Individuals arrested and charged by the police are often victims of police misconduct, including false arrests and excessive force. This program, presented by attorney Seymour James, will describe law enforcement behavior that gives rise to civil lawsuits in the state of New York.
Mr. James will address illegal police actions, different types of civil lawsuits, and the requirements for filing a notice of claim in New York State. He will also explain how to preserve and initiate a civil claim against the police and government entities.
This course originally appeared as a part of our June 2019 Bridge the Gap Event.
Seymour W. James, Jr., is a partner in the law firm of Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea and LoTurco. He is the former Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society in New York City where he was responsible for the overall operation of the Society’s Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights practices. Mr. James began his career as a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society and prior to serving as Attorney-in-Chief held various supervisory positions in the Criminal Defense Practice, including city-wide Attorney-in-Charge, Queens County Attorney-in-Charge, Deputy Attorney-in-Charge in Queens and Kings Counties, and Supervising Attorney in the Bronx and Kings County. Under his leadership the Criminal Practice developed a nationally recognized training program, enhanced supervision, created a DNA Unit, and expanded the use of social workers and investigators. During his tenure as Attorney-in-Chief, The Legal Aid Society won a landmark victory removing barriers on necessary healthcare for transgender youth and adults, took a lead role in the representation of unaccompanied immigrant children who fled abuse and violence in their homeland, helped persuade the City to establish universal access to an attorney in Housing Court, and obtained a landmark consent decree to reduce abuse of prisoners on Rikers Island.
A leader of the organized bar, Mr. James is a Past President of the New York State Bar Association and the Queens County Bar Association and currently serves in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He has served on important State and City commissions including the Chief Judge’s Justice Task Force, the Permanent Sentencing Commission, the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration reform and the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration,
Among the awards Mr. James has received are Lifetime Achievement Awards from the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York Law Journal; Lifetime of Commitment Award from Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice; Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s Public Servant of the Year; American Bar Association’s Dorsey Award in recognition of extraordinary commitment to providing legal services to those in need; and the New York State Bar Association’s Michele S. Maxian Award for Outstanding Public Defense Practitioner.
Mr. James is a graduate of Brown University and Boston University School of Law.