Law Offices of Steven A. Culbreath, P.A. -- Immigration Lawyer, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

Your TOP-Rated Immigration Lawyer. Compassionate. Competent. Amazon-Published.

What to Expect

(from our attorney-client relationship after you hire me)

Handling legal matters, in many respects, is a directed team-effort, involving at minimum the Lawyer and the Client. As a seasoned attorney*, I have come to appreciate the importance of “expectation management” and keeping all team players on the same page during the life of any given case or matter.

*I have successfully served many hundreds of clients in a span of over 16 years of my immigration law practice

Expectation Management

This minimizes unwelcome surprises, and keeps everyone on-track when unexpected (or sometimes even expected) developments arise, including but not limited to, the eventual outcome of a case.

By fostering a mutual understanding and recognition of expectations, everyone has a better understanding of:

  • the respective obligations and promises of and between me (the lawyer) and you (the client)

  • the chosen immigration strategy and necessary actions,

  • the overall decision-making process,

  • plausible contingencies and possible/likely outcomes, and

  • follow-up actions, depending on outcome, including “Plan B”.

Your value of having ME As YOUR Lawyer, these are the things you can expect of ME:

  1. I will take your immigration matter seriously, and get to know you and learn about you.  I LISTEN to you, your goals, your objectives, your concerns.

  2. I will endeavor to act promptly on your behalf and communicate promptly with you. Most messaged will be responded to within 24-48 hours, whenever possible.

  3. I will always deal with you honestly and fairly.

  4. I will keep you fully informed of your case at all times. If you do not hear from me, then most likely there is no news or update to share with you.

  5. I will keep your circumstances, information and documentation completely confidential, and act in your best interests in everything I do.

  6. I will handle your immigration case professionally, using my best skills, knowledge, and judgment.
    ( = Experience!)

  7. I will do what I reasonably can to earn your satisfaction and make the process “stress-free” (or at least) minimize the stress-level as much as possible.

  8. I will charge you a reasonable and fair fee for my work and expertise, as set out in a signed legal services agreement that will set out the immigration goals to be achieved, the terms of our legal relationship including the cost of my  legal services and any required filing fees, and additional fees, if any.

  9. I will handle your case until the government reaches a final decision.  During the case, I will respond to the government’s inquiries on your behalf and act as your legal representative / intermediary.

  10. Should the government reach an adverse or unfavorable decision, I will review it and discuss with you possible courses of action.  Additional filings (including motions, appeals, re-filings, etc.) will incur additional legal expenses and / or government filing fees, and possibly other costs. (not covered by the initial contract for representation)

As My Client, these are things I expect of YOU:

  1. You will deal with me honestly at all times, give full disclosure as to any fact or circumstance, — even if detrimental, adverse, or embarrassing, — which could impact your case.  Remember, our communications are protected under attorney-client privilege.

  2. You will abide by all terms of our signed legal services agreement. You will pay any and all fees, in the amounts we agreed on in the legal services agreement, or subsequently, in any additional agreements we reach for unforeseen work, etc., depending on special circumstances. (legal fees are considered “earned” and are not refundable once a case is submitted to the government for acceptance and processing). Failure to pay may result in additional charges/fees (e.g. finance charges, late fees, etc.), placement into collections, adverse credit reporting, or legal action against you / your company.

  3. You will work with me in a cooperative manner, through any potential hardships we could encounter in your case until your immigration problem is resolved. You will not get upset if we encounter immigration setbacks – things like delays, return of documents for corrections, fee increases or requests for further evidence – but understand that such developments are often a part of the fast-paced, ever-changing immigration process.

  4. You will understand that sometimes, despite best efforts, an immigration application can be rejected or denied (even unreasonably so), and we will graciously accept such events and work together to overcome an adverse outcome.

  5. Once we have signed a legal services agreement and begin our joint team-effort of your immigration case, you will always seek my counsel and advise on any immigration developments dealing with your case, and rely on my best judgment and advice before taking any important steps related to your immigration matter.

  6. You will understand that the area of immigration law is highly competitive and not everyone conducts themselves professionally. During the course of our relationship, you may encounter other immigration advisors (lawyers and non-lawyers), or sometimes even immigration officials who make disparaging comments about the legal profession, or even our specific legal services claiming they can handle your matters better, faster or cheaper.

  7. You will understand that as a lawyer, I am bound by the highest legal ethics (and rules of confidentiality) in the country, and that truly professional people in the field of immigration would never make such comments without a full and complete review of the immigration matter or an attorney’s conduct in a case.

  8. If you ever do have any doubts about my competence or professional ability, address your issue with me, and if you wish,  you may seek out another immigration attorney’s advice and ask that attorney to review the matter, for a second opinion.

  9. At all times you will remain flexible, available and cooperative in working with me. You will answer any and all of my inquiries and respond to my inquiries and requests fairly and within reasonable time and follow my advice and guidance willingly. When faced with decisions, I will always strive to advise you on the “pros” and “cons” of each possibility to the best of my ability, so YOU can make an informed decision/choice.

  10. You will strive to communicate with me principally by email, as this is the least stressful and most efficient way I can operate. You will understand that I travel frequently on appointments, consultations, on-site visits, government appointments/interviews, etc., and you will be communicating with me via Email, SMS, etc. as appropriate, throughout the life of your immigration case. Sometimes a phone call is appropriate.

  11. If you are satisfied with my legal services and expertise at the end of your case, you should strive to review me online (honestly and fairly), and recommend me, whenever possible, to other potential clients, as an expression of your appreciation, especially if you relied on the reviews and testimonies of others yourself, in your decision to retain and hire ME as your lawyer.


Law Offices of Steven A. Culbreath, P.A. -- Immigration Lawyer, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA © 2004-2023. All Rights Reserved. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask me to send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Florida F.& A.M.