These Terms and Conditions accompany a Legal Partnership Agreement (that is, a contract). If You asked Southam Law LLC to help you with a specific application or case, Southam Law LLC will ask You to sign a Legal Partnership Agreement. These Terms and Conditions give more detailed rules to the Legal Partnership Agreement between You and Southam Law LLC. In the Legal Partnership Agreement and in these Terms and Conditions, the word “You” means the person or persons who signed the Legal Partnership Agreement, and the word “Agreement” means the Legal Partnership Agreement.
The Agreement is a contract between You and Southam Law LLC. In this You are giving Southam Law LLC power of attorney. This gives Southam Law LLC the power and authority to act (or decline to act) in any way that You could act (or decline to act) in order to fulfill the services noted in the Agreement. Southam Law LLC will work through its attorneys, staff members, and contractors to complete the work noted in the Agreement.
Your Agreement indicates the specific services that are included in Your Agreement. Southam Law LLC agrees only to the services noted in Your Agreement. Your Agreement also lists exclusions, and more details of exclusions is found on the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list: https://southamlaw.com/exclusions/. In the event that a service does not appear on Your Agreement or on the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list, that service is excluded.
Your Agreement indicates the total cost of these legal services, the amount of Your initial payment, and the amount of any monthly payments. You agree to pay these fees promptly. You can find more information about how to make a payment on the Payments page: https://southamlaw.com/payment/.
Your Agreement is a fixed fee. The fee will not increase or decrease except in the following circumstances. If You or Southam Law LLC suspends services early, the fee for services may increase or decrease (as noted in the “What happens if You or Southam Law LLC suspends services?” section below). In addition, Southam Law LLC may rarely have to charge fees for urgent translation or urgent mailing services as noted in the Excluded and Extra-Cost Services list: https://southamlaw.com/exclusions/. In addition, if You make and then fail to keep an appointment with a member of Southam Law LLC’s staff, You will be charged a missed appointment fee as noted in the Excluded and Extra-Cost Services page. You agree to pay these additional fees if they are incurred.
The Agreement enters into force when You sign it and return it to Southam Law LLC.
The Agreement will continue to have effect and Southam Law LLC will continue to provide services as described in Your Agreement until one of these events happens:
-Approval of Your application or case,
-Denial of Your application or case,
-Suspension of services under this Agreement (by You or by Southam Law LLC), or
-the “Natural End” of Your application or case.
The “Natural End” of services is connected to the type of service. Your Agreement will indicate whether the services consist of preparing and submitting an application or whether the services consist representation at an interview or court hearing. If Your Agreement is for preparing and submitting and application, the “Natural End” of services occurs when immigration officials issue a receipt or acknowledgement of the application or submission. (However, the services will resume if immigration officials issue a “Request for Evidence” or “RFE” in Your application or case.) If Your Agreement is for representation at an interview or court hearing, the “Natural End” of services occurs at the conclusion of the interview or hearing. (However, if the interview or hearing is postponed or cancelled, the “Natural End” occurs when Southam Law LLC or You learn of the postponement or cancellation).
When services have concluded, Southam Law LLC will send You written notice at the last email address and postal address You provided to Southam Law LLC.
Southam Law LLC offers no guarantees. Attorneys, staff members, and contractors will use best efforts and practices to achieve Your goals. However, Southam Law LLC cannot make any guarantee of success or any other outcome. Only immigration officials have this power.
Southam Law LLC has no control over the time it takes immigration officials to reach a decision. Services from Southam Law LLC specifically exclude submitting inquiries to immigration officials about common delays or requesting that immigration officials expedite a case. Southam Law LLC will only inquire about delays or request that immigration officials expedite a case if You are facing a real life-or-death emergency. Even then, Southam Law LLC cannot offer any guarantee about the response from immigration officials.
This is a business relationship between You and Southam Law LLC that will last for some time. For that reason, communication is critical. In addition, because of the complex nature of any legal case, communication must often be written and come from multiple staff members. In this Agreement, You agree to communicate with all members of Southam Law LLC staff, not just attorneys. In this Agreement, You also agree to maintain and check Your own email account. Maintaining Your email account includes promptly resolving a full inbox without the need for Southam Law LLC to ask you to do so.
Because Southam Law LLC balances hundreds of cases at a time and because attorneys and staff members are often in meetings, at immigration offices, working from home, etc., Southam Law LLC encourages You to follow these communication guidelines. Please use email or text messages. Please give Southam Law LLC 48 business hours to reply to text messages, emails, and voice messages. If You have an emergency, please text Southam Law LLC for a faster response. Be sure to use the word “emergency” in your text message. Please give Southam Law LLC 1-2 weeks after returning documents or questionnaires.
