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Civil Rights Litigation Part III: Pleadings and Discovery

(684 reviews)

Produced on April 25, 2016

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Course Information

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

In this course, the third of a multi-part series on litigating civil rights cases, Ameer Benno, a New York City-based civil rights attorney, explains the pleading and discovery process in civil rights cases. Learn how to draft the best possible pleading in your civil rights case, and get real life tips and strategies to help gather evidence and navigate the discovery process.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand who should be named as a party defendant in a civil rights lawsuit, and what remedies should be pleaded

II.    Compare the pleading requirements in federal court with those in state court as they relate to civil rights actions, and familiarize yourself with different pleading techniques

III.   Identify rules governing amendment of pleadings and the “relation back” doctrine

IV.   Become acquainted with the discovery procedures and tools most useful in civil rights actions

V.    Review the differences between the federal and state court discovery process, and learn how these differences can impact a civil rights lawsuit

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Ameer Benno

Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP

An experienced trial and appellate lawyer, Ameer Benno litigates civil rights and personal injury matters for Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP. Ameer takes great pride in seeking justice for those who have been injured by the wrongdoing of others. His personal injury cases include premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, product liability, and construction accident cases. In his civil rights practice, Mr. Benno champions the rights of individuals who have been subjected to governmental abuses of authority. These cases range from police misconduct matters to prisoner rights cases, from unjust conviction claims to employment discrimination matters.

Ameer began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the esteemed Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where he served for several years in both the trial division and the appeals bureau. Upon leaving government service, Mr. Benno worked at premier civil litigation law firms where he focused on representing plaintiffs in personal injury and civil rights matters in both state and federal courts.

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, Northern, and Western Districts of New York, as well as to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

From 2006 through 2012, Mr. Benno was an adjunct professor at New York Law School, where he taught Appellate Advocacy and Legal Reasoning and Writing. Mr. Benno regularly lectures for bar associations and continuing legal education providers on topics having to do with trial practice, civil rights litigation, Constitutional law, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Benno has been named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 and has been named a New York Metro Super Lawyer every year since 2012 in the area of civil rights law. Mr. Benno has also been selected for membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as one of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys.” These are invitation-only organizations composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state who meet stringent qualifications. Mr. Benno is rated 10.0, the highest rating given, by the online lawyer rating service Avvo.com.

Ameer serves on the Civil Rights Committee, Federal Courts Committee, and Appellate Law Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. He is a member of the National Police Accountability Project, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (where he chairs the Civil Right Committee), and the Brooklyn Bar Association. He sits on the board of directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and is vice president of the Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island.

In addition to his membership in professional organizations, Mr. Benno is a civic leader. He is the president of the Merrick-Bellmore Jewish Community Council, the board of directors of the Merrick Jewish Centre, and as a member of the Nassau County Police Commissioner's Community Council for the 19th Legislative District.  He is a member of the Nassau County Police Reserves, the Bellmore Kiwanis, the Bellmore Lions Club, and the Bellmore Historical Society.  He proudly serves as a First Lieutenant in the New York Guard. 

Ameer is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and Cornell Law School. He lives in Bellmore, NY with his wife, Gayle, and three daughters.


Shaniqua B.

Excellent presentation. Best thus far!

Gary M.

Great Course

Karl O.

Good overview!

Amy S.

Great instructor, he really kept things moving. Interesting and useful presentation.

Richard R.

Once again, thank you!

Saadya B.

Presenter is excellent!

Steven P.

Great speaker

Thomas M.

Once again great presentation

Mary B T.

Good. Useful.

Rodrick W.

As always, very good presentation. Style, information and pacing were great

Charles H.


William L S.

Excellent, comprehensive presentation!

Dennis G.

Great primer course.

Katherine L.


James O.

Highest rating!

Robert S.

Very clear and well organized presentation.

James Y.

good overall summary



robert l.

Clear and concise. Would recommend.

Gerard M.

good practical course speaker holds your interest and is well prepared

Patricia C.

concise, clear not a wasted word Perfect

Steven E.

Excellent presentation.

James D.

Good review of federal pleading rules.

David H.

Well done.

William N.


keith k.

Great presentation

Stuart I. J.

I liked this session

Steven B.

very basic--introductory stuff for new/inexperienced practitioners

Kenneth G.


C Catherine Henderson S.

THE BEST CLE Lecturer, most organized, conveys the most information.

Tim B.

very effective and complete presentation

Richard C.

Program is packed with information, and presented superbly.

William M.

Excellent, concise and lucid explanations.

Sheila B.

Well done, especially when viewed with the other presentations in this series.

Melissa B.

Really interesting. Fast paced. Knowledgeable teacher. Would highly recommend.

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