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Profile of Watt & Sylvia
Watt & Sylvia is a full service law firm located in downtown New Bedford. We are within walking distance to City Hall and the Registry of Deeds as well as the Probate, Juvenile, District and Superior Courts. We are also a short drive from ICE detention centers in the Bristol & Plymouth County Houses of Correction. We are also fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.
Fred Watt graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1980 and was a ships officer from 1980 to 1990. He then went to work for an immigration law firm and enrolled in law school in the evening at Southern New England School of Law. In 1993 he graduated first in his class and has been practicing immigration with Watt & Sylvia to the present. He remains active at his law school as an adjunct member of the faculty teaching Immigration Law.
Brian Sylvia graduated from Bridgewater State College in 1983 and was an educator in Atlanta, GA and New Bedford, MA for 13 years. He enrolled in law school evenings while teaching and graduated from Southern New England School of Law second in his class in 1994. He has been practicing law with Watt & Sylvia since that time.
Throughout the years Watt & Sylvia has exhibited substantial growth which we attribute to client service and satisfaction. This has been achieved through hard work and a conscious effort to view each client as an individual, recognizing that each client’s case is of the utmost importance. It has been our goal to have each client leave our office believing they have received honest, attentive and professional legal service.
Watt & Sylvia has demonstrated a commitment to zealous legal advocacy by the firm’s active participation in cases in the United States Supreme Court, various Federal Circuit Courts, and all levels of the Massachusetts court system. Of particular note was the firm’s participation in the cases of Goncalves v. Janet Reno & in Re: Ramos. Goncalves, a case briefed & argued by Watt & Sylvia, was of national significance and reestablished protection from deportation for thousands of legal immigrants. The Ramos case reversed long standing precedent by removing Operating Under the Influence from the list of deportable offenses.
As a result of our hard work and honest reputation, we receive numerous referrals form various social service agencies and governmental entities who work with the immigrant community.