Need Feedback On Atlanta Attroney Dahlia M. French???
Q: Anyone have any experience with Atlanta based immigration attorney, Dahlia M. French? Also, is it normal for an attorney to not meet the client in person prior to an removal proceeding hearing before an immigration judge? I have had a brief telephone conversation with her and I sent her a copy of my AOS papers I filed with the BCIS, and that was it. No questions or call back from her about anything other then a brief confirmation, that I initiated, that she is available to represent me in court next week. I am having doubts whether she is taking my case seriously. And whether I should seek out another attorney who takes more interest in my case. My hearing is scheduled for the later part of next week. Is it to late to seek out another attorney? I dont believe I signed any retainer agreement with her and she hasn't ask me for any retainer agreement/funds? Also, she is licensed to practice in Connecticut & Ohio but not Georgia, yet her office is in Atlanta - is that a red flag?
A: I have no experience with removal proceedings, but it sounds like she should be spending a bit more time with you. At least, interview another one. No. Inform the court of the trouble you are having and ask for the hearing to be postponed. You are entitled to retain a lawyer in immigration proceedings (at your own expense, only in criminal cases does the government provide one if you want). If the court refused to reschedule, you could appeal on that ground. It depends on her specialty. If she does strictly immigration law (or any other federal law), this is actually quite common (there was a recent case in Texas with very similar circumstances, and the Supreme Court has already ruled on the legality of this). Of course, if she handled other, non-federal, issues, then this could be a red flag. Also pay attention to the attorney's specialties. Many immigration attorneys specialize in things like business immigration - in fact, I believe both firms you mention do that, but I could be mistaken - and rarely handle deportation cases.
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