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Protest Lawyering Theory and Practice

Total Credits
6 - 7.5
CDs/DVDs Only
This course is only available in CD/DVD format.
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In the wake of the Arab Spring and American Autumn protests of 2011, public protest actions are becoming increasingly common, and attorneys are increasingly being sought out by individuals and organizations to assist in these protest actions, whether in securing permitting, observing police interactions, or defending arrested protesters.

Join a panel of seasoned practitioners in exploring the relevant laws and practices that mediate and define first amendment protected protest activities, and to learn the tricks of the trade that enable attorneys to preserve and protect protesters’ rights.

Some of the topics to be discussed include:

  • Right to engage in peaceful protest activity (demonstration/rallies/march)
  • Right to distribute material/press conferences/Amplification
  • Right protest and reasonable limitation; permitting
  • Applicable Federal, State and Municipal Statutes, Codes and Regulations
  • Ethical considerations
  • Common protest charges
  • From Bail to Jail: Practical tips for defending protesters
  • Utilizing common evidentiary resources
  • Legal observer and protest lawyer models

Lecturer Bios

Wylie Stecklow

Wylie M. Stecklow is the managing partner of Stecklow Cohen & Thompson, a boutique litigation firm with a focus in civil rights litigation. After graduating from Fordham Law School, Wylie worked with large corporate law firms including Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle and Davis Markel & Edwards. Wylie left corporate firm practice and spent two years learning about small firm practice while working for the legendary Bronx criminal attorney, Murray Richman. Wylie then started his own law firm in 1995 and has been helping people resolve their legal problems ever since.

Samuel B. Cohen

Samuel B. Cohen is a partner at Stecklow Cohen & Thompson, a boutique litigation firm with a focus in civil rights practice. He is also currently co-chair of NYCLA’s Civil Rights and Liberties Committee. Following police policy studies at Brooklyn Law School, he joined the Law Offices of Wylie M. Stecklow as an associate, and became a partner in early 2012. Samuel received citations for extraordinary citizenship from the New York State Assembly and New York City Council in 2011, as well as a certificate of special Congressional recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

Paula Segal

Paula Z. Segal is an attorney admitted to practice in New York State who has lived in Brooklyn for ten years and focused her work on building capacity and providing technical assistance for local communitybased organizing and decentralized pedagogic practice. She writes about the law and geography as structures that shape life in the city. Paula is a graduate of City University of New York Law School at Queens College, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Human and Civil Rights and worked in the Economic Justice Project at Main Street Legal Services. She is a founding member of the NYC National Lawyers Guild Street Law Team. Before joining the legal profession, Paula taught English to Speakers of Other Languages, developed curricula and ran an all-volunteer adult English school on the Lower East Side. She was also a member of the Empty Vessel Project.

Norman Siegel

Norman Siegel is a partner in the Law Offices of Siegel, Teitelbaum & Evans LLP. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College (1965) and New York University's School of Law (1968). In 1973-76, as the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Field Director, he spearheaded the historic New York campaigns for both the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon and passage of the New York State Equal Rights Amendment. In 1985, the New York Civil Liberties Union named Norman Siegel Executive Director. For the next 15 years, Norman was on the frontline in some of New York City's most critical civil rights and civil liberties struggles; the creation of an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board; the successful defense of the Brooklyn Museum's right to exhibit controversial art; the fight for citizens' access to the steps of City Hall; the battle against involuntary hospitalization of people with mental illness; the struggle for improved community-police relations and greater accountability on the part of the NYPD. In private practice since 2002, Norman's work in civil rights and civil liberties law continues.

Michael L. Spiegel, Esq

Michael L. Spiegel is an attorney admitted to practice in the state courts of New York and California, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the Northern and Eastern Districts of California, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. He attended Harvard College and City University of New York, and received his Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law. He was a Root Tilden Scholar at New York University School of Law, and he clerked for the Honorable Whitman Knapp during law school. Mr. Spiegel was CJA-appointed to represent two death row clients in federal habeas corpus proceedings in the Northern and Eastern Districts of California: Danielson v. Calderon in 1995, and Crittenden v. Ayers in 1996. In 1995, he returned to New York City and opened a solo practice focusing on police misconduct, first amendment, and death penalty constitutional litigation. Since 2005, he has been counsel to over 250 plaintiffs in the pending Consolidated RNC Litigation arising from mass arrests at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Mr. Spiegel was a faculty member at the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association) Annual Convention Education Program, and has been a member of faculty for the annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Cardozo Law School since 1993, and the same program at the University of San Francisco School of Law, among other teaching engagements.

Meghan Maurus

Meghan DuPuis Maurus is an attorney at Maurus & Heinegg, a founding member of the New York LawCollective. After law school Meghan worked at the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender in Essex County, and then at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Ramallah and Gaza City. After returning to New York in fall of 2011, Meghan worked as a Mass Defense Coordinator for the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, defending hundreds of protesters and coordinating the Chapter’s mass defense work. Meghan is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York City Bar Association. Meghan has been honored by the National Lawyers Guild for their work as a defender of those arrested in the course of peaceful assembly and protest, and also received the Samuel Belkin Award in 2008.

David Rankin

David B. Rankin has been actively involved in numerous first amendment cases and in the defense of protesters and bystanders arrested at or around demonstrations. During the Republican National Convention in 2004, he helped lead the National Lawyers Guild’s legal response to unconstitutional police practices by organizing nearly 1,000 lawyers and legal workers. Currently, Mr. Rankin is litigating numerous federal civil rights cases against the New York City Police Department and defending those arrested and accused of criminal acts. Mr. Rankin received a B.A. from Reed College and a J.D. from New York Law School. He was an assistant to the President of the ACLU. He is a member of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

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