Ilann Margalit Maazel

Ilann Margalit Maazel

lann Margalit Maazel has a diverse trial and appellate practice specializing in high-profile civil rights, class action, and commercial litigation. He also represents a number of institutions and individuals in complex commercial and intellectual property disputes, and counsels high-level executives in compensation and employment matters. Ilann joined the firm after clerking for the Hon. John M. Walker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Ilann helped save the High Line in New York City, and has brought class actions on behalf of disabled preschool children in New York City, thousands of inmates in New York City prisons, and millions of Americans surveilled by the National Security Agency. Ilann has represented Martha Stewart, the NAACP, the Children’s Aid Society, the New York City Council, and thousands of civil rights plaintiffs in cases involving police and prison misconduct, disability abuse, discrimination, wrongful death, bullying, and children’s rights.

Ilann is a 2014, 2013 and 2012 “Super Lawyer,” Legal Services Pro Bono Leader, Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico award winner, Coro Leadership fellow, and recipient of an Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship, awarded to “outstanding individuals who are committed to public service work.”

Ilann is the national civil rights blogger for, the civil rights litigation columnist for the New York Law Journal, and a frequent commentator on civil rights, First Amendment, education, and election law issues in the national media. Ilann previously worked at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and at the Federal Defenders in the Eastern District of New York.

Representative Cases:

  • Obtained complete dismissal of $45 million lawsuit brought by Donald Trump in a Tel Aviv real estate dispute.


  • Represented executives and employees in employment and severance matters with JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns, hedge funds, and other companies in financial services, health care, fashion, advertising, and in the non-profit sector.


  • Represented students in academic and non-academic disciplinary matters throughout the country in universities, and public and private elementary and high schools.
  • Counsel to the New York City Council and Friends of the High Line in the case that helped save the High Line from imminent demolition. See
  • Co-counsel to Martha Stewart in United States v. Stewart.
  • Co-counsel in Ingles v. Toro, resulting in one of the most sweeping injunctive settlements in the history of the New York City prison system and $2.2 million in damages for the named plaintiffs.
  • Class counsel to hundreds of disabled preschool children who successfully sued the New York City and State Departments of Education to receive special education services.
  • Counsel to the family of Jonathan Carey, a 13-year old autistic boy killed in a New York State facility for the disabled. Obtained a settlement of $5 million.
  • Co-counsel to the family of Emil Mann, an unarmed man shot and killed by a New Jersey State Parks Officer. Won jury verdict of $2.4 million.
  • Co-counsel to Reade Seligmann, one of the Duke Lacrosse students, in a malicious prosecution action against former district attorney Michael Nifong and the County of Durham.
  • Counsel to the estate of Kenneth Banks in a police misconduct suit against the City of New York, the first civil rights case in the Second Circuit to recognize “loss of life” damages. Obtained settlement recovery and jury verdict totaling $1.7 million.
  • Counsel in the P.S. 186 case, a high-profile action on behalf of four children strip-searched in a New York City public school because their teacher lost her ring.
  • Counsel in John Doe Antiterrorism Officer v. City of New York, a high-profile antidiscrimination case on behalf of a former member of the elite Cyber Unit of the New York Police Department.
  • Member of the team of lawyers who litigated voting irregularities in Florida in the Bush-Gore Presidential election.
  • Won the first-ever successful damages claim for violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, on behalf of a German citizen unlawfully arrested and beaten by the New York Police Department.

Attorney News


University of Michigan, J.D., magna cum laude, 1997

Order of the Coif

Harvard University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1993

Harvard National Scholar (in recognition of “unusual academic, extracurricular and personal distinction”)
Harvard Scholarship for “academic work of high distinction”


U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits
U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York
New York


The Federal Bar Council
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Civil Rights Committee, Federal Legislation Committee)
Advisory Board, New York City Police Roundtable
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (Federal Courts Committee)