Advisory Board


Ilann Margalit Maazel

Ilann is a partner at the firm Emery Celli Brinkerhoff & Abady LLP. Ilann’s civil rights docket focuses upon police misconduct, free speech, election, education, employment discrimination, wrongful death, and class action litigation. Mr. Maazel joined the firm after clerking for the Hon. John M. Walker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has served as class counsel or co-counsel to a putative class of tens of millions of Americans subjected to illegal surveillance by the federal government, to a class of hundreds of preschool children with disabilities in a suit against the New York City and State Departments of Education, and to a class of thousands of inmates in New York City prisons in a suit against the New York City Department of Corrections. Ilann is a recipient of the Legal Aid Society’s 2004 and 2005 Pro Bono Publico Awards, a 2001-02 recipient of a Coro Fellowship, Leadership New York, and received an Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship, awarded to “outstanding individuals who are committed to public service work.” A columnist for the New York Law Journal, he regularly writes and lectures on civil rights, First Amendment, education, and election law issues, and is a frequent commentator on civil rights issues in the national media.


Jeffery A. Rothman

Jeffery is a civil rights attorney in New York City with a practice focused on police misconduct and other government abuse of authority. Jeffrey has been a member of the NYCPR since its inception, and also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, a non-profit that has for over 65 years supported the struggles for racial justice, civil rights and workers’ rights. He has been instrumental in representing dozens of the 1,806 people arrested during the week of the 2004 Republic National Convention in ongoing litigation. Jeffrey is a 2001 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


McGregor Smyth

McGregor is the Managing Attorney of the Civil Action Practice, and the Director of Reentry Net at the Bronx Defenders. McGregor established the Civil Action Project in 2000 and has extensive practical experience helping clients cope with the consequences of criminal proceedings and facilitating civil-defender collaborations. On behalf of his clients, he has advocated or litigated in nearly every venue in New York City – administrative, state, and federal. Prior to joining The Bronx Defenders, he graduated from Yale Law School, where he represented clients for two years as a student director of the Community Legal Services clinic. He then served as a law clerk for the Hon. Charles P. Sifton, then-Chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York. He is a recipient of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Law Fellowship, the Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award, and the Skadden Fellowship. He serves on the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings, the New York County Lawyers’ Association Task Force on Criminal Courts, the Social Welfare Committee of the New York City Bar.


Alex S. Vitale

Alex is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Brooklyn College. Alex is the author of “City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics” NYU Press 2008; “The Command and Control and Miami Models at the 2004 Republican National Convention: New Forms of Policing Protests,” Mobilization. 12 (4) December 2007; Rights and Wrongs at the RNC: A Special Report About Police and Protest at the Republican National Convention, August 2005, New York Civil Liberties Union, and many other publications addressing the policing of dissent, homelessness, and other civil rights issues. Alex has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study policing in South Korea, and has engaged in comparative analysis of policing practices nationally and internationally for two decades. He is a frequent speaker in national news media.