whether he was still living with his wife, we accepted to represent him and we filed a complaint before the United States District Court of Maryland.
During the proceeding, we discovered that his wife had been surreptitiously writing to the immigration services claiming that he married her only to get the green card. She maintained these serious accusations during her deposition and, on that basis, the government threatened to deport the client for marriage fraud. We filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the client did not misrepresent his address at the time of his interview and that his wife’s accusations were not credible. The government conceded our arguments and agreed to naturalize him within two months. The client became a U.S. citizen two months later.