Q: Is my case confidential? I’m scared that the police or immigration authorities will find me if I go to your law office.
A: We take our duty of confidentiality very seriously. You will automatically be granted confidentiality upon your contacting our firm. All attorneys and staff members are instructed on making sure our client’s identity, history and other important information is protected. The professional rules of conduct pertain to all persons working for the law firm. We require all clients who wish to have other people be informed of their case complete a waiver of confidentiality. We will not reveal anything about you to law enforcement or immigration authorities unless instructed as part of your case or required by the rules of professional conduct.
Q: Will you visit my loved one in jail?
A: We will visit you or your loved one in an Iowa jail or detention facility; however, there will be a charge for the time. The minimum jail visit takes two hours of attorney time. If you are seeking a more economical alternative schedule a telephone appointment for your loved one. Jails in Iowa will allow the person detained to call our office to speak with an attorney. However they require you purchase a calling card at the jail in advance. We also have a toll free number 855-5BARTEN.
Q: Do you accept credit card payments?
A: We accept MasterCard and Visa for attorney fees by telephone or in person. Q: How much will I be charged for a certain service? A: The rate varies upon the type of service you need. The attorney will need to thoroughly analyze your situation so she or he can provide you with an accurate estimate. Our firm handles cases with a down payment to begin and either a flat fee or hourly rate basis. In addition to the payment for the time spent on your case, you will have expenses which may be separately invoiced such as government filing fees, postage, copies, medical exams, etc. This will be discussed as part of the initial meeting to determine whether we are able to assist you further.
Q: Why can’t you just charge a flat fee that includes the attorney fee and the expenses?
A: Unfortunately, each case has different expenses and it is out of our control when government filing fees change, whether someone with a lengthy criminal history needs certified court documents, or whether the application is very involved with a lot of copies, just to name a few factors. For this reason, we ask our clients to pay for the expenses of their case.
Q: I want talk with an attorney but not set up a meeting time.
A: We want to give you the individual attention you deserve. In our experience we can most effectively help you if you time is set aside to give you the proper attention your case needs. In particular, immigration law is complex and no two cases are exactly alike. It is most effective for the attorney to be able to inform you of the procedures and steps to make towards your goal. For this reason, we require a scheduled meeting. If you cannot be present in the office, we can set up a meeting by telephone or video conference.
Q: I do not want to pay for the initial meeting.
A: We want to provide you with real information you can use so you can feel confident that you are taking the right course of action, even if the right course is no action. If we are able to assist you and our firm is hired within thirty days of the initial meeting it will be credited towards the down payment. If you do not have a legal option at this time, finding that out keeps you from wasting time and money on the wrong legal process.
Q: What if you can’t help me?
A: Even if we cannot help you, you receive the knowledge that nothing can be done. Or if there is a legal option for you, but we are the not the best fit, we will guide you to find the help you need so you aren’t left without any representation.
Q: Will I receive my original documents back?
A: All documents received from the client will be returned unless the U.S. government requires an original document.
Q: I want to see what you file for me and track my case; will you help me with that?
A: For any applications filed on your behalf, you will receive an exact duplicate, the method of delivery, and the receipt notice to track your case with the government.