Ilann M. Maazel

Ilann Margalit Maazel

Ilann M. Maazel is nationally recognized for helping the most vulnerable: children, the disabled, disenfranchised voters, and victims of police abuse, prison abuse, school bullying, and all forms of discrimination. He also represents a number of institutions and individuals in complex commercial 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 Foundling, the New York City Council, and thousands of civil rights plaintiffs.

Ilann is a 2015, 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 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.
  • Co-counsel to Martha Stewart in United States v. Stewart.
  • Secured landmark settlement for victims of anti-Semitic bullying in Pine Bush, New York.
  • Successfully represented the families of wrongful death victims, including Esther Penn (confidential settlement); Kim Barry (confidential settlement); and the three Badger girls who died in the Stamford Christmas Day fire ($5 million settlement, case ongoing).
  • 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.
  • Successfully represented John Doe Antiterrorism Officer, a high-profile anti-discrimination 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.
  • 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.


“Surveillance USA,”, April 11, 2014.

“Civil Rights Claims Against Municipalities and Individuals,” New York Law Journal, November 5, 2013

“Defining Privacy: Phone Tracking, GPS, Government Surveillance,” New York Law Journal, July 31, 2013


“Section 1983 and State Criminal Convictions,” New York Law Journal, May 21, 2013


“Questions Persist Concerning Review of Punitive Damage Awards,” New York Law Journal, October 31, 2012


“Arrests, Probable Cause and the First Amendment,” New York Law Journal, July 17, 2012


“Punitive Damages and Indemnification,” New York Law Journal, March 20, 2012


“Bullying, Schools and the Constitution,” New York Law Journal, October 27, 2011


“Bullying and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,” New York Law Journal, July 22, 2011


“Raising Qualified Immunity as a Defense Post-Trial,” New York Law Journal, March 16, 2011


“Government Conduct and the Class-of-One Doctrine,” New York Law Journal, October 22, 2010


“Identifying a Doe Defendant Within the Statute of Limitations,” New York Law Journal, June 28, 2010


“Secrecy and Public Access to the Courts,” New York Law Journal, March 5, 2010


“A New Approach to Nominal Damages,” New York Law Journal, October 8, 2009


“Navigating First Amendment Retaliation Claims After Garcetti,” New York Law Journal, July 23, 2009


“Re-examining Civil Rights Statutes As New Era of Change Takes Hold,” New York Law Journal, March 6, 2009


“Defining Qualified Immunity,” New York Law Journal, October 9, 2008


“The State Secrets Privilege,” New York Law Journal, July 24, 2008


“Weighing Whether to Plead Monell,” New York Law Journal, May 21, 2008


“When Should Courts Address Qualified Immunity?” New York Law Journal, March 7, 2008


“Loss of Life Damages,” New York Law Journal, January 9, 2008


“Civil Rights Actions Against Private Actors,” New York Law Journal, October 1, 2007


“Should I Take the ACD?” New York Law Journal, July 23, 2007


“Discoverability of Personnel Records in Section 1983 Cases,” New York Law Journal, April 30, 2007


“Civil Rights Actions Arising from Wrongful Convictions,” New York Law Journal, February 21, 2007


“Substantive Due Process Claims of Relatives in Wrongful Death Cases,” New York Law Journal, January 10, 2007


“Emotional Damages in Civil Rights Cases,” New York Law Journal, November 27, 2006


“Protecting the Rights of Domestic Violence Victims in the Workplace,” New York Law Journal, August 1, 2006 (with O. Andrew F. Wilson)


“Closing the Billionaire Loophole,” Chicago Tribune, December 14, 2003


“Wrongful Death Actions Under Section 1983,” 19 Touro Law Review 707 (2003) (excerpt from the Practicing Law Institute’s 18th Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Program)


“Mulloche v. Netherlands: A Marshallian Discourse on Modern Europe,” 35 University of West Los Angeles Law Review 1 (2003)


“What Is the European Union?” 16 Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law 243 (2002)


“Why Civil Rights Lawsuits Do Not Deter Police Misconduct: The Conundrum of Indemnification and a Proposed Solution,” 28 Fordham Urban Law Journal 587 (2000) (with Richard D. Emery)


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)