In this course, the second of a multi-part series on litigating civil rights cases, Ameer Benno, a New York City-based civil rights attorney, explains what the ethics rules actually require of practitioners on issues commonly encountered in civil rights cases. Hear about recent developments in the law and get real life tips and strategies to help protect against grievances and disciplinary action.
I. Understand the difference between federal and state ethics rules
II. Identify what terms should be included in a civil rights retainer agreement
III. Become acquainted with the ethics rules governing attorney fees and how those rules apply to cases involving statutory fee shifting
IV. Comprehend the ethical considerations in cases involving out-of-state counsel
V. Appreciate the rules surrounding providing financial assistance to clients
VI. Gain insight on ethics rules surrounding case publicity and communicating with the media
VII. Recognize the range of sanctions that may be triggered by ethical violations
Mr. Benno began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the esteemed Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where, under then-District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, he served in both the trial division and the appeals bureau. In the trial division, Mr. Benno investigated and prosecuted violent and white-collar crimes and tried several jury trials to verdict, all as primary chair. In the appeals bureau, Mr. Benno handled all aspects of criminal appeals, and regularly submitted arguments to the New York State Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest tribunal.
After several years as an Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Benno left government service to work for a premier civil litigation law firm where he tried civil cases and managed a caseload that focused on civil rights matters in state and federal court.
In 2009, Mr. Benno opened his own law practice, which focused on civil rights cases in state and federal court, criminal defense, and appellate litigation.
In addition to an active trial practice, Mr. Benno has briefed and argued criminal and civil appeals in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Departments of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, the New York State Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In 2010, Mr. Benno argued People v. Mothersell in the New York State Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest tribunal. That case, which challenged the constitutionality of the City of Syracuse’s usage of “all persons present” search warrants, resulted in a unanimous reversal of the client’s criminal conviction and the dismissal of his indictment, and changed the landscape of criminal law practice in New York State. More recently, Mr. Benno was lead counsel in Bailey v. Pataki, a Section 1983 civil rights action against former New York State Governor George Pataki and several members of his administration for creating and implementing an unconstitutional civil commitment policy for a class of prisoners. Mr. Benno briefed and argued the interlocutory appeal in that case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He won that appeal, and thereafter tried the case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After a three and a half week trial, the jury found a top member of Gov. Pataki’s administration liable for violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
From 2006 through 2012, Mr. Benno was an adjunct professor at New York Law School, where he taught Legal Reasoning and Writing and Written and Oral Advocacy.
Mr. Benno is admitted to the New York and Connecticut state bars, and is admitted to practice in the federal courts of the Southern, Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts of New York as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
He serves on the Civil Rights and Liberties Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Civil Rights Section of the American Association of Justice. Mr. Benno is also a member of the National Police Accountability Project, the New York City Policing Roundtable, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Brooklyn Bar Association.
Mr. Benno also is a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Defenders Association. He is a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee.
In 2012 and again in 2013, Mr. Benno was selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list as one of the top up‐and‐coming attorneys in the metro-New York area in the areas of First Amendment and civil rights law. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor.
In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Benno was also selected by the National Trial Lawyers for inclusion in the Top 100 trial attorneys in New York State in the area of criminal law. This is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. In 2014, Mr. Benno was also selected for inclusion in the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.
Mr. Benno is rated 10.0, the highest rating given, by the online lawyer rating service Avvo.com.
Mr. Benno received his B.A. degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University, and his J.D. from Cornell Law School. While at Cornell Law School, Mr. Benno received recognition for his superior litigation abilities and was a member of the prestigious Moot Court Board.
Second course I've taken with this presenter; very informed, articulate, and straightforward; no superfluous materical
This was a very informative program.
Very good, very thorough.
Great course and presenter
This was a very interesting and informative course.
Very thorough discussion
enjoyed presentation and subject matter expert
This guy is great at keeping his audience interested. I feel like watching it again.
This Presenter is always excellent.
Always the best thank you
A great speaker and presentation.
Thank you! The course is very informative.
The best ethics course I've taken on Lawline
Very comprehensive presentation. The speaker is very engaging as well. Excellent program.
Mr. Benno was really wonderful - engaging and substantive. Nice job!
Very impressive presentation.
This video was very informative, Thank you very much.
Very useful, for civil rights litigation and elsewhere.
excellent. thank you.
Great review of ethics
Very good. Slides excellent.
excellent presentation, animated and energetic
Great pace and knowledge. More presentations from Ameer Benno please.
Very good material; learned quite a bit
Very good speaker (I think I have seen other Lawline programs where he has been the speaker), and the topic is more practical and useful than some of Lawlline's other offerings.
For someone who knows nothing about civil law, this was great.
Well done by this presenter.
Ameer Beno is great at this. I've really enjoyed his presentations on 1983 work.
Excellent presenter. Very cogent.
One of the better ethics seminars
Outline is excellent. Presentation is efficient too.
love this guy's presentation.
Detailed analysis of how to have the best retainer agreement and how to avoid unethical implications of bad retainers
Focus on retainer agreements that is useful in considering an ethical fee forumla that will maximize recovery of a reasonable fee thst accounts for statutory fee shifting.
The content and presentation were rather informative. I am now going back to change the language in my retainer agreements :) Thanks!
great presenter, very articulate on a difficult topic.
Good overview, informative and clear.
The speaker was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject.
Good presentation. Materials very well put together and a benefit to future use. Thank you!
Excellent discussion and good cross-over to ethical issues in all sorts of cases. Highly recommend this to all practitioners..
Great outline and presentation. Thank you.
Excellent production as usual.
Very good overview and helpful specifics.
I like this guy. He is very easy to listen to and made the ethics course less painful.
Extremely helpful and thoughtful course on ethical considerations when working with civil rights clients. Thank you Mr. Benno!
GREAT INFO!!! Thanx!
Very well done. Very knowledgeable and pertinent.
Excellent presentation, well organized, and quite on point for some of the cases I'm handling. Thank you for the handout materials -- these are really helpful and solidify the details that note taking just couldn't have done. Super job!
Not really applicable to me since I don't litigate but a good class nevertheless.
This speaker was very good
Excellent, one of my favorite courses.
Helpful points to prepare complete retainer agreements in all matters.
Very highly qualified. Excellent outline.
Very good speaker
This instructor was very effective. He took an incredibly boring subject and brought it to life and made it applicable to many different areas of the litigation.
That was educational.
Great Program. Thank you
This was a very informative course.
This was an excellent review of the need for attorneys to have written fee agreements, and to keep them within bounds. Good advice.
Extensive materials covering all aspects of the topic: Excellent
Solid presentation. Moved smoothly through material.
Thank you. It was easy to watch and interesting.
Good overview with actually helpful tips
Instructor was clear on some complex issues. Excellent presentation!
This guy was great
I have never handled, nor am I likely to in the future, a case of this sort, but I thought it was a useful presentation of issues applicable to a wide variety of situations.
Superb course. The materials were sublime.
Well presented. Concise.
This seminar is a must for all civil rights litigator
The presentation was excellent. I appreciated that the speaker spoke fluently without just reading the slides.
Best course so far in law lines pack
refresher and good reminder of many important points
Good presentation--very thorough!!!
Clear and concisee
This CLE offers more practical information than any ethics program I have seen--and I'm not a civil rights attorney.
Excellent. Delved in detail into the ins and outs of retention agreements, with heavy focus on ethics and enforceability. Very good.
Very good presentation.
Speaker well prepared and gave excellent presentation
Very informative. Very interesting.
a lot of material, covered pretty fast.
Very well done.
great speaker and material