When to Call a Lawyer vs. a Mediator »
As in a court case, the process of mediation provides a method of conflict resolution. However, it is much more informal and does …
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As in a court case, the process of mediation provides a method of conflict resolution. However, it is much more informal and does …
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"Our L visa case history: After a very bad experience with our previous New York-based immigration attorney, we started looking for another one with experience in the immigration sector. We scheduled a meeting with Dallas immigration lawyer Mr. Martin Valko of Chavez & Valko, and asked him what he thought about our case. In April 2008 we received our L- 1A Visa (L2 for the family) to establish a new office of our German Software Company in the US. Unfortunately we were not able to leave Germany before October 2008. In December 2008 we asked our prior attorney to apply for the extension of the Visa. He filed the application for the extension of the L1-A Visa in April 2009 (5 months later). Instead of answering the INS request for evidence (RFE), he tried to change the Visa application from L1-A into a L1-B. The US immigration denied the petition because we were not able to change the status for a filed petition. To do so, we would have had to file a new one. However, not worst enough, he told us not to leave the US and to stay during he was filing a petition for a B1 Visa to gain additional time to prepare a new L1-A application. Mr. Martin Valko took on our case. He told us that it will be difficult but he would try to rescue the case, thoroughly explained the case to us after his analysis of the immigration laws and regulations, and promised us to do the best. After he had all our paperwork, he and his legal team needed only a few days to prepare the new L1-A petition (L-2 for the family). We used the premium processing service of the USCIS, and we had our approval after less than one week!!! We then scheduled a visa appointment at the US Consulate in Berlin, Germany the following week, and our new L-1A and L-2 visas have been granted for a full one year! When searching for a good immigration attorney, you will find thousands of attorneys and all of them promise to be the best and to do the best work. After all this experience we can tell, that there are only a few really good immigration attorney out there and it is hard to find them. We found one of them and are proud of this work, and we can't thank him enough. Mr. Martin Valko knows what he is talking about! He has a lot of experience in immigration law and his rates are absolutely fair. For all of those people in need of an immigration attorney, we recommend the law firm of Chavez & Valko in Dallas, TX." - Provox Systems, Dallas, TX
We experienced a fire in the kitchen of our home this summer that caused major damage from the fire itself, as well as immense water damage from the efforts to put out the fire. We immediately contacted our insurance company, who made arrangements for us to stay at a hotel. We were referred to Precision General Contractors and we contacted them and arranged for them to visit the property and meet with us. They inspected the problem and spent hours analyzing every angle of the damage and the cost. They itemized everything into a very organized estimate showing all of the cost. We eventually retained them as our general contractor and they met with our adjuster when he visited the property. They worked diligently with the adjuster and they were on the same page regarding the steps needed to be taken to make the repairs and the costs involved. Every single aspect of everything affected was covered. Precision went about making the repairs almost immediately. Their crews were managed by one project manager who kept in close contact with us throughout the whole process. The crews arrived early every morning 6 days out of the week. It was extremely important to us that the repairs were handled quickly as we were in a hotel with our children while the repairs were made. They never let the job sit stale. We felt like they used every hour available to make the needed repairs. Very efficient! The end result was more than fantastic. Every single item was put back together brand new, many of which were actually upgraded to better quality. At the end of the day, the only thing out of our pocket was the deductible. We were in the hotel a total of 11 days. Before we moved back in, Precision even paid to have a professional maid service clean our home. It was like nothing had ever happened. We can’t say enough nice things about Precision General Contractors and we would highly recommend them to anyone needing a great contractor!
This is crazy! I don't doubt that the other attorneys are good, I'm sure they are but I'm gonna talk about Gary Frost. Gary Frost is amazing. I called the law firm in tears and he made me see that I was over stressing about something that was not even a problem at all. My abusive ex boyfriend (who is like totally trashy and lame) filed a k-1 petition and talked me into signing it during the time that I was on zoloft and xanax (due to the stress in the relationship), which I did (love makes people act stupid) Later on, when I realized he cheated on me, I cancelled it. My main concern was knowing that this would cause trouble later on (like for example when I go to the states on vacation because me and my family have been going there since I was like two). I was stressed and I appreciate his kind words (which meant so much to me) as well as his legal advice. He broke with all the stereotypes of the mean and cold attorneys. Now in spanish!!! No se que tal sean los otros abogados pero yo voy a hablar de Gary Frost. Llame a las oficinas asi como que llorando y me hizo ver que estaba asi como que preocupandome por algo que nada que ver!! El naco de mi ex novio dio de alta una peticion k-1, y me convencio de iniciar todo el rollo. Y cuando me di cuenta que el muy loser me engaño pues obvio que la quise cancelar, osea nadie va andar con alguien que lo trate mal (y encima hablaba mal de los mexicanos a veces solo por ser el norteamericano, osea, que le pasaba?) Mi preocupacion principal era saber que estoy me pudiera afectar en un futuro, y el me hizo saber que no tenia porque preocuparme, de una manera bastante amigable. Aprecio mucho su asesoria legal, pero aun mas sus palabras de aliento cuando yo estaba toda nerviosa y desesperada y necesitaba escuchar que todo iba a estar bien.
