Why did you have to fire that client? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. Sadly on Friday, we had to let a client go. This was a naturalization client, someone who had applied for naturalization once before and had not been able to complete the interview and to provide the government with the documents that they requested in support of his naturalization application.
We did not handle his first case, but after having dealt with this client now for about six months, we can see why USDA has denied him the first time. Sadly, we had to make a tough decision on Friday to let him go. Now, the source of the problem was that he has some minor traffic issues and we were trying to track down those records. So if you apply for naturalization these days, you need to bring proof that all of your traffic tickets have been satisfied.
So, we were attempting to do that for him. That’s part of the service that we provide. He didn’t have a lot. It was like two, I think. We sent him the release. We have to have him sign a release to send to the different municipalities to get proof of the ticket and proof of the ticket’s disposition, that it was paid and that any punishment was completed, like an extra fine, or driving school or anything like that. So, we sent him this form, not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, but five times.
So, sadly, I think something’s going on with his brain and I think that he’s not listening to us. So, we had a meeting set up to talk to him about it two other times, and he just did not show up for the meeting. We also then sent a letter to him and there was someone that he said was either his son or his brother. He kept saying that we could talk to that person.
So, what we decided to do was send him a long letter outlining all the problems with our attempts to get ahold of him. Also, as a side note, he had stopped paying us. So, that was also a problem, but we were still willing to keep going along because the interview’s not coming up immediately. Well, he missed those meetings, and then when we finally did get ahold of him, he passed the phone over to a friend, who isn’t his brother and who isn’t his son, but it is the person that had received our letter.
So, it was all very strange. We explained to them how frustrating this was, that this isn’t a complicated issue, that he should be able to sign the release and get it back to us. We shouldn’t have to ask for it five times. We shouldn’t have to keep having interviews or meetings to discuss it. It was ridiculous. So come to find out on the call that this fellow had moved from St. Louis to Upstate New York without even telling us.
So, this was just a real bad sign, a real problem. We have serious doubts as to whether this client can pass his naturalization test. We don’t think that he can necessarily even understand the questions from the officer, because he doesn’t understand how to follow simple directions. So, we had to sadly let him go. I think that he should withdraw his naturalization application. He might want to see if he can get a medical disability waiver at some point in the future. But for now, this application is not going forward and it makes me sad.
I wish we could have helped him. We did everything that we could, but if a client can’t do the bare minimum to help themselves, then we’re really at a loss and we’re not going to be able to help them. So, we have to move on to other people who we can help. While we’re sad for this former client, we think that our time will be better spent not trying to track down a simple one-page piece of paper that all he has to do is sign and give it back to us.
So, we don’t often fire our clients. Sometimes we have to because they become exceedingly difficult or have unrealistic expectations. But from time to time, it does happen, and it bums me out when it does. But I just want to tell you about that so that you can sort of understand what is expected of a client in dealing with an immigration lawyer.
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