Senior Attorney Appellate Practice
Mr. Benno heads the Law Department at the firm, and is responsible for the Firm’s motion and appellate practice. He also manages and litigates civil rights and personal injury matters including premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, and 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. His civil rights cases range from police misconduct matters to prisoner rights cases, from unjust conviction claims to First Amendment matters, and from ADA claims to employment discrimination matters.
Mr. Benno began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the esteemed Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where he served in both the trial division and the appeals bureau. Upon leaving government service, Mr. Benno worked at a premier civil litigation law firm where he focused on civil rights matters in both state and federal courts and representing plaintiffs in personal injury matters.
In 2009, Mr. Benno opened his own law practice, which concentrated on civil rights cases in state and federal court and appellate litigation. In 2015, Mr. Benno merged his practice with Finz & Finz, P.C.
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 the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second and Third Circuit. 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 civil rights litigation and trial advocacy. He was recently named as one of the top five faculty presenters on Lawline.com.
Mr. Benno has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars (Metro) for the last 5 years 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. Mr. Benno has also been named to The National Trial Lawyers “Top 100” as well as both the National Trial Lawyers and American Society of Legal Advocates “Top 40 under 40” lists. These are invitation-only organizations composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications. In 2015, Mr. Benno was selected for membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as one of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys.”
Mr. Benno is rated 10.0, the highest rating given, by the online lawyer rating service Avvo.com.
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 as well as that organization’s Police Misconduct Litigation Group. 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 and the Brooklyn Bar Association. In 2016 he was elected and installed as a director for the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and The Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island.
Mr. Benno received his B.A. degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University, and his law degree 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.