We did it! My wife is coming to America! No words can ever convey my heartfelt thanks to Chavez and Valko’s ~ Martin Valko and Eduardo Amaro. My heart is full of joy as I write the following… The law firm of Chavez and Valko was referred to me by an acquaintance and I met with Martin Valko immediately upon returning from my wedding in Zhengzhou China and I liked him very much. The road to a successful migration can be a perilous one. Never dreaming our case would require almost five years and three Visa Interviews to complete. The US Department of State made several errors that no one could have foreseen. The US Consulate in Guangzhou sent our case back (2) times and Chavez and Valko reaffirmed it and then finally on the third try the Consulate Visa Officers realized ours was a bona fide marriage. I know this placed additional burden and countless man-hours on Chavez and Valko. I was concerned when our first Visa interview was not successful in March 2010 and I was concerned the Law Firm would drop us as clients. I met with Mr. Valko and he put all my worries to rest. They are true to their word and a Law Firm of the highest honor. Mr. Valko and Mr. Amaro our paralegal never once wavered and I can’t imagine anyone, anywhere, at anytime fighting any harder for our case all these years. They paid the closest of attention to slightest of details. When we gave up they kept fighting for us. Chavez and Valko’s Law Firm has grown in size since over the last five years but those assigned to our case in the beginning…remained on our case until the very end. May God bless the Law Firm of Chavez and Valko and their staff members. !!
We would like to thank Mr. Valko and his paralegal, Jessica for their help and hard work. My husband is from Mexico and has been here since he was eight years old. Originally, we contacted Mr. Valko's office to help my husband get a visa. In the meantime, the new Deferred Action came out and Mr. Valko suggested that we go this route since it appeared that my husband met the criteria. Immigration received my husband's application for Deferred Action in September 2012, he went to his biometrics appointment in mid-October 2012, received an approval notification in mid-November 2012 and three days letter received his work permit in the mail. Now, he has his Social Security card and driver license. No more worries that my husband will go to work one day and not return home because he was picked up by immigration. Again, we are so thankful and appreciative for the great work Mr. Valko and Jessica have done for us. They always return your call or email very quickly and you don't always get that kind of service from attorney's offices. Mr. Valko exuded confidence in our case and his expertise and that in turn eased our minds a great deal. We felt like we were treated as human beings by people who cared about our situation. There is still more to do and we will stay with Mr. Valko because we can trust him. If he can help you, then he will. If he cannot help you, he will be honest and tell you so. If you have any immigration issues, this is the office to go to. We have recommended Mr. Valko to other family, our friends and strangers that we have heard are in need of immigration assistance. Vanessa & Felipe Rosas
The law offices of Warren Abram are the best legal representation one could ever ask for. From the first day, I walked into their office, I knew that they had my best interests at heart and my case would be handled with a sincere personal touch. I felt like I was among family. The office staff, Rhea and Rose were very personable yet professional and kept me informed about where in the process my case was and advised me accordingly on what the next step was. My attorney, Mr. Abram is an outstanding lawyer and an absolute asset to have on your side. Even before taking on my case, he listened intently, was extremely compassionate and very thorough in explaining to me what we would be facing and what needed to be done to achieve a positive outcome. He is very knowledgeable of the court system and always seemed to be steps ahead and able to foresee any curve ball that was thrown at us. All throughout my case he was always available to answer my questions and especially very prompt at returning my calls. He was also very comforting and quick to alleviate my worries when I would panic. He is also very understanding of the financial burden of legal representation and willing to let me pay him in installments which most other attorneys would not let you do. His preparation was extremely detailed and he was relentless in his pursuit for a positive verdict. He fought for me and won my case and I am forever thankful for his dedication and expertise. At the end, I felt he was like a father to me, trying to protect me and my career. One needs to look no further for representation as he is an amazing attorney.
