Areas of Legal Experience

We do not consider our clients to be "files." This philosophy informs and pervades our representation. Because the majority of our clients are referred to us by other attorneys and professionals, we consider it our first priority to be accessible to our clients and ensure open and regular communication. In that regard, we do not charge for client communications. We believe that availability to our clients and the information gained from open communications is the essential element to success at trial.

Immigration Problems

Our law firm handles complex Immigration Matters like Removal Defense, Business Immigration, and Employee Compliance Issues. In that regard, we integrate our litigation skills to resolve Immigration Matters with remedies in Federal District Court or the appropriate Appellate Court. Our ability to litigate with the Department of Homeland Security distinguishes our Immigration Practice.


Civil Litigation

We take a disciplined approach to Civil Litigation. Our practice is active in both state and federal courts in Connecticut. We handle jury trials and many of our cases are referrals from other attorneys. While we caution our clients as to the inherent risks of placing a dispute before a jury, we welcome the opportunity to try cases to verdict.

Business Litigation

Save money for your company with our cost-effective Business Litigation. We put emphasis on goals and develop the means to win each particular case. Every case is different and our personalized strategies address the client and the specific issues at hand. We offer litigation solutions that work.

Firm Overview

We solve problems. And to solve problems we use our experience in both Civil and Administrative Law.

Glenn & ElyssaWe solve problems. And to solve problems we use our experience in both Civil and Administrative Law. Our experience in Immigration, where the rules and laws are complex and inconsistent , sharpened our ability to understand and engage complex issues as they arose in Civil Litigation.

Today our practice in both Civil Litigation and Immigration requires our constant and intensive study of the law. We apply both a commonsense and intellectual approach to our clients' problems. We are not afraid to appeal adverse decisions based on questionable legal grounds, or when we believe the law violates due process and fair play. In the future, we intend to grow and change with the needs of our clients. That change is happening now.

Many of our clients are seeking business opportunities abroad and need our assistance as local counsel to integrate their foreign businesses with an American counterpart or partner. We are assisting those clients with services as general counsel. In this role we advise them not only on Immigration matters, but also with specialized legal problems outside of our own practice areas, such as tax liabilities, environmental compliance, or securities. We do this by finding and then supervising attorneys in other states or working with legal specialists to solve specific problems. Our Civil Practice provides us with a unique perspective on risk and a broad understanding of the legal issues facing foreign-born individuals and foreign-based businesses.

In an era where what is global has become local, we believe that legal practitioners must remain current with the global needs of their clients.

Immigration Overview

Our approach was not developed all at once or in a single event. In 2002, when Attorney Glenn Formica incorporated Formica, P.C., the focus was small business litigation that involved employment law, real estate, construction disputes, or broken business partnerships. Although Attorney Formica, had practiced Immigration law at his prior law firm, it was not intended to be a significant part of his new practice. That soon changed.

At first, Immigration cases were handled by Attorney Formica as either a courtesy to existing business clients or pro bono when referred from the community. But by 2003, the nature of Immigration Law changed from being transactional and service-based to a new focus on administrative procedure and litigation. The interaction with the Federal Bureaucracy was based on confrontation and legal strategy . This was a profound change.

Our Immigration Practice then grew in response to that change. Many of our clients were themselves foreign nationals or small businesses with critical employees who were foreign born. Our experience in Civil Litigation became a necessary skill in this new era of  Immigration Processing.

The Team

We are a richly diverse team committed to both our Litigation and Immigration practices.  This collaborative and dedicated approach forms the foundation of our success.

Our Firm's History

I started this law practice in 2001, with four clients, a laptop and a cell phone with 400 minutes a month.

Formica Law Office

My wife was just about 10 months pregnant and on an unpaid maternity leave from a job that was supporting the both of us. My official address was the parking lot of 27 Elm Street in New Haven, Connecticut. My desk was the front seat of my Jeep Cherokee. I had worked for a firm in Washington, D.C., followed by two other law firms here in Connecticut. I had some experience in civil litigation, construction law, and a little knowledge of immigration law from the pro bono asylum cases I had only recently started doing. It was all a risk and a chance.

I reserved the domain name believing that I would immediately build a webpage to create the impression that I was a savvy and established law practice. The webpage took more than a decade to write and launch. In the meantime, I worked to build relationships with people who became friends and clients. As the numbers of clients grew and I needed staff and other attorneys, I sought out individuals with interesting backgrounds and a shared sense of humanity. Today my practice has become our practice.  Elyssa Williams became my law partner in 2011. She has grown to earn the respect of her peers and she has many clients who seek her assistance.

But while Elyssa and I are law partners, every member of our office is a practice partner.  That is more than a sentimental term, it is how our practice operates and it is how we approach the problems of our clients. Every member of this office, no matter their position, is a partner in the way they view their work and the respect they are given. While our attorneys supervise and make the final legal judgments, every member is working the particular problem; every member is accountable and responsible for the work. We encourage every member of our practice to continue to self-educate and experience. In that regard we encourage our members to take time to travel and volunteer. When you read their biographies in the proceeding pages, you will see that they volunteer in their communities and travel. For instance, two years ago, Nallely Acosta and another one of our previous employees  took several weeks to travel to Africa and volunteer in a rural village in Kenya. Their time in Africa strengthened our practice by giving them growth, experience and understanding.

