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The Importance of Retaining Qualified Legal Assistance

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to discuss something that seems to have popped up in like a ubiquitous phrase that I noticed across the internet which is fake news. Fake news. Everybody is pointing fingers is everybody else saying such and such as fake news and such and such is and this is and this isn't. I'm not here to get political on that topic but there is an issue here in Thailand and abroad outside the United States. It's a multi-jurisdictional issue. It's the issue of fake lawyers. Unfortunately especially in jurisdictions that just don't have the enforcement capabilities or moreover, the inclination it seems in some jurisdictions they just don't view this as a high priority issue is the issue of fake lawyers.

Unfortunately outside the United States and outside of some of the more developed, especially the common-law countries, you'll see individuals who will just literally get on the internet, saying they’re a lawyer and that’s that. Most the time these individuals that are pressed get rather upset when you sort of ask things like well “Where'd you get your law degree? Where you license down?” and this kind of stuff. But if they are out there, they claim to be lawyers. I've seen it a lot in the unlicensed practice of law. Issues with respect to U.S. immigration.

In South American context particularly Mexico, there's issues revolving around so-called notarios. That's not really specific to this issue but yes literally, even here in Thailand there have been foreigners who have been known to, foreigners here in Thailand who have been known to just come in and pose as lawyers from their country of origin or from some other country.

I guess the theory could happen so I don't know of anything specific to that. I myself, an American attorney I've been licensed by state and federal courts for over 10 years as of the time of this writing or the time of this filming. I've also been licensed in the U.S. tax course for some time now and here recently this year, I finally just went ahead and got my license in the U.S. Supreme Court. This was just sent to me. It's just sort of one of these, it's a license with respect to the U.S. Supreme Court figured if I was going to be sort of operating internationally. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have that but that being said, the reason I bring it up is because it is a problem.

Getting bad legal advice can cause people serious problems and to get such advice from someone who's not at all qualified to provide that, that can be an even bigger problem because one could be detrimentally relying on information that's just totally incorrect and totally out of whack from what's going on. Again, no lawyer is going to be perfect. The practice of law is a very technical and a very complex and challenging thing to do. But that being said, at least knowing that you're dealing with a competent, qualified legal professional is a good idea. To that end again, take case in the United States the things that come to me that pertain to say, the United Kingdom or Canada or Australia. If it's specific to those matters oftentimes, I refer it to colleagues here in the country who can deal with such matters. We have Thai attorneys on staff here at the firm that will deal with Thai matters and that's a fairly frequent thing.

But whomever one is dealing with, it's a good idea to ascertain their credentials. Just ask the individual “Where’d you go to law school? Where'd you get your license? Where were you licensed at? Where are you qualified? What areas of law do you primarily practice in? These are all good questions to ask any professional you're looking to retain and deal with because it's fairly easily done. It's fairly easily done with respect to U.S. immigration specifically pursuant to 292.1 of the Code Federal regulations. You have to be a licensed attorney to charge fees with respect to assisting in immigration proceedings and anybody that says otherwise, be wary.

That being said, you know it's, I won't say buyer beware; but just anybody watching this video, it's a very good idea and it's not at all going to offend anyone in the legal profession to simply ask, “Hey, what are your credentials? What are your qualifications? Where'd you get your legal education?” All of these are perfectly valid questions and should be asked by anybody looking to retain professional services.