Manikas Law LLC February 2019

www.LawyerAdvocate.com 703-556-0004

February 2019

Criminal & Traffic Defense | Immigration | Personal Injury

You Are Not a Commodity Helping People Find Relief for a Variety of Problems

T here’s nothing more demoralizing than being treated like a commodity — I talk to many people who have been treated this way by other lawyers. Though my own experience is not as severe as their situations can be, I can relate. Shortly after graduating law school, I was working at a large corporate firm. I felt like a product the firm was churning out. The message was very clear: if I ever got tired of conforming to the demands of the job, it wasn’t a bother; there were 100 other lawyers vying for my position. While that job offered me valuable experience, I was just another cog in a very big machine, making little impact. I knew I wanted to do more to help people, and years later, I was able to open my own private firm and make a bigger splash in the legal community. Now, I aid people by handling their criminal charges, helping them start a new chapter in their lives, and putting their mistakes behind them. I offer my expertise to various families struggling through immigration issues. I also sort through numerous personal injury cases to help people find peace and move on past their injuries. Rather than worrying about corporate issues at a large law firm that looks at its lawyers as nothing more than a replaceable commodity, I’m helping real people in my community flourish and thrive. Unfortunately, I’ve found there are some lawyers out there trying to do the opposite. Last month, I had a family approach me about an immigration law problem they had been struggling through for the past 15 years. About five or six different lawyers had taken advantage of them, and through it all, they had been swindled out of large amounts of money,

plus they were given bad advice. Their faith in our legal system was shaken — not by the legal issues they were facing — but by lawyers who took advantage of them. This highlights a demand for sound legal advice in immigration cases, because there’s too much misinformation and confusion throughout. Any fraudulent “expert” advice impacts every party involved, and it prolongs any kind of resolution. For example, in immigration law, there are certain non-lawyers called “notarios.” They are not lawyers and have no formal legal training. They often promise expert advice that proves detrimental for families. Some charge exorbitant fees and take advantage of desperate situations —which, again, makes finding a solution even more difficult. Undoubtedly, there are some situations that weigh harder on me than others. I remember one particular instance in which a child drowned at a pool because the pool was grossly

mismanaged and lacked proper supervision. The child’s sibling was greatly affected by this trauma, but we were able to help the family win adequate compensation so that the mental health treatment they needed and deserved could be paid for. The gravity of this case and the subsequent ripples it had has always affected me personally, but I’d rather support this family through their heartache than be working at a firm more focused on corporate language and legal code than people. I never back down from a challenge, and helping my clients find resolution and a little comfort is a continual goal of mine. The mistakes they made or the situations they find themselves in don’t matter to me. What’s important is that I can make a positive difference in their lives.

-Kyle Manikas

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