The community and global experience of our practice partners strengthens the two main spheres of our practice today: Civil litigation and immigration. In the beginning, our immigration practice was more of a pro bono enterprise and for many years depended on our civil litigation practice to cover its expenses. And while today our immigration work is financially self-sufficient, it has never been a liability to our practice. Rather, it has been the wellspring of our success and growth as trial lawyers.

This is because the immigration work involves complex issues of statutory and regulatory interpretation and policies. It involves constitutional challenges to the detention and removal of foreign born residents. The legal issues involved are complex, biased to the U.S. government, and have an immediate consequence: We must succeed or see our client's families and lives forever destroyed. That kind of pressure makes a trial lawyer learn quickly from every mistake, or quit. We have chosen to learn.

Legal Services

Our practice is limited to Complex Litigation and Immigration Matters.

We concentrate on:

Our practice is limited to civil trials and complex immigration matters that require administrative and federal court litigation. Below are links and contact information for some of our colleagues by area of practice..

Civil Litigation

We try cases to verdict. Most of our referral work comes at the end of the settlement process, when each side has made their best offers. While a settlement may still arise during our handling of a matter, our focus is building a favorable trial story and finding the best facts to support our client's case. We do this by working closely with our clients and their representatives to learn issues and facts.

We take a forward leaning approach in our cases, moving the pleadings and process toward a planned conclusion. We avoid the filing of motions that have little value to the case and generate unnecessary cost to our clients. We listen to learn our client's goals and objectives and then develop the best trial strategy. Where our representation is on a contingency fee basis, we take care not to steer our client's into settlements that do not provide them with a financial benefit.

The civil trial process is premised upon both competition and financial power. The aim of litigants is to win favorable legal decisions from the judge, and to convince the jury that the facts support all of one side's claims. Financial power is involved to the extent that a party is able to sustain the costs of litigation: attorney fees, court fees, and expert witness fees.

Sometimes this results in a compromise, sometimes it results in a verdict. Many commentators have analogized civil litigation to bloodless battle. In some ways the analogy to a battle is well suited. Consider the often cited text of Tzen Tzu and his thirteen chapters of The Art of War.

These concepts apply in obvious ways to civil litigation. Chief among these concepts is the laying of plans. And the laying of plans requires a tangible objective. Any law suit - whether as plaintiff or defendant - requires a well thought plan and an objective. No plan is viable without an objective.

Therefore, the first task of a client is to consider the objective of a law suit. What is the desired outcome of the law suit? As a plaintiff, this requires either the recovery of money or obtaining an enforceable decree from the court requiring another party to take certain actions. For the defendant an objective is to avoid paying money (or reducing the amount of an inevitable payment). In some situations it may also be avoiding an order of the court that would limit or control its conduct in some undesired manner. Often clients will claim that the objective of a law suit is to assert a principle.

This claimed objective is preceded by the statement "well, it's the principle of it." The civil trial process is not designed to affirm or vindicate someone's principles. The whole system is predicated upon the distribution or non-distribution of money or the limitation of certain conduct. If the law suit involves a personal injury, the objective involves the recovery of adequate money as compensation for those injuries and associated losses. Similarly if a law suit involves a failed business transaction or a dispute involving a contract, the objective is to recover the benefit of that transaction or contract. This is accomplished by either money or an order requiring specific conduct.

Once the objective is determined, the conduct of the litigation becomes a matter of planning and preparation. In this regard you must rely on your Trial Counsel to develop the trial plan and strategy, but you must remain involved. Ask for tangible progress reports and milestones. You must also ask what information will be required and then make sure that information is readily available. The more you understand and are involved in your law suit, the better the chance of a successful outcome.

Immigration Law

Immigration policies change by the day. Even legal texts on Immigration law can be out of date before they reach the printer. To practice in this field of law, it is important to remain current and continuously study the law and follow its changes.

Politics also have a lot to do with the practice of Immigration Law. Today Immigration is becoming the new wedge issue for politicians. Politics drives the policy of the many who lead within the Department of Homeland Security. Inflammatory images of migrant workers crossing the Mexico - United States border, terrorism threats, and suddenly there is an increase in the number of detained immigrants. Increasingly, employers are becoming the subject of Immigration politics. State laws across the country seek to place heavy penalties on employers who employ undocumented workers. The laws play well to constituencies until there are labor shortages in certain sectors of economy such as agriculture, construction, and tourism. Employers must now contend with not only the Federal I-9 requirements, but also poorly established local laws.

At present Immigration Laws penalize individuals who wish to leave the country after an over-stay of their visa or an illegal entry. The current law does not allow those individuals to reapply for legal re-entry for 10 years. This requires them to forego family and economic ties that may have been established during their stay. Poorly planned Foreign Policy and Regional Trade Laws encourage the migration of individuals seeking to escape political oppression and economic deprivation.

The United States' own economic policies require businesses to compete in a global market place where there is an ever increasing downward pressure on the cost of manufacturing and the delivery of services. To compete with domestic production, companies require a motivated workforce willing to work for low wages and without benefits. Cast in and among all of these issues are individuals trying to live honest lives and businesses trying to survive.

Get in touch

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Our principal office is located on the New Haven Green in New Haven, Connecticut. Our building is located at the cross streets of Church Street and Elm Street.  We recommend parking at one of the area garages which are located around our building.

More specific directions for travel may be found by using the map below:

Contact Information

Formica Law Offices
195 Church Street
11th Floor
New Haven CT,  06510

Phone: (203) 787-1946

Fax: (203) 787-6766

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