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On Demand Audio

Police Misconduct Litigation in NY: A Primer

(900 reviews)

Produced on September 21, 2014

Taught by
$ 99 Constitutional, Litigation, and Public Interest In Stock

Course Information

Time 100 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

Without question, police officers have challenging jobs. However, this does not give them the right to overstep legal boundaries by arresting people without a basis, bringing false charges, fabricating evidence, or using unnecessary force. As vividly demonstrated by the recent events involving Eric Garner in Staten Island, Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, the settlement of the Central Park 5 cases, and the federal court decision declaring the NYPD’s stop and frisk practice to be unconstitutional, instances of police misconduct are all too common, and the consequences are devastating – both to those individuals who have been victimized by police abuse, and to our society in general. After all, the preservation of our civil rights and liberties is essential to the health of our republic. 

In this course, Ameer Benno, a New York City-based civil rights attorney, introduces viewers to the litigation of police misconduct cases, including identifying the proper parties, prerequisites to filing the lawsuit, relevant time limitations on doing so, and factors to consider in determining the proper forum in which to bring the action. This course also provides an overview of the most commonly-asserted claims and defenses under both federal and state law, compares the relative advantages and disadvantages of state and federal law in this area, and discusses what relief is available, including statutory attorney’s fees. The course will also cover some of the commonly encountered discovery issues and ethical considerations in police misconduct cases. 


Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to identify the proper parties, claims, and defenses, as well as the differences between state and federal claims
  2. Understand the prerequisites to filing a police misconduct lawsuit
  3. Recognize the various time limitations, such as accrual dates and statutes of limitation, involved for the various claims 
  4. Comprehend the factors that must be weighed in deciding whether to bring the action in state or federal court
  5. Learn about some of the most frequently encountered discovery issues, and how to address them
  6. Gain insight on the different forms of relief available, including statutory attorney’s fees
  7. Become acquainted with some of the ethical considerations involved in litigating police misconduct cases

This course originally appeared as a part of our September 2014 Bridge the Gap Event.



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

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.


Melea B.

Excellent primer. Lecturer should conduct more classes.

Thomas C.

Very informative. Thank You.

Dawn G.

As a primer, this is a fantastic introduction to this area.

Sheafe B W.

Great presentation. Ambitious amount of material to cover in one session.

Richard M.

Richard Mattner Attorney Benno's presentation was superlative. His material is a wonderful Primer and should be on all practioner's desks providing a detailed checklist for their work. Thank you for a very fine effort.

Stanley O.

Excellent course with a wealth of information and sound examples.

Richard K.


Jeffrey K.

Nice, relaxed, thorough presentation of very interesting and relevant program. Ameer is a terrific teacher.

Frank M.

Really good. Section summarizing differences between federal and state court very helpful.

Robert L. G.

Very informative, and an excellent speaker.

Marina B.

Excellent! The best course so far. I highly recommend this course and, in fact, I think I will listen to it again because it is so very thorough, informative and well presented. I cannot say enough good things about this course.

Marcia R.

Mr. Benno is one of the best speakers I have ever heard.

Walter T.


Peter K.

Easy to follow, very informative

Gregory S.

The speaker covered a lot of material in a clear and organized manner.

Eric C.

Well done.

Mark I. A.

extremely informative

Farhad B.

Very comprehensive course.

Michael S.

This was a very thorough introduction on Police Misconduct.

Rachele V.

Excellent overview, terrific speaker, abundant, detailed materials.

daniel h.

Very good

Beth S.

very well presented and interesting

Dana G.

Covered a ton but very clearly. Excellent program.

William S.

Great synopsis

John K.

Timely and excellent, thanks,.

Ryan N.

Great course. Thanks!

Allana A.

Instructor really packed a lot of great information into this program and yet it was taught in a really easy to understand and follow manner. Excellent written materials. Did a nice job breaking down advantages of going through state v. federal court A+

Victor C.

Very thorough discussion of the various police misconduct claims.

Alison C.

Clear presentation

David J.

Excellent course!

David F.

excellent job

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