In the Agreement, You agree to accept electronic communication from Southam Law LLC in the form of emails, texts, online portals, and/or shared cloud-based folders. Southam Law LLC agrees to take reasonable steps to avoid a data breach. Nevertheless, in signing an Agreement, You understand that there is a risk that private information or documents may be compromised (a “data breach”). Southam Law LLC’s email and cloud storage provider encrypts data for transmission and further requires two-factor authentication for login purposes. You are encouraged to use services that provide similar encryption. These steps help to ensure the privacy of communications between You and Southam Law LLC. You also agree to allow Southam Law LLC to sign You up for electronic distribution lists, such as MailChimp or a similar service.
You have the right to suspend services at any time. You have the right to be informed about Your application or case and to make decisions about Your application or case. You have the right to obtain an electronic copy of your file from Southam Law LLC for free or a paper copy for a small fee. You have the right to communicate freely and confidentially with Southam Law LLC. All information You share with Southam Law LLC is private and confidential.
Southam Law LLC has the right to suspend services if You do not pay fees for services as noted in Your Agreement, this includes Your initial payment and any monthly payments. Southam Law LLC will not begin working on a case until you have made Your initial payment. If you have a balance with Southam Law LLC and do not make a monthly payment for 60 days or longer, Southam Law LLC will suspend services. Southam Law LLC also has the right to suspend services if You do not provide information or documents as requested by Southam Law LLC or by immigration officials, if Southam Law LLC learns You have provided false information or documents, or if You hide information or otherwise do not cooperate with Southam Law LLC’s requests. Southam Law LLC also has the right to suspend services if You do not update contact information, if You do not respond to communications from Southam Law LLC in a reasonable time or for any other reason permitted by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. Southam Law LLC also has the right to suspend services if Southam Law LLC closes or merges with another law office.
If either You or Southam Law LLC suspends services, You agree to pay Southam Law LLC an amount equal to $350 per hour for time already worked on Your case by a senior attorney, $250 per hour for time already worked on Your case by a junior attorney, or $150 per hour for time already worked on Your case by a paralegal; Southam Law LLC will provide details of services and a total amount due (if any) or a total refund (if any). If Southam Law LLC suspends services, Southam Law LLC will take appropriate steps to ensure that Your interests are protected, including ensuring that You do not miss any immigration deadlines and are aware of alternative attorneys. If Southam Law LLC suspends services, Southam Law LLC will notify You in writing at the last email address and postal address You provided to Southam Law LLC.
Southam Law LLC will make every effort to avoid schedule conflicts, but sometimes schedule conflicts are unavoidable. If immigration officials schedule a key event at a time when an attorney from Southam Law LLC cannot attend, Southam Law LLC will seek guidance from You. You may chose to reschedule the event, to attend the event alone, or to attend the event with a substitute attorney. If You attend the event alone or if You select a substitute attorney, Southam Law LLC will refund or discount an appropriate sum (based on completed/outstanding work) to You. If Southam Law LLC selects a substitute attorney, Southam Law LLC will pay that attorney directly.
If Southam Law LLC is representing two persons in Your case or if Southam Law LLC is representing both an employer and an employee, You should consider this section. At this time, because both parties have the same goal, Southam Law LLC is confident that it can provide these services. However, if Your goals stop being the same, Southam Law LLC cannot continue to represent You both. In such a situation, Southam Law LLC will pause services pending guidance from You. Southam Law LLC does not represent any other persons or entities.
Your Agreement, these Terms and Conditions, and the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list are the entire agreement between You and Southam Law LLC. Emails, phone calls, or other communication may explain details, but if there is a disagreement, only the Agreement, Terms and Conditions, and the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list explain how to settle the disagreement. If necessary, the Agreement, Terms and Conditions, and the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list will be interpreted according to the laws of the State of Illinois. You agree that any lawsuits about the Agreement, Terms and Conditions, and the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list will be brought in the Circuit Court of Cook County, sitting in the City of Chicago. Lastly, if any portion of the Agreement, Terms and Conditions, and the Exclusions and Extra-Cost Services list is unenforceable for any reason, the remaining portions will remain fully enforceable.
If a check that You submit is returned for insufficient funds (“bounced”), You agree to pay any fees that result. If You do not pay fees as described in Your Agreement, Southam Law LLC reserves the right to submit Your account to a collections agency and/or to begin a legal collections process; You agree to pay any collection fees, legal fees, or court costs that result.
These Terms and Conditions are effective as of January 1, 2023 . If You feel that this version of the Terms and Conditions conflicts with Your Agreement as it was signed, Southam Law LLC is happy to provide prior versions of Terms and Conditions on request.
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