Edward Benjamin specializes in civil rights litigation, especially the defense of police officers sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His practice also includes the defense of claims brought under other federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII (employment cases, including sexual harassment claims), and Title IX (claims against schools, including student sexual harassment and/or violence claims). For two decades, Ed has served as defense counsel to a municipal self-insured risk pool comprising more than four hundred Maine towns and cities. He has also been retained by county governments and the State of Maine to defend employees of those entities charged with civil rights violations.
Ed’s practice has made him one of the best known attorneys in Maine in the area of constitutional rights litigation. He defended the first case in the United States in which a plaintiff sought to apply the newly enacted Americans with Disabilities Act to the mistaken arrest of a disabled person as a suspected drunk driver. He has also successfully defended numerous federal suits alleging the unconstitutional use of deadly force by police. Ed has been instrumental in helping to shape the law under §1983 and the Maine Tort Claims Act in Maine’s state and federal courts. He also is an experienced appellate lawyer, having defended dozens of appeals before the Maine Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
In recognition of his experience and expertise in the area of municipal and civil rights law, Ed has appeared as a featured speaker at the annual meetings of both the Maine Town and City Manager’s Association and the Maine Chiefs of Police. He has been honored with the President's Recognition Award and the Civilian Recognition Award by the Maine Association of Police in recognition of his years spent defending police officers sued for actions taken in the performance of their duties. In addition, Ed has published numerous articles and has been a featured speaker at the Annual Convention of the Maine Municipal Association.
- University of Maine School of Law, J.D.
- University of New Hampshire, B.A., cum laude
- First Circuit Court of Appeals
- Passamaquoddy Tribal Court
- U.S. District Court, District of Maine
- U.S. Supreme Court
Awards And Honors
- New England Super Lawyers, Civil Rights, State, Local & Municipal, Civil Litigation (2010, 2014-2018)
- Best Laywers in America, Civil Rights Law 2016-2019
- Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent
- Maine Association of Police - President's Recognition Award
- Maine Association of Police - Civilian Recognition Award
- Best Lawyers in America, Municipal Law 2017-2019
- Defense Research Insititute
- Cumberland County Bar Association
- Maine State Bar Association
- Employment & Labor
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Municipal Law