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Civil Rights Litigation Part IV: Civil Rights Claims & Defenses

(559 reviews)

Produced on April 25, 2016

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$ 89 Constitutional, Litigation, Civil Rights, and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 64 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

In this course, the fourth of a multi-part series on litigating civil rights cases, Ameer Benno, a New York City-based civil rights attorney, reviews the elements of the most commonly raised claims and defenses in civil rights cases, in particular those brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the different constitutional claims that can be raised under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including those brought under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments

II.    Become familiar with various statutory civil rights claims, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and what will be required to prove them

III.   Identify defenses that are frequently raised in civil rights cases, including Qualified Immunity and collateral estoppel

IV.   Recognize the counterclaims that potentially can be brought by defendants in civil rights cases against the plaintiffs

Credit Information

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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.


Clifford Y.

very well done

Douglas P.

I litigated Sec. 1983 actions many years ago. Very good presentation of difficult conceptual legal issues.

Jack J.

Very interesting, informative and well-presented. I've watched this series of presentations multiple times.

Rodrick W.

I highly recommend this course and the instructor. He's one of the best presenters for Lawline.

Michael P.

informative & thorough

Richard R.

Thank you

Suzanne M.

This speaker is one of the best.

Daniel O.

Good presentation.

Skip S.

Very good.

Thomas M.

Excellent content and presentation.

Mary B T.


Gerard M.


Kevin S.

Excellent speaker, excellent presentation

Todd P.

Clear and detailed.

Steve S.

Great info

Cullen M.

Lively presentation. Held my interest.

Steven B.

Great presentation.

Jeffrey B.

Really great presentation & overview, for those of us assigned pro bono prisoner's rights cases.

Richard C.

Tis speaker is as good and interesting as i've ever seen. His courses should not be missed.

Richard K.

Highly recommended

james c.

Very knowledgeable speaker.

Melissa B.

Great series!

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