Hi my name is Rafael Pantoja im originally from Mexico but im a resident allien who was raise in the state of California.This past January I was detained by Imigration at the Dallas airport when I did my connecting Flight From mexico to Dallas and Then to Sacramento California.Do to some 2 arrest in the past For Drug posesion which I did clear out years ago they still detained me and I was sent to Johnson County Jail in Clearburn texas till i saw a Judge, My Family find Out about CHAVEZ & VALKO FIRM in the internet or by some relative, and hired then to help me with my case. they started the processes so quick and the day MR.GARY FROST came to me I could Felt He was going to help Me, I also felt these Law Firm also cares not just about money but they do care for you and your family, Mr Gary Frost Never promise me noting ,But He did promise he was gonna do his BEST... Which He did , This Guy is really PROFESIONAL and he knows what He does... Im really really religious my self im Chriistian and i Know God got me out by using this great Man and the CHAVEZ & VALKO LAW FIRM.. I WAS FACING A DEPORTATION AND WITHIN 2 MONTHS ON MARCH 11 2014, I WAS MENT TO SEE THE JUDGE FOR MY LAST HEARING AND RIGHT BEFORE THE COURT STARTED HERE CAMES MR GARY WITH THE D.A AND SAID THEY WANTED TO TALK TO ME AND TO MAKE SHORT AND SIMPLE THE DA ENDED LETTING ME GO FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ... WITHOUT EBEN FIGHTING MY CASE WOW I AM STILL AMZE HOW MY CASE WORKED OUT ,, IM SO PROUD OF THIS LAW FIRM I RECOMENDED THEY WERE THERE FOR ME ALL THE TIME .... THANK YOU SOO MUCH GARY FROST AND CHAVEZ & VALKO GOD BLESS YOU GUYS
After almost 10 years in the US immigration process I finally received my US permanent residency (Green Card) in August 2013. This is life changing in so many areas. I work in a mid-management position for a Fortune 500 company in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area and sometime in the mid-2000s, my company migrated its immigration legal representatives from a very expensive Washington DC area firm to the much more affordable firm of Chavez & Valko in the DFW area. While there were a few parties involved in my process, the champions have been Martin Valko and his team of Paralegals (including the ever available Shannon) at Chavez & Valko. As anyone who may have gone through the US immigration system can attest, the suspense and uncertainties in the process can be a teeth grinding experience. Throughout my dual intent H1B & PERM process Martin and his team kept me updated, performed timely execution of the series of USCIS document filing and notifications, State Department visa applications, provided me and my family reassurance during USCIS delays, and pretty much held my hands through it all. I am very grateful for their hard work, proactive professionalism, dedication to my personal process, and uncompromising commitment to deliver. I am already gladly recommending the firm of Chavez & Valko to family, friends and anyone else who may have any form of immigration issues whether they are being handled through their corporate/employer sponsorship or personally.
I’m a Sr.Netweaver administrator at a Fortune 500 company which manufactures and distributes steel. My company retains Chavez & Valko immigration law firm and their corporate immigration team initially assisted my company with the transfer of my H-1B and H-4 petitions from my previous employer. After I was “ported” the company filed a new labor PERM application in a faster category and the I-140 petition was then filed to recapture my earlier priority date from my old petition which was successful. Our cases were not very simple as the I-485 green card applications for me and my wife were accepted first without our kids. During this time Martin Valko and his paralegals worked relentlessly on my cases, communicated with USCIS, and even conferenced me into a call to make sure that all of the cases were consolidated. What sets this team apart from other attorneys I worked with in the past is that they were always accessible and provided me with regular updates and answered my calls or emails sometimes within minutes. After the priority dates became current this year we received a call from Martin that our green cards are being produced and that was the best news for me and my family as we have been in this immigration process for many years. I would recommend Chavez & Valko to my family and friends without hesitation and not only in employment cases but also for deportation and family immigration needs. Their team is the best. Swaran S. with family.
Eric Fein is in a class all to himself. When you need the toughest attorney willing to do whatever it takes to win your case, you need Eric Fein. Eric specializes in Business, Corporation, Insurance, Intellectual Property among other areas. However, what Eric Fein most specializes in is winning. He's like a pit bull, once he gets a hold of the other side he doesn't let go. Eric has represented me in a number of cases and has always delivered a positive outcome, even when the odds were stacked against. I have seen Eric take on the largest of insurance companies that have unlimited resources and were willing to do anything to deny a claim, even though it was a valid claim. When Eric was done they didn't know what hit them. He did circles around them and showed them that the law was not on their side, and neither was he. In the end, it wound up costing the insurance company a whole lot more than if they would have just paid the claim in the first place. And this type of outcome is typical with Eric Fein. Eric is not a low cost attorney and he typically charges by the hour, but the end value he delivers is well worth it. When you absolutely need to win and want the toughest guy in town willing to do whatever it takes to win, Eric Fein is your guy. If you are an insurance company and Eric Fein is the opposing counsel in a claim, you are screwed and better pay now because the outcome will not be in your favor. On a scale of 1-10 Eric Fein gets an 11.
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.