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SCOTUS Preview 2019 Part I: Criminal Cases

(704 reviews)

Produced on January 29, 2019

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Course Information

Time 98 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Join experienced constitutional practitioners Ameer Benno and Erica Dubno for Part I of Lawline’s third annual SCOTUS Preview, addressing several critical cases that are to be decided in the 2019 Term. In this course, Ameer and Erica will discuss the following upcoming criminal cases:

  • Gamble v. United States

  • Garza v. Idaho

  • Madison v. Alabama

  • Nielsen v. Preap

  • Timbs v. Indiana

Credit Information

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Erica Dubno

Fahringer & Dubno, Herald Price Fahringer PLLC

Erica T. Dubno worked with Herald Price Fahringer for 20 years. She is one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Erica Dubno has received awards for her appellate advocacy and, together with Mr. Fahringer, has drafted criminal and civil appeals in the federal Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits, as well as the United States Supreme Court, and in the New York Court of Appeals.

She has co-authored numerous articles with Herald Fahringer, as well as book reviews for the New York Law Journal. Erica Dubno graduated from Oberlin College and Brooklyn Law School with honors. 

Ameer Benno

Ameer Benno, Attorney at Law

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.


Linda K.

Excellent presenters on a very interesting topic.

Elizabeth S.

Great presentation.

Kristopher B.

This was a good one.

Zakiyah B.

Outstanding presentation. So informative!

William S.

Very interesting

Marshall F.

The two instructors are excellent; I can see why this is their third year doing this!

Rufus W.

One of the best I have listened to

Karen D.

Very interesting and convenient!

Catina W.

Excellent course review.

Kim M.

Very good presentation, well informed presenters

Steven H.

Thank you for the volume of significant and substantive written materials - seriously!

Wendy S.

Engaging and informative.

Gary F.

Excellent program, well balanced, Looking forward to the brogan on the civil side.

Guy L.

Excellent, learned, and insightful discussion of important issues, currently under review. I highly recommend.

Daphne P.

Great series. I will watch these every year

Dennis S.

Both lecturers were very good. Content was also very informative.

Lauren N.

Great class!

Lewis L.

Excellent discussion, thanks.

Anne M.

Great discussion

Marcus P.

Fantastic course. Love it.

Richard A.

Very interesting and well done.

Alexander L.

The faculty did a very nice presentation. I liked the way they alternated with each other and discussed whether they agreed or disagreed with each other's points or theories. It made it more interesting than a standard presentation with one or two people speaking directly to you.

Monica G.

Great program. The presenters were both very knowledgeable and dynamic. It is the best CLE on lawline thus far.

Sarah R.

This was interesting from an intellectual perspective - brought me back to my law school days! Interesting for purposes of the mental exercise in thinking of how SCOTUS will rule and very well-presented.


Excellent and very interesting

Carol T.

These presenters are engaging and informative. Excellent job!

Susan K.

Excellent program

Brad M.

I really enjoyed the presenters actually talking through both sides of the cases. Well worth the extra time to actually dig into them. Hopefully there will be a follow-up after the decisions are rendered.

howard b.


Francesca F.

I love how the two presenters discuss the cases together. So insightful.

Thomas C.


Pauline M.

I always enjoy the SCOTUS Preview classes by these presenters.

Janet P.

Very well presented!

Lisa L.

CLE is often a burden lawyers just endure. THIS program, however, was the BEST I've ever attended! Such a fine job the presenters did: well-spoken, clear slides/written materials, great material. I'll join you at 2:30 for the next SCOTUS preview!

Lenore J.

This was a great program with nicely detailed presentations of the current cases at the Supreme Court.

R. Christopher R.

Fascinating as always

Danielle W.

Engaging, informative presentation.

Chalin S.

SUPER interesting. Thanks!

Thomas L.

Excellent overview and discussion. Well worth the time to attend.

William S.

Well done.

Thom G.

Great job by both presenters. Enjoyable and in-depth discussion.

Hilary J.

Such a good seminar! The speakers were great.

Barbara T.

Great program!

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