Ilann Margalit Maazel, Partner


PHONE  212 763-5000
FAX  212 763-5001

Ilann 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.” 

Mr. Maazel 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.  Mr. Maazel previously worked at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and at the Federal Defenders in the Eastern District of New York.

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; Massachusetts

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)

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.


“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)