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Passport needed to get a lawyer?

Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:05 AM
  #1  
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Passport needed to get a lawyer?

I have returned from Italy recently and needed to get a lawyer in italy. I am being told from this lawyer that a copy of my passport and drivers licence is needed to open a file for me?? Says it is required by law? Sounds strange to me and nothing in google that I could find says anything about this.

Any truth to this? I'd like to know before I send copies of this stuff. Thanks everyone
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:11 AM
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No stranger than needing to show your passport to use internet cafes in Italy.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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That actually comes up when searched though. That is strange also, lol
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:34 AM
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I would consider sending him a photocopy of my passport information but never my passport. I would also contact the Italian consulate or embassy for assistance and advice before I even did that.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:41 AM
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They are'nt asking me to mail my passport, just asking for a photocopy of it.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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This doesn't surprise me at all. In France they want a copy of your identity card/passport to do anything official. Everyone here has an identity card, unlike Anglo-Saxon countries, and gets used to showing it often.

Presumably he needs to confirm for himself and for others that you are who you say you are.

So I'd send the photocopies.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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I don't find this odd at all, either. He needs to confirm your identity, probably because he has to answer to a bazillion Italian authorities and begin a massive paperwork undertaking, even if it's a small matter.

Send him a copy and don't worry about it.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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I think being asked to prove one's identity for official matters is completely normal.

I can very well imagine that the Italian authorities want to know exactly from whom the lawyers of the country are receiving their revenue, if you get my drift.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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ira
 
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Hi P,

You wish to retain an attorney, but you don't trust him enough to send copies of your passport and driver's license?

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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Law firms have been instructed in new rules which come into effect on Jan 1 that new clients will need to prove who they are which includes showing us their passports and other official forms of ID - all this to do with money laundering and terrorism.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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It is a legal requirement in Italy to carry official identification at all times and to produce it if requested. Italians find it odd that we have no such requirement in the U.S.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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My question is -- Why do you find that the least bit strange? Seems it is the VERY least an attorney would need to know you are who you say you are . . . . .
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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I am reminded of a thread a few months ago where someone was horrified and distressed to have been asked to provide a photocopy of their passport to someone renting an apartment. There was some mention of feeling very uncomfortable about providing this "confidential document."

I always thought that a passport (or an identity card) was the opposite of a "confidential document". It exists for the express purpose of showing somebody who doesn't know you who you are.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Another legality in Italy that is not the same in the U.S.: when you marry in Italy, you must provide witnesses who can attest to the fact that they have known you for X number of years and to the fact that you are free to marry (single or legally divorced) and not leaving children behind.

Different countries, different regulations . . .
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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I disagree. I think a passport is a very confidential document. It's issued by your government, containing private information, that is for your use in dealing with other foreign governments to gain admittance.

It's not a public document - on file for public view like a will that's been filed for probate - and I'm always very careful who I to show it to.

However, if you're working with an attorney you obviously need to demonstrate that you are who you are within the laws of the government in question. And I'm not surprised they asked for it.

As for showing it to rent an apartment - I wouldn;t want to send it in advance - but would show it upon arrival - just like at a hotel.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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The only thing that gets me suspicious is that I was talking with another attorney before this one and they even started to look into my case, they never asked for any of that documentation. I wouldnt have a problem with this it's just that Im not there, I'm in another country. They could do anything with that information (drivers liscence #, passport #, home address....ect.) and I would not know nor be around to do anything about it.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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J62
 
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What do you fear they'll do with the passport #? Sneak into the US with it written on a piece of paper?

You're trying to hire them to assist you - it's not like they've been after you for your business or your secret info without your.

My local dentist, doctor, bank, church, broker, phone company, credit card company, cell phone service, cable TV, Amazon.com, ebay.com, paypal.com, newspaper, lawn service, plus my realtor and attorney have all asked me for my home address when I do business with them - that too sounds like a normal request to me.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 10:32 PM
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Just imagine all of those unknown postal workers who have seen your name and private secret address on an envelope!
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Old Dec 31st, 2008, 02:51 AM
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What is this strange "respect" for passports? It is just some sheets of paper.

I really had to check mine to see what "secrets" it keeps:

1. Last name
2. First names
3. Date of birth
4. Social security number (that is asked in every store when the bill exceeds 50 euros)
5. Gender
6. Place of birth
7. Dates of issue and expiry
8. Police precint that issued it

And then just lots of funny looking stamps that bring back memories.
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Old Dec 31st, 2008, 03:40 AM
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Elina, just had to ask simply because I am curious.

"Social security number (that is asked in every store when the bill exceeds 50 euros)"

Does this really get asked when you are in Europe? How does the store know you are an American as compared to a tourist from elsewhere (eg me as an Aussie) in order to ask for social security number.

And why would they care so long as the bill is paid whether it be cash or credit card?

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