John Gardner and Radlyn Mendoza met in law school at Seton Hall University in Newark, New Jersey in 1996. Their friends say they fell in love in a hopeless place, and despite the city’s reputation, fall in love they did.
Almost immediately, John and Radlyn knew they had big plans and dreams to fulfill – together. The first was to get married and a close second was starting a law firm to help people who were underserved.
John and Radlyn got married in 1998 in Norfolk where Radlyn grew up, and in the year 2000, they fulfilled their second dream and started Gardner & Mendoza, P.C.
The firm catered to the Spanish-speaking community in Hampton Roads and surrounding areas. This community was indeed underserved, and the couple began representing clients in the practice areas of traffic, criminal, and immigration.
While Gardner & Mendoza initially represented mostly Spanish-speaking clients, and their employers and families, our reach has expanded to include many communities over our 15 years in business. Our community of clients includes:
- Out-of-state drivers who receive speeding tickets or reckless driving tickets in Virginia Beach and throughout Virginia. Our out-of-state clients come to John due to his Superb Avvo rating and success rates, and are relieved to learn that he can represent them without their having to return to Virginia for their court date.
- Those who have been charged with a traffic or criminal offense in Federal Court. John is one of the few attorneys in the area who practices in Federal Court in addition to State Courts in Virginia. One of his clients was recently granted a bond at a Detention Hearing in Federal Court, which took the Judge 10 days to rule on. See the news story in the Virginian-Pilot. John has also been successful in getting federal criminal charges dismissed, including a “not guilty” jury verdict for one of his Russian clients charged with marriage fraud.
- Non-U.S. Citizens who are charged with reckless driving, DUI, misdemeanors or felonies come to us for representation due to our expertise in advising this group of clients on how to best protect their immigration status and avoid deportation when charged with a crime. John and Radlyn are often called upon by local criminal defense attorneys for their guidance when their clients are facing deportable offenses. Indeed, the two have taught their fellow colleagues at many Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses on “Crimmigration” to help navigate this extremely tricky area of law.
- Families, Spouses, and Fiancees. Radlyn and her immigration team have assisted thousands of couples to successfully achieve Lawful Permanent Resident status for their foreign national spouses. She routinely accompanies the couples to the Norfolk USCIS office for their marriage adjustment interviews. Families and spouses located overseas have also relied on Radlyn and her team to help them through consular processing.
- Businesses who require our assistance in getting an H-1B or labor certification for their employees; investors desiring to invest in start-up businesses or invest in a Regional Center through the EB-5 program; companies needing to transfer their employees to the United States from their foreign offices with the L-1A or L-1B visas. These communities of businesses and employees have depended on us over the years to assist with these services.
- Elite athletes, and world-renowned scholars and researchers. Our firm has successfully achieved permanent resident status for these top performers through our representation in their EB-1 visas, and National Interest Waivers.
- The Military community. Those in the military have special requirements in criminal, traffic and immigration matters. For example, we have assisted many service members in filing Parole in Place, available only to the spouses, parents and children (under 21) of those who have served or are currently active duty. Getting pulled over on base is also a concern for those in the military – make sure that the lawyer you hire is comfortable and experienced in Federal Court.
- Citizenship and Naturalization applicants. We love it when our clients want to become U.S. Citizens and seek our assistance in that process. Few events are more rewarding than watching a client swear-in to become a Citizen. We also prove derivative citizenship cases, building cases from original documents to prove one’s U.S. Citizenship (the oldest set of documents we’ve worked with were from the 1930s!). Fascinating and fun cases.
- And, of course, our Spanish-speaking clients and friends. Two of our attorneys and more than half of our staff are fluent in Spanish. John and Radlyn studied Spanish in Salamanca, Spain, in order to better serve this community prior to starting the firm in 2000. The firm owes its initial growth to this community and our ability to serve so many people.
Gardner & Mendoza has grown because we’ve had the privilege and honor to serve our clients and their friends and family. And you’ve read a lot here about community and family. That’s because we are.
Our clients come to us for assistance with their traffic, criminal and immigration issues, yes. But we’ve also become the place they come to first when they have any type of legal matter or issue. That’s because they trust us.
Thankfully, the story doesn’t end here. We are committed to continued world-class service in everything we do for our past, present and future clients. We are committed to achieving your desired results for your case. We look forward to serving you and your family.
– John & Radlyn and the Gardner & Mendoza Team