Practicing Immigration Law in light of US Supreme Court Recognizing Same Sex Marriage

I am attorney who practices Immigration law. As a result of the US Supreme Court recognizing same sex marriage, I anticipating having potential clients wanting to help their foreign same sex partners come to the US as a fiancé(e) or a spouse or help their same sex partner who is already in the US to get their green card.

My conscience tells me that I should not take these cases because I feel like I am aiding or enabling something that is seriously wrong before God. However, I anticipate resistance from my law partner. I was wondering if you or someone you can refer me to can provide me 1) with spiritual advice as to whether or not I should take these cases and 2) good reasons I could provide my brother as to why we shouldn’t take these cases.

I want to tell these potential clients something like: “I respect you as a person and I respect your free will, but I cannot take on your case because it goes against my conscience. I can though refer you to another attorney who could possibly handle your case.”

Yours in Christ,

Roderick

Follow your conscience, and explain to your law partner that you have to do so.

That is the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

Just tell them “I’d like to help you out, but I don’t know how you got in.”

You can say that, while members of your government are fine with their abdication of duties by allowing foreign nationals to dictate our sovereign country’s immigration policy(ies), you are not stupid enough to help them. Tell them it does not occur in any other sovereign nation in the world and will be adjusted back properly by future legislators or civil war.

Then you can tell them that the SS thing is even more heinous.

You should always follow your conscience. Just be prepared to get sued because there is a zero-tolerance policy for Christian businesspeople these days.

-Massachusetts Christian adoption forced to close because it would not adopt to same-sex couples, even though they were happy to refer them to another agency.
-Woman sued for not selling a wedding cake to a gay couple, even though she was happy to sell them a birthday or graduation cake.
-HHS mandate

Any business that has any tie to marriage or weddings needs to be very careful. You could simply state that you don’t deal with spousal green card cases. Which may be a good idea anyway because you could tell them that it’s too messy and too much risk for fraud and fines. People marry someone they don’t know just for a green card.

I practiced immigration law for some time (not anymore since I left private practice) but my feelings would be the same ad you. I am a practicing catholic, I.don’t agree with SSM and do not want to take those cases because I would be incurring in scandal. Now professionally speaking, you know we lawyers have all the right to.choose which cases to handle. I would suggest you to speak with your partner and say that you don’t want to take those cases and you just don’t want to deal with it. Personally when I did immigration I hated it and thought it was a nightmare so getting now into more headaches with SSM people? I don’t know your business with enough details to give you more business driven arguments that you can present to tour partner but I know immigration is a headache (between the people themselves and the.entire system) so if you have already an established practice with a steady influx of clients why Target now an entire new group of clients? I don’t see any harm to your practice resulting from not taking these couples. Probably ask your partner why is he insistent on this? I don’t think generating more business is an argument because at least in my state there is plenty, in fact, too much business for immigration lawyers. You can probably have a good enough business only focusing on heterosexual couples. Also, if you have a small office (you speak about you and one paetner so I guess is small) the last thing you want to do iS overwhelm yourself. When I was in the law office we handled immigration and domestic law, the amount of immigration cases was so overwhelming that we had to refer to other offices because there are only so many hands for so many cases. I would have probably turned down SSM clients more because of not having the time to do it than for being same sex couples. I think you definitely need to speak with your partner, find out why he is so insistent on it, point at him that this is not can we do it but should we do it.

Do you think there will be a lot of bogus claims of gay marriages, just to get some one into the country ?

Jim

I’ve posted on other threads, but I feel redundancy is required: “If you are from a “blue state” you are part of the problem. If you have a (D) after your name, the problem is part of you.”

Interesting. Are lawyers exempt from the rules that apply to bakers, photographers, etc… who have been successfully sued because they refused to serve same-sex couples?

Peace

Tim

I am not Going to give a class of legal ethics here to non lawyers, but as I said lawyers do have a right to choose which cases they want to handle in their private practice. Lawyers are a completely different ballgame than photographers, bakers, etc.

OP are you a real partnership or just splitting office expenses?

let your partner handle them, or just refer them out. as you know, you don’t owe any potential client an explanation for turning down a case.

refer them here for that matter. I’ll take them.

yes.

Ask your priest or spiritual director. Do what they tell you.

Least, I live in California, and agitated for traditional marriage. Am I part of the problem? How about the Democrats who voted for traditional marriage in '08 and would gladly do it again? Are they worse than people like Senator Portman in Ohio, whose stance on SSM we all know? How about Governor Schwarzenegger, who vainly urged Californians to vote No in the referendum? Look, I’m a Republican, but the threat to our morals is bipartisan, and so are our allies.

ProTip: immigration lawyers are typically in favor of immigration. and, a petition for an alien relative is made by US citizens or legal permanent residents.

I feel a bit strange giving what almost seems like “legal advice” to a lawyer, but what I’m wondering is whether you would get in trouble with the Bar if you turn someone like that away because the “partner” is the homosexual “spouse”. You know for SURE you’ll draw bar complaints over it if you tell the individual that’s why you’re doing it. I understand lawyers can make inquiries of the disciplinary committees about things like this.

But I doubt you’ll see much of it. How many immigrants are going to have “marriage” certificates from their countries of origin? If they weren’t married there, the law won’t recognize them as married, though i suppose the “spouse” could come in under a tourist visa and they could get married in California or somewhere.

I’m no moralist or ethicist, but it would be my hunch that the Church would expect you to shift such people over to the partner or refer them unless it threatens your and your family’s livelihood.

But I would sure want to check with the Bar about it.

I could be wrong about this, but I thought lawyers could turn down any client just because he wants to, without explanation.

That is interesting. Why is that?

And by the way, I neither need nor want a legal ethics class from anyone, I’m just curious. If it is too involved for a relatively simple answer to us non-lawyers, I understand.

Peace

Tim

lawyers wrote the rules of lawyer ethics.

the lawyer-client relationship is a lot more personal than most kinds of contracts, the attorney and client are supposed to have full confidence in each other and the attorney may come to know many client secrets that cannot be disclosed to anyone (some exceptions involving future crimes). and it may be difficult for the attorney to end the legal relationship if it might hurt the client in court.

and if you’re a client, you really, really don’t want an attorney who isn’t committed to doing whatever he’s paid to do. some lawyers can’t get their heads into a certain kind of client. I’d turn down only one kind of paying client. others have more scruples, some even have less.

Ask your priest or spiritual director. Do what they tell you.

Least, I live in California, and agitated for traditional marriage. Am I part of the problem? How about the Democrats who voted for traditional marriage in '08 and would gladly do it again? Are they worse than people like Senator Portman in Ohio, whose stance on SSM we all know? How about Governor Schwarzenegger, who vainly urged Californians to vote No in the referendum? Look, I’m a Republican, but the threat to our morals is bipartisan, and so are our allies.

Right, you just objected to me more strongly than the problem, which was, noticeably, avoided wholly by the attorneys.

the attorney would write a ding letter to the potential client that says “don’t want to take your case”** no explanation is needed.** I wouldn’t ask for trouble by saying “because you’re gay”.

an alien could come here on a K-1 (fiancee) visa to get married in a state that allows gay marriage.

No, he won’t get in trouble. as faiirwinds and I both said, a lawyer can turn down any case without having to give any explanation. He doesn’t have to check with the bar any person who took and passed the MPRE and is a barred lawyer should know that

We are a real partnership. I practice law in NJ. Where do you practice out of?

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