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California Rental Agreement Laws

Rental Agreement Laws

California has some of the most complex landlord-tenant laws in the nation. There are extensive protections for tenants, as well as separate rent-control laws in a number of municipalities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and others. Residential rental agreements must clearly communicate the terms of the tenancy and abide by all applicable laws.

Faulty or poorly drafted rental agreements can create all kinds of headaches for landlords and possibly provide an eviction defense for tenants. To minimize problems in the future, we highly recommend that property owners consult with a real estate attorney when creating their rental agreements.

Basic Terms of a Rental Agreement

Every rental agreement for a residential property should include these key terms at the very least:

  • Names of All the Tenants – It’s also a good idea to include an occupancy limit and identify what happens if additional people come to live on the property without notifying the landlord.
  • Physical Address of the Property
  • Rental Period – Identify the time period the lease will last (commonly 6, 12, or 24 months). Also state whether it will become a month-to-month agreement after the initial period expires. Note that, under California law, the tenancy will automatically continue month-to-month if the landlord accepts rental payment.
  • Rent Amount
  • Rent Payment Details – Identify when the rent is due, where and to whom it should be paid, the method of payment, and late fees.
  • Security Deposit Information – In California, the security deposit may not exceed the value of two months’ rent (three months if the property is furnished).
  • Utilities Payment – Identify which party is responsible for the payment of utilities such as electricity and gas.
  • Maintenance and Repairs – Identify which party is responsible for maintaining and repairing the property.
  • Pet Policy – Clearly communicate the policy on pets, including what types of pets are allowed and the responsibilities of the tenant.

Tenant Protection Act

Passed in 2019, the Tenant Protection Act made significant statewide changes to California landlord-tenant law, including adding just-cause termination requirements and restrictions on rent increases. Here is a brief summary of the major changes.

Once a tenant has occupied a property for 12 months or more, the landlord may only terminate the tenancy for “just cause.” Just cause can include failure to pay rent, material breach of rental agreement terms, criminal activity, and more. There also “no-fault” causes to terminate, such as when the owner or the owner’s immediate family wishes to occupy the property.

Under the rent-increase provisions, in any 12-month period a landlord may not increase the rent by more than the rate of inflation (defined by the Consumer Price Index) plus 5%, or a total of 10%, whichever is lower. A number of dwelling types are excluded, such as single-family homes and buildings that are less than 15 years old.

Landlords must disclose these changes in the law to existing and new tenants by written notice or in an addendum to the rental agreement.

Consult a Landlord-Tenant Attorney

In this complex and always-changing legal landscape, it is crucial to have expert advice. Our team of Southern California real estate attorneys can help you draft a rental agreement that makes sure your interests and property are protected. Schedule an appointment today.

What You Need to Know About Adverse Possession

Adverse possession, sometimes called squatter’s rights or squatter’s law, is probably the most contentious way to acquire title to real estate. It has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, going back at least to the time of ancient Rome, eventually arriving in the United States as part of the English common law tradition.

It amounts to a kind of “hostile takeover” of someone else’s property, taking it from the original owner without payment. Though often imagined as someone acquiring a large piece of land by underhanded means, in reality adverse possession claims are far more likely to involve a border-line dispute between two neighbors.

A successful adverse possession claim in California must prove all of the following:

Hostile Claim – The occupier (the person without title) must possess the land against the interests of the owner, i.e., without their permission.

Actual Possession – The occupier must be physically present on the property, taking care of it as if they were the owner.

Open and Notorious Possession – The occupier’s possession of the property should be plain for anyone to see, serving as a kind of notice to the owner. What constitutes open and notorious possession will depend on the type of property, but common examples are enclosing it with a fence or constructing buildings.

Exclusive and Continuous Possession – The occupier must be the sole possessor of the property for at least five years, and their possession must be uninterrupted. For example, if the occupier was on the property for four years, then left for six months, and returned, the clock on the five-year period would start over again.

Payment of Taxes – The occupier must pay all state, county, and municipal taxes levied on the property. This serves as another type of notice to the owner. Payment must be made in a timely manner, meaning the occupier can’t simply pay off five years’ worth of taxes all at once.

