Few issues ignite people’s passions as reliably as those involving the application and scope of the Second Amendment. In this course, Ameer Benno, a civil rights and constitutional law attorney, explores the history of the Second Amendment, examines Second Amendment jurisprudence, and identifies the constitutional issues animating current debates about federal, state, and local gun laws.
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.
Outstanding overview of the background leading to the creation of the Second Amendment and the interpretations that have followed. Better than anything I've heard on the topic in the past.
Exceptional historical and scholarly presentation on the 2nd Amendment.
I really enjoyed the historical introduction and the info overall was great!
A very good and informative course.
Fascinating. Best thumbnail summary of 2nd Amendment history and jurisprudence I have encountered. Kudos to the practitioner!
Good historical development of 2nd amendment rights.
Superb and lucid overview of the 2d Amendment's long history, showing its origin in the English struggle against tyrannical kings. Highly recommended.
Superb presentation -- thank you
Amazing history lesson. Thank you. Would like to listen again.
On a scale of 1 to 4, this program deserves a 5!
Excellent speaker and presentation
Good program on a very topical subject.
this presenter was excellent
Extremely well presented program!
Great review of 2d Amendment history & case law.
Very interesting and informative on historic and legal level
Excellent coverage of this complicated subject. Thanks
Excellent and clear presentation.
Very informative and interesting course
Enjoyed the presentation
Very good presentation
Love this lecture. I want a gun.
This is one of the better CLEs I watched in a while. The speaker was engaging and informative.
Attorney Benno never disappoints!
Great historical overview
Terrific overview that was cogently developed and presented. Information at a NY paced hour. Almost a Bart Basi !!!
My favorite class so far.
Really great overview! A superbly prepared outline of the 2A issues.
Very well done. Great course
Excellent discussion of 2A
Lecturer is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable--both of which help to hold the listener's attention!
Excellent course and speaker.
Highly qualified and effective presenter.
This was a very interesting and well presented legal and historical review of the Second Amendment. Thanks.
Excellent Course. Best history and explanation of the development of the relevant law I've seen yet!
Wonderful and timely topic
Presenter Excellent, knew and presented the topic well...
I just recommended it to a friend.
One of the best lawline presentations.
This lecturer is AWESOME!!!!!
This was an especially excellent presentation.
great written material reference
This group of courses a must for firearm related cases.
Excellent. Really covered the history well.
Excellent. Thank you.
Great presentation in pulling in all the history and cases.
He did a great job. He managed to get much material covered in just an hour. The historical materials were very interesting.
A wonderful lecture about the Second Amendment.
Ameer does a great job--should have made this 90 minutes to give him more time on the newer cases.
This was one of the best CLE programs I have taken on Lawline. Mr. Benno is excellent.
Well done! I learned a great deal.
Great presenter. Great materials. Great course!
Outstanding! This guy is a great presenter!
Terrific course, extremely well presented.
Good program and instructor
Wow, this was Awesome. I argued these issues in College Debate Class. I did not have the Historical Perspective back then - I wish I had!! Fantastic educational course and well presented - kept me intrigued the whole time.
Excellent program --- thank you Mr. Benno!
Very good presentation.
Another great presentation from this speaker - historical perspective was interesting and informative.
Excellent program. Highly recommended.
Very well spoken presenter. I really enjoyed it.
Fascinating subject, great presentation.
very articulate and knowledgeable speaker. helped distill a hot button issue for this area - rural Southwest VA - into a comprehensive and thorough analysis through case law and the history surrounding it going back to 1600 - something I wasn't expecting but added perspective to the issue. Thank you!
Good presentation, and exceptional written materials.
Great program and speaker
appreciate the materials!
Excellent presentation and presenter.
Very helpful program. The speaker was really great. He spoke at a perfect pace.
Great. Just what I needed.
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