Legal Assistance

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

The Embassy cannot represent U.S. citizens in court or provide legal counsel.  Instead, you may wish to consult with an attorney, who can provide advice on your options and remedies within the Dominican legal system.

The U.S. Citizens Services (ACS) Unit maintains a List of Local Attorneys – (PDF, 356 Kb) in the Dominican Republic, for your convenience.

Please follow the following helpful guidelines:

  • Contact several attorneys to describe briefly the nature of the services you desire, and find out the attorney’s qualifications and experience.
  • Ask for a written schedule of fees charged for the services you need.
  • Do not turn over documents or funds until you are certain the attorney understands your legal needs and will handle your case.

As a Passport or CRBA applicant, you have the option of being accompanied by an attorney during your appointment interview, as long as you adhere to certain parameters:

  1. Given space limitations, not more than one person will be allowed to accompany an applicant or applicant’s parents/guardians (if the applicant is a minor).
  2. Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parents/guardians from attending the appointment in person.
  3. The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Department of State guidance.
  4. It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment interview, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
  5. Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview and before the consular officer.
  6. Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
  7. To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
  8. The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitates communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee.  Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
  9. No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
  10. Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudicate the application.
  11. During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
  12. Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
  13. Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security or the security of the embassy or its personnel.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.
  14. Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.

When dealing with your attorney, remember to:

  • Find out how the attorney plans to represent you.
  • Ask specific questions and expect the attorney to explain the legal process and the legal activities planned on your behalf, in terms you understand.
  • Have your attorney analyze your case and give you the positive and negative aspects and probable outcome.
  • Tell the attorney every relevant fact needed to represent your interests.
  • Ask your attorney to keep you advised of the process of your case on a set schedule.
  • Insist on receiving copies of all letters and documents prepared on your behalf.