Resolving an Adverse Possession Case

As stated above, a typical adverse possession case doesn’t involve an intentional scheme to take over someone else’s property, but rather a neighbor encroaching on the border line. Often these situations can be resolved amicably (depending on the neighbor), but other times it’s more complicated, such as when it’s the neighbor’s house that is on the wrong side of line. The parties may be able to negotiate a transfer of title, but sometimes litigation is the only option.

During the five-year period required for an adverse possession claim, the occupier is continually trespassing on the owner’s property. This means the owner can simply file for eviction. Even if the occupier had built some structure on the owner’s land, they would have to remove it.

If the five-period has already passed, either the occupier or the owner can initiate an action to quiet title, in which the court will decide who the rightful owner is. The burden is then on the occupier to prove every element of their adverse possession claim. It’s a difficult case to win, as courts don’t like taking property from the original owner. If the occupier does win, they receive title to the land and have full rights as the new owner.

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Attorney

Adverse possession cases are complex and the stakes are high for the parties involved. No matter which side of the dispute you are on, it is critical to have an attorney with expertise in real estate matters. They will be able to review deeds and other property documents, get an accurate survey of the property boundaries, and properly evaluate the adverse possession claim in light of all the facts.

If you are involved in a real estate dispute such as adverse possession, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team of Southern California real estate attorneys.

 When Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney?

Real estate can be tricky. Even the average home purchase can be overwhelming in the sheer number of details that must be attended to. For most people, real estate is the financial largest investment they’ll ever make. It is completely normal for something to come up that leaves you wondering whether you should hire a real estate lawyer. We’ll go over some of the common situations where it might be best to have professional legal help.

Buying or Selling a Home

One of the most frequently asked questions in this area is, “Do I need a real estate attorney to buy or sell a house?” Some states legally require that real estate transactions be reviewed by an attorney—California does not. Formal requirements aside, whether or not you need an attorney depends on the situation.

As an example, consider an ordinary house purchase. Both the buyer and seller have great real estate agents, the house is in good condition, there are no liens on the property, etc. Do you need a real estate lawyer in this situation? Probably not. Bear in mind, though, that as the value of the property goes up, or if you are from out of town/out of state, it becomes a better idea to hire an attorney just to make sure everything is in order.

It is definitely more advisable to use a real estate attorney if there are any non-standard issues surrounding the transaction. For buyers, these non-standard issues can include:

–        The home is owned by the bank

–        It’s being sold as part of an estate sale

–        There are tenants currently living on the property

–        The land is in a flood zone, tornado-prone area, etc.

For sellers, common issues include:

–        The home is part of a divorce settlement

–        It’s part of an estate of which you are the executor

–        A short sale (selling for less than you owe on the mortgage)

–        Liens on the property

–        Major physical damage to the property

The list could go on and on, but the key point is this: Anything out of the ordinary should drive you to reach out to an attorney and better understand what you’re getting into. Of course, many people would prefer to avoid the cost of hiring a lawyer, but when considered as a fraction of the total price of the home and how much trouble (and money) it can save you down the road, it’s really a minor expense.

Real Estate Disputes

Whether you are a homeowner, a renter, or an HOA director, there are a wide variety of legal disputes that can pop up and disrupt your life. These range from seller non-disclosure issues to prescriptive easements to property title claims. For anyone involved in a real estate dispute and whose home or property value is on the line, we recommend contacting an attorney immediately. Any delay could prejudice your case due to statutes of limitations and other filing deadlines.

Contact a San Diego Real Estate Attorney Today

If you’re asking yourself whether you need a real estate attorney, chances are you should at least sit down for a consultation. Contact our office today to set an appointment.

Real Estate Disputes

What You Need to Know About Real Estate Disputes

There are few areas of the law that touch on our emotions so deeply as real estate disputes. This is because they often lie at the intersection of two very important aspects of our lives: our homes and our personal finances. Though people may prefer to resolve them quickly and informally, the underlying issues can be complex and passions can flare up quickly. In these cases, the best option is usually to hire an experienced real estate dispute attorney.

Types of Real Estate Disputes

Here are a few of the most common legal disputes people encounter when it comes to real estate:

Purchase Disputes – These real estate contract disputes pop up after the deal has been signed, and sometimes well after the buyer has taken possession of the property. They often revolve around a claim that the seller misrepresented or failed to disclose a material fact. For example, the seller may have neglected to mention an environmental problem or other information that affects the value or use of the property.

Property Ownership Disputes – Sometimes multiple parties simultaneously claim ownership of a property. For example, one owner performs a survey of the boundaries of their property and subsequently claims that part of the neighbor’s home is actually on their land. In such a case, there may be little room for informal negotiation.

Nuisance Claims – One owner may claim that the actions of another are interfering with the reasonable use and enjoyment of their property. These can vary widely, from excessive noise to environmental pollution. For example, if a homeowner has a view of the ocean but a proposed construction project will block that view, the owner may seek to stop construction or receive compensation.

Homeowner Association (HOA) Disputes – HOA agreements can serve a variety of purposes, including obligating owners to maintain a certain level of care or appearance in order to keep nearby property values stable. Disputes often arise when an owner wishes to do something that is alleged to be prohibited by covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) or contests a special assessment against their property.

Landlord/Tenant Disputes – Both landlords and tenants commonly have claims against each other. These include nonpayment of rent, breach of lease agreement, and habitability issues (unhealthy conditions, failure to make repairs, etc.).

Resolving Real Estate Disputes

The best approach to real estate dispute resolution is to prevent the issues from coming up in the first place. Hiring a legal professional early in the process, such as during a real estate purchase, can help owners catch issues early and keep them from growing out of control.

Sometimes a dispute is unavoidable, though. In these cases, owners may wish to keep the case out of court through some sort of alternative dispute resolution like mediation. This approach has the advantages of being generally faster and less adversarial. Attorneys can fill the role of mediator and/or represent the parties in negotiations.

If a dispute requires litigation, all parties should have assistance of counsel. The factual and legal issues are likely to be complex, and too much is at stake to go it alone.

San Diego Real Estate Dispute Attorneys

If you are involved in a real estate dispute, our experienced attorneys can help you resolve the matter in a cost-effective manner. Schedule a consultation today.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Unpaid Wages?

If you have not received unpaid wages from your employer, it might take some time before you begin to notice. This is especially likely if you worked flexible hours at different rates and had variable paychecks. When you do discover the discrepancy, it is important to hire a lawyer for unpaid wages and begin to build your case.

Employers know there is a statute of limitations and will often try to drag negotiations out so that the time expires before you can be paid. The statute of limitations differs based on the circumstances, but the time ranges from one year to four years.

What Are California’s Statutes of Limitations?

In California, the state’s Department of Industrial Relations encourages workers to file claims in a timely manner. These are the time restrictions provided by the department for filing wage claims:

  • Within four years if you have a written contract
  • Within three years for violations related to overtime, minimum wage, meal breaks, unpaid rest, unpaid reimbursements and illegal deductions
  • Within two years if you received an oral promise to be paid more than the minimum wage
  • Within one year if you were charged penalties for a bounced check or if you did not receive access to your payroll records

Where Can Workers Get Information To Build a Case?

Before hiring an attorney for unpaid wages, it’s important to gather all the necessary information you can. If you are not sure what information you need, consider the following tips from the Department of Industrial Relations.

Track Your Paychecks

Most medium-to-large employers provide electronic access to your paystubs online. If you work for a smaller company, you might only receive a physical printout of your pay stub. Keep copies of this information. You might need them to show the money you received versus what you should have been paid. If you do not have access to this, check your bank account for checks cashed and direct deposit payments.

Add Up Hours Worked

Unless you are a salaried worker, how many hours you spent on the job will make a difference in your claim. Hours can determine not just whether you received the right total for each hour worked but also whether you qualify as a full-time worker or should receive any special benefits or bonuses.

Gather Employer Information

You need important information about the employer to file your claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. This includes the address and name of the company or individual. You should find this information on the paystub, product labels or mailing labels. If the names do not match or you are unable to find the information, write down your employer’s license plate number.

How Can Workers Choose the Right Lawyers for Their Cases?

When choosing an employment law attorney for unpaid wages, choose an experienced professional who is willing to go up against corporations. You also need professionals who are accustomed to cooperating with government agencies to complete your case.

At Hoffman & Forde Attorneys at Law, we are proud to provide cost-effective services to workers in Southern California. Schedule your consultation today.

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What to Look for in a San Diego Real Estate Litigation Lawyer

With different contracts involved in real estate transactions, it’s highly possible for homeowners and property owners & sellers to encounter litigation. Let’s take a look at common causes of real estate litigation and if you’re in San Diego, what to look for when hiring a lawyer to help with your case.

Common Causes of Real Estate Litigation

Real estate disputes and challenges can be caused by the following.  

Breach of Contract

In real estate transactions, typically two parties will have reached an agreement or contract which can include agreements with respect to purchase, sale, partnership, a lease or other agreements. When one or more parties fail to uphold their end of the contract, whether the agreement was oral or written, a lawsuit can arise. In a case claiming breach of contract, the plaintiff needs to prove that they have upheld their contractual duties, while the defendant has failed to perform the contract’s terms. The wronged party may receive compensation for the damages and losses they endured because of the breach.

Negligence or Breach of Duty

Real estate agents must provide buyers with what they need to make an informed decision regarding the purchase. By law, real estate agents are required to work to benefit the client and their best interests—this includes disclosing information relevant to the purchase and keeping client information confidential. Failure to fulfill due care and not taking appropriate action can lead to a lawsuit. 

Failure to Disclose Property Defects

Thorough inspection of a property is required to help buyers make an informed decision. In California, residential property sellers are required by law to disclose the property’s condition and defects. These include structural defects or even if a death occurred at the property within the last three years. Without thorough documentation and failure to disclose property defects to a potential buyer can lead to litigation.

Boundary Disputes

Another common cause of real estate challenges includes boundary disputes. This type of dispute may arise between neighbors and involve misunderstandings regarding property lines. One way to prevent or resolve boundary disputes is to order a survey which accurately reflects the boundary lines. In some cases the owners can resolve the dispute with a quiet title action, which asks the courts to determine the property’s boundary lines.

Choosing Your Real Estate Attorney

There are other real estate disputes that can arise and it’s best to be prepared in all cases. A real estate attorney can help you prevent these disputes. If you’re already facing litigation, it’s important to choose an attorney that has the expertise, creative approach, and cost-effective solutions you need. 

Experience & Expertise

Whether the property is commercial or residential, look for a real estate attorney or law firm that has the expertise to handle your case. As a boutique law firm, Hoffman & Forde has access not only to real estate attorneys but also a group of professionals across multiple industries. 

Creative Approach

While creativity may be the last thing you look for in an attorney, it’s important to recognize that each case will be unique and will then require a unique approach. Our accessible team at Hoffman & Forde does just that.

Cost-Effective Solutions

You’re already investing a considerable amount of time, money, energy, and other resources to secure your property. Choose a law firm that provides clients with the most cost-effective solutions possible. 

 

Your San Diego Real Estate Litigation Attorneys

Resolve your case effectively with our commercial and residential real estate attorneys at Hoffman & Forde. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help.

What is Administrative Law?

There is no universally accepted definition of administrative law, but rationally it may be held to cover the organization, powers, duties, and functions of public authorities of all kinds engaged in administration; their relations with one another and with citizens and nongovernmental bodies; legal methods of controlling public administration; and the rights and liabilities of officials. 

 

Administrative law is to a large extent complemented by constitutional law, and the line between them is hard to draw. The organization of a national legislature, the structure of the courts, the characteristics of a cabinet, and the role of the head of state are generally regarded as matters of constitutional law, whereas the substantive and procedural provisions relating to central and local governments and judicial review of administration are reckoned matters of administrative law. But some matters cannot be exclusively assigned to either administrative or constitutional law.

 

In the United States, administrative law (or regulatory law) is a branch of public law that applies to federal as well as independent agencies. Administrative federal law defines the duties and responsibilities of executive branch agencies and independent agencies; when the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of federal government are unable to directly carry out their constitutional duties, federal- and state-level government bodies issue directives to monitor activities in complex areas.

 

In California, “[t]he Office of Administrative Law (OAL) ensures that agency regulations are clear, necessary, legally valid, and available to the public. OAL is responsible for reviewing administrative regulations proposed by over 200 state agencies for compliance with the standards set forth in California’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA), for transmitting these regulations to the Secretary of State and for publishing regulations in the California Code of Regulations.”

Administrative Procedure Act

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) enacted June 11, 1946, is the United States federal statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations and grants U.S. federal courts oversight over all agency actions. It is one of the most important pieces of United States administrative law, and serves as a sort of “constitution” for U.S. administrative law.

Hoffman & Forde’s Administrative Law Firm Services

Our team of attorneys are experienced defending professionals from malpractice claims, regulatory complaints and licensing board hearings in California. Our attorneys bring years of success to administrative and professional licensing law having represented every kind of licensed professional including medical personnel, real estate agents & brokers, accountants, engineers, contractors, social workers, insurance brokers, and fiduciaries. Business owners & managers are subject to the influence of government and the law in the workplace. When facing reproval, penalties, fines, probation, suspension, revocation or even a lifetime ban trust our attorneys to defend your license and your livelihood.

Your Southern California Administrative Law Attorneys

At Hoffman & Forde, our attorneys are experienced California administrative law attorneys, and we defend licensed professionals and businesses before the Medical Board, Department of Insurance, Department of Real Estate and other California licensing agencies. We have many years of administrative hearing experience before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), as well as license defense experience in other administrative law forums.

As a boutique law firm, we have experts across disciplines and relevant industries. With our creative solutions, your estate plan will be tailored to you and your goals. Invest in legal advice and set up your family for the future for peace of mind. Call us today for a consultation.

San Diego Commercial Tenant Attorneys: What To Look For

2020 has brought with it a range of legal issues in the commercial real estate space. Commercial tenant conflicts, while common, have become more prevalent and can take many different forms. That’s why more than ever, connecting with a top-of-the-line commercial tenant attorney in San Diego has never been more important. Savvy clients can prevent conflict before it occurs, or reach mutual agreement with proper legal counsel. Here’s what to expect from a good commercial tenant attorney.

Experience With A Range of Situations

An experienced commercial tenant attorney is able to represent tenants in all kinds of important ways. Whether they’re facing unlawful evictions, rent payment problems, or claims of breach of lease agreement issues, this kind of attorney can navigate nuances with skill. They should also be able to help with drafting leases and working through safety and health issues, code compliance, rental discrimination, and more.

Knowledge of California Laws Helps Businesses

Every state has its own commercial tenant laws. That’s why California business owners need local legal counsel with the knowhow to navigate these laws. When rent increases without warning, eviction looms, or there are issues with maintaining the space, businesses could fall into some unfavorable situations if they aren’t careful. A good San Diego commercial tenant attorney can help before signing a lease and after.

Foresight and Resolve

A good commercial tenant attorney can offer legal counsel at the first sign of trouble to avoid litigation. However, they can also be aggressive when needed and won’t hesitate to go to court if necessary. These attorneys look out for their client’s best interest at all times.

Choose Our Commercial Tenant Attorneys 

At Hoffman & Forde, we know that not all cases are the same. But we’re experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to California laws for business owners. We put clients first and provide creative solutions that best fit your case. As a boutique lawyer, you get the specialized skills of our commercial tenant attorneys and legal counsel across related disciplines. Our five-star reviews also attest to our firm’s professionalism and dedication to our clients’ success. Call us today to find out more about our comprehensive legal services and how we can help.

Can a Real Estate Attorney Represent Both Buyer and Seller?

What happens when both the buyer and the seller of a real estate transaction approach the same lawyer? Can a real estate attorney represent both parties? The answer is a little more nuanced than a “yes” or a “no.”

Attorneys have responsibilities to their clients both present and former. In handling a legal matter, they have to identify any conflicts of interest so they can best advocate for their clients. These conflicts include identifying the attorney’s potential personal interests and any conflicts among the clients involved. When it comes to real estate transactions, attorneys have to keep information about the case confidential and representing both buyer and seller in a transaction can divide the attorney’s loyalty, and inhibit their ability to serve their clients well.

Considering the relationship between clients and lawyers ensures that lawyers follow rules and ethics standards set forth by the American Bar Association and the State Bar.

In the event that an attorney is retained by multiple parties in a related case, such as a real estate transaction, a conflict waiver may apply.

Conflict Waivers

Rule 3-310 of the California Rules of Professional Responsibility addresses joint representation in transactions. The San Diego County Bar Association is helpful in this matter (emphases added):

“[An attorney] shall not, without the informed written consent of each client:  (1) Accept representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients potentially conflict; or (2) Accept or continue representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients actually conflict; or (3) Represent a client in a matter and at the same time in a separate matter accept as a client a person or entity whose interest in the first matter is adverse to the client in the first matter.”

There are some obvious cases in which the attorney cannot represent both parties, such as the defendant and prosecutor. In real estate transactions, if an attorney is retained by both buyer and seller, the ABA gives this specific example:

“Directly adverse conflicts can also arise in transactional matters. For example, if a lawyer is asked to represent the seller of a business in negotiations with a buyer represented by the lawyer, not in the same transaction but in another, unrelated matter, the lawyer could not undertake the representation without the informed consent of each client.”

This “informed consent of each client” is the conflict waiver. Before obtaining a waiver, the attorney must identify all possible conflicts in a case and if the case cannot be waived, a waiver should not be pursued. Instead, the attorney should decline representation given the conflicts. With real estate transactions, an attorney would ideally represent only the buyer or seller unless it’s under certain (but exceptional) circumstances such as clients being in the same family.

Helping You With Your Real Estate Needs

Our real estate attorneys at Hoffman & Forde are here to determine the best options for your real estate transaction. Whether you’re the seller or buyer, we work with 0ur clients to ensure their rights are protected and that their transactions go smoothly. Our boutique law firm gives you access to a wide array of legal specialties, so that all aspects of your case or transaction are covered. If you need legal counsel for residential or commercial real estate matters, schedule a consultation with Hoffman & Forde today.

USCIS Increases Fees in 2020

The USCIS is fee funded unlike other government agencies. After their biennial fee review, the agency is adjusting their fees “to help meet operational needs.” People seeking naturalization as US citizens, or those who wish to travel and work here can expect an increase in their fees. The Department of Homeland security announced that this increase will be effective starting October 2. This final rule increases fees by a weighted average of 20% and it affects a few things:

  • Removal of certain fee exemptions
  • Changes in fee waiver requirements
  • Premium processing time limits
  • New fees for certain immigration benefit requests
  • Establishing multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions
  • Limiting the number of beneficiaries for certain forms 

(Source)

Additionally, the USCIS notes that “[a]ny application, petition, or request postmarked on or after this date must include payment of the new, correct fees established by this final rule.” The final rule also increases fees for employment-based nonimmigrant visa applications; however, fees for employment-based visas will decrease from $700 to $555. Most fee waivers are also eliminated for low-income immigrants who qualify.

While the changes eliminate most fee waivers, it adds a new asylum application fee, and requires separate fees for adjustment applications. The rise in fees is on par with the agency’s last adjustment, but the 20% bump is still significant.

How Our Immigration Lawyers Assist Clients

No matter your status or goals for immigration, our immigration attorneys at Hoffman & Forde can assist you with a variety of legal services. Hoffman & Forde represents individuals, businesses, and even corporations for various immigration cases. Our attorneys can assist clients with the following:

  • Permanent residency
  • Employment-based visas
  • National citizenship
  • Deportation defense
  • Citizenship applications
  • Employment-based visas
  • Investor-based visas
  • Family green card petitions
  • Green cards through marriage 
  • Waivers
  • Consular processing

The immigration process can be complex. There are many moving parts but our experienced attorneys ensure that you have quality representation throughout the process. We work closely with our clients to provide thorough case assessments and present the best proposals for your legal status.

Your Southern California Immigration Attorneys

Hoffman & Forde is here to help you achieve the American Dream. If you are undocumented in this country, remember that you still have rights and we’re here to defend them. We help clients in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties to stay on track of crucial information and deadlines, as well as assist with completing and submitting all the necessary paperwork. As our client, you can with first-class legal service, high-level attention, and a sophisticated approach to problem-solving that utilizes time-sensitive, practical legal advice.

If you need legal assistance with your immigration process, please contact us today for a consultation.