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.

A Consular Officer cannot draft legal documents for private persons nor act as an attorney or paralegal.  He/she can, however, refer you to publications where standard legal forms and documents can be found and can provide lists of attorneys practicing law within the consular district.

American citizens in Spain or Andorra, whether they are tourists, students, businessmen or residents, are subject to Spanish or Andorran laws and to the Spanish or Andorran judicial/penal system in the event they are accused of violating the law.

The following rights are guaranteed by the Spanish and Andorran constitutions:

  • Right to due process of law.
  • Right to an impartial judge.
  • Right to defense.
  • Right to counsel by an attorney.
  • Right to be informed of charges.
  • Right to a public and speedy trial.
  • Right to use all available means of evidence in one’s defense.
  • Right not to testify against one’s interest.
  • Right not to self-incrimination.
  • Right to be presumed innocent.

For additional information on legal matters visit: Legal Considerations

Mutual Recognition of Documents between the U.S. and Spain/Andorra

Spain, Andorra and the U.S. are signatory to The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The purpose of the Convention was to abolish the requirement of diplomatic/consular legalization for public documents originating in one country for use in another. The Convention calls for the use of a single signature by a designated certifying official. Under the Convention, the standard certification is called the Apostille.

Obtaining the Apostille for U.S. documents to be used in Spain or Andorra, you should send the document to the Secretary of State of the U.S. State where the document was issued.  Consular officers in Convention countries are prohibited from placing a certification over the Convention Apostille. Below please find the series of steps to take in order to meet the local requirements:

  1. Obtain the original and official documents from the County Clerk’s office where the document was issued (you may also request government issued documents online via VitalCheck.com but please note this is a privately owned company that is not part of the Government).
  2. Contact the corresponding authentication unit in each state and arrange for the documents to be authenticated with the Hague Apostille either in person or by mail. You may find contact information by state from HccH.
  3.  Once you obtain the duly authenticated documents (with the Hague Apostille) from the Secretary of State, you must have these documents translated in Spain or Andorra by a sworn translator (“traductor jurado”).  Updated lists of sworn translators may be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain and from the Ministry of the Interior of Andorra.

Obtaining the Apostille for Spanish or Andorran documents to be used in the U.S. requires the document be sent to one of a number of agencies, depending on the document type. Additional information can be found by contacting the: Spanish Ministry of Justice  or telephone: 902 007 214 the Andorran Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

List of Attorneys

The Madrid consular district comprises the provinces of Alava, Albacete, Alicante, Almeria, Asturias, Avila, Badajoz, Burgos, Cáceres, Cádiz, Cantabria, Castellón, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Cuenca, Granada, Guadalajara, Guipuzcoa, Huelva, Jaén, La Coruña, La Rioja, León, Lugo, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Navarra, Orense, Palencia, Pontevedra, Salamanca, Segovia, Sevilla, Soria, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Vizcaya, Zamora, the Canary Islands, which lie off the Northwest coast of Africa, and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Northern coast of Africa. Under the Constitution of 1978, these provinces are organized into 17 autonomous communities. In order to make the Embassy lists of attorneys easier to handle, they have been divided into sections, grouped by autonomous communities, provinces and cities.

While every effort has been made to include only the names of persons with favorable reputations, the American Embassy at Madrid assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of persons or firms whose names appear in the following lists. Complaints should initially be addressed to the Colegio de Abogados (Bar Association) in the city involved; if you wish, you may send a copy of the complaint to the Embassy. The names are arranged alphabetically within cities, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.

The Embassy reserves the right to add, restrict or amend these lists as necessary.

 

If necessary, check specific information regarding: