(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.
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:
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.
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.
I will always deal with you honestly and fairly.
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.
I will keep your circumstances, information and documentation completely confidential, and act in your best interests in everything I do.
I will handle your immigration case professionally, using my best skills, knowledge, and judgment.
( = Experience!)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"After listening to many peoples stories and complaints about their lawyers we finally heard great things about a lawyer called Steven Culbreath. We hired Steven and it was a great decision. He is very knowledgeable and experienced and with his patience and hard work we were succcessful in receiving
"Steve is an excellent attorney! Very helpful and knowledgeable with every aspect of your situation. He responds quickly and helps you through each part of the process. Down to earth, NICE person. It is sometimes tough to figure out all of the paperwork and what is needed for immigration cases. Stev
"Frustrated by multiple and complex USCIS requirements for my EU spouse during relocation to the US, Attorney Culbreath immediately understood our situation and advised on what to do. His advice and direction was exactly the correct way to proceed. He was timely, efficient and communicative during t
"It is with Great Pleasure and enthusiasm that I am writing to endorse Steve Culbreath as a Professional Attorney. I hope my perspective will be helpful to you as you evaluate this exceptional Attorney. He has gone above and beyond my expectations and achieved Results which were out of my reach.He
"Steven Culbreath handled our application for US residence in a highly professional and efficient manner. We met on more than one occasion to discuss and deal with the formalities then were kept regularly informed of progress until the application was approved and the process completed. We found Ste
"If you are reading these reviews, you are probably looking for a good lawyer. You can stop now :) He is your guy, just contact him. He was confident and truly knowledgeable about the whole process we needed to follow. The result, we are extremely happy. I thought this day would never come until I t
"Attorney Culbreath assisted my husband and I through my husband's immigration. His fees were the best around. We completed the rough draft of the paper work and he did the formal completion and let us know what documents were expected. He submitted eveything quickly and kept us informed of the stat
"My husband was immigrating from England and we were looking for an attorney to help with the paperwork. We met with several attorneys and decided to sign Mr. Culbreath. He kept us informed, in a timely manner, every step of the way. After gathering all needed information, he filed the paperwork wit
"Following my marriage to a St Pete lady and the sale of my London UK apartment, I needed to secure USCIS approval for permanent residency. I knew that the services of a lawyer was essential in the very daunting approval process. A Google search showed that Steve was an immigration expert with a ver
"Steve is a highly knowledgeable and competent attorney. My case was very complicated and emotionally draining and I felt very well understood. Everything went exactly as predicted by Steve. He is fast, precise and from a human standpoint has a lot of empathy. I hired him again!"
"After dealing with 2 other immigration attorney's, we were referred by a friend, to Steven Culbreath. What a pleasure to deal with Steven! He is very knowledgeable, at all times professional and yet made us feel at so at ease. This was the most stress-free application that we have submitted. I can
"Mr. Culbreath was an exceptional lawyer from the start. He was professional and friendly. He was very responsive and never hesitated to answer any of our questions. We are very glad that we chose him as our immigration lawyer!"
"Steven was a pleasure to work with. I first contacted him unsure if I was going to hire a lawyer for my case, until my first consultation with Steven. It became apparent that I needed his expertise. I'm happy to say that throughout the process Steve was clear and knowledge about our case and how he
"Mr. Culbreath is the best. My family and I met Mr. Culbreath when we were in a very desperate situation. With his knowledge and competence he was able to help us. He is not just competent he is also reliable, quick and very smart. It is always a pleasure to work with him."
"From the first time I communicated with Steve Culbreath, before I had made the decision to hire him as my lawyer, he stood out amongst the multitude of lawyers I had made contact with about my case. He not only responded within 24 hours and treated me with professional courtesy, but he had reviewed
"I felt very comfortable working together with Steve Culbreath. Thanks to his help the whole process went faster and easier than I expected. I will always recommend Steve as a positive, professional and helpful lawyer."
"Numerous disappointing attempts with immigration lawyers preceded my contact with Steven Culbreath. With the other attorneys we always had the feeling that making money was of more importance than dealing with our issues. After we had almost given up hope, we tried once again and made contact with
"Steven's resourcefulness and diligence really helps him to stand out from other attorneys. He has a commitment and passion for his work, which has been evident during our business relationship. He accomplished in a few short months what I had been trying to achieve with no less than 3 different att
"Steven has made the process of applying for a US green card painless. He met with us and clearly stated the process & timeline we would expect so we wouldn't have any concerns. Any paperwork that was required was clearly documented so the process of filling out went very smoothly. All in all
"I hired Steven to obtain an E2 visa and he delivered exactly what he promised at a reasonable price. His work was totally professional and the process was seem less. As a lawyer myself I know when I am being professionally represented and clearly that was my experience with Steven. 5 out of 5 stars
"My husband and I got married in Italy, my country of origin. Steven helped us get through the arduous status-adjustment process, making our life much easier. He handled all the paperwork for us and dealt with whatever hiccup we encountered, resending documents when USCIS requested them and giving u
"Steve made a great job! He filled all the forms that I needed for my Green card. He also kept me informed what is going on with my status. After everything was done and the actual Green card already should be mailed to me, the card status appeared to be delivered on my status but it never was! So I
"On receiving documents in German, requiring for me a translation and documents requiring notarization by a Rechtsanwalt, I learned about Atty Culbreath and made an appointment. Mr Culbreath provided an English translation, notarized the German document documents and did it at a most reasonable fee.
"Steven was a pleasure to deal with throughout my whole green card application process. He was easy to contact and always answered any questions I had in a timely manner. We had a meeting before my interview and I felt very prepared and much less worried. I've already recommended him to a friend of
"Steve is in my eyes a well experienced attorney who helped me and my kids throughout all steps of becoming our US citizenships. All paperwork, appointments, extra needed contacts which were necessary was perfectly prepared. Most important was that he was there when I needed him. He responded just
"I am so happy I was recommended to Steven to help me with my Green Card. He is very Professional, friendly and caring to deal with. Everything for me worked out great thanks to Steven. I highly recommend him to anyone. I rate him 5 stars!"
"Steve did an an excellent job helping me with my E2 visa application approval. He is a very professional, competent, knowledgeable, and approachable lawyer. I would refer him to anyone I know. Thank you Steve!!"
"My husband and I hired Steven to take on our case to get my husbands green card/marriage visa for the US. From the moment I met Steven I knew I made the right choice. Not only is he very knowledgable but also professional and kept us at ease throughout our entire process. He made the process smooth
"When my Green Card process started, I hired Steve first because he is a German speaking Attorney (due to the fact that I immigrated from Germany), but already after the first meeting we had great chemistry. I felt absolutely comfortable to be consulted by such knowledgeable, fair and to-the-point
"I have known Steven for a few years now and got to the point where my green card needed reviewing. He did a fantastic job,helping me through the process.
I had a worry this wasn't going through as more & more information was required and due to my situation it was very difficult to provide. S
"Mr. Culbreath did an excellent job in representing my case to USCIS. Very professional, knowledgeable, competent, always made sure all paperwork was completed thoroughly along with any needed supporting documents. He promptly addressed any question or issues we may have had and provided me with e
"Dedicated and trustworthy are the first words I think of when describing Steve. He was recommended by a friend to help me with my citizenship process and I was not disappointed. He personally handled my case, was very knowledgeable of the intricacies, and provided support promptly every step of the
"Steven has helped me file for dual citizenship. He is very knowledgeable and it helped that he speaks English & German fluently. He gave great advise and worded things right so that my Beibehaltungsantrag was approved. I already recommended him to friends and will keep on doing so."
"We have now known Steve for more than a year - my wife (a US citizen) and myself (a British citizen) first met him in June/July 2013 when we were searching for a trustworthy and reputable immigration attorney, whilst taking a sabbatical in Florida. Our first meeting with Steve over coffee in St Pet
"Steven Culbreath handled my naturalization. It was a very swift & smooth process. No 'if's' and 'but's'. Steven explained the process to me, he send me a package with forms to fill out and off it went - less than 5 month. Always responsive when a question arose, which rarely happened anyways. I
"Steve handled my marriage-based petition for myself and my husband. He previously reviewed my case and gave me advice for a very small consultation fee, and then once we got married took us through the process for that. I just received my green card and so have completed the process. Along the way,
"He worked very hard to make my dream come true. Great guy, great service. Very knowledgeable. If you want to have your case dealt with in the best possible way, hire Steven. Highly recommended. Thanks so much Steve."
"Steven made the way to my green card seem effortless. He kept me always very well informed and guided me through the entire procedure in a very professional and efficient way. I'm very grateful for his hard work.Steven made the way to my green card seem effortless. He kept me always very well infor
"We hired Steve based on these reviews and I could not be any happier with my choice and the result. From the very first meeting to the last Steve was amazing he answered every question we had and put my mind to rest on so many issues. I have been on visa's for many years and it was always hard work
"If you want the best you need Steven, he is knowledgeable, honest, detailed oriented, he really know what he is doing and he is an incredible human being. there is no difficult case for him and I will always be thankful for choosing him as a lawyer."
"My wife and I met with Steve in October 2012. We were married in December 2012, and began our application process shortly afterwards. Steve gave us a flat price up front and never asked for additional funds. Our original attempt to have the marriage certified and for my wife to obtain legal residen
"After talking to no less than 6 immigration lawyers we finally found Steven. None of the other lawyers could answer any of our specific questions regarding various visa options like Steven could. It was such a breath if fresh air and such a relief to finally get answers to our questions. Steven re
"We hired Steve because we needed some assistance with my greencard application. Our situation was a little uncommon as we met in central america and have been living there for the past few years. He helped us straighten everything out and since last month i got my card :) It was also nice to discu
"I'm very glad that I came across such knowledgeable lawyer such as Steven, when I was hunting for Immigration Attorney on the Internet. Steven promptly replied to my request and provided detailed overview of my case including possible outcomes without any exaggeration and embellishment. My case w
"Steven was fantastic! We hired him for our US Immigration via marriage. Canada -> USA. Personable, informed, relaxed, and answered all our questions and concerns to a T. Smooth sailing. I'd recommend him 100%! Thank you!!"
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