Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann / Partner

Since joining NSB in 2006, Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann has built winning legal claims through her sophisticated understanding of constitutional law and persuasive storytelling. Her work at all stages of litigation—from filing of a complaint to trial and appeal—has helped secure more than a dozen significant verdicts and settlements around the country, including the largest wrongful conviction jury verdict ever awarded.

Anna specializes in finding simple and compelling ways to present her client’s case to a judge or jury. As one example, in 2014 Anna, along with Nick Brustin, represented John Restivo and Dennis Halstead at their wrongful conviction civil rights trial. Restivo and Halstead each spent 18 years wrongly imprisoned for the rape and murder of a Long Island teen before DNA testing proved the crime was committed by an unknown assailant. At trial, Anna examined key forensic experts, explaining to the jury that the only physical evidence ever claimed to link Restivo and Halstead to the crime—hairs from the victim allegedly found in Restivo’s van—were actually hairs that had been pulled from the victim’s head by the medical examiner at autopsy, then planted by the lead detective to falsely implicate Restivo and Halstead. Based on this and other misconduct, the jury found that the Nassau County detective had framed Restivo and Halstead. The jury then awarded the two men the largest wrongful conviction jury verdict in U.S. history.

Anna brings a broad base of experience to her civil rights work, having litigated wrongful conviction and malicious prosecution claims in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and the District of Columbia. These cases have covered a wide range of official misconduct, including suggestive identifications, coerced confessions, Brady violations, fabricated evidence, junk science, prosecutorial misconduct, and unconstitutional municipal practices.  She also has taught continuing legal education on litigating wrongful conviction claims.

Before joining NSB, Anna interned for several indigent criminal defender organizations, including, while at NYU, working with the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama to represent a capital defendant in state habeas proceedings, and, at the Innocence Project, helping exonerate a man wrongly convicted of rape.

Education
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
    • NYU Law Review Alumni Association Award (awarded to graduate with third-highest GPA); Order of the Coif.
    • Benjamin F. Butler Memorial Award for “unusual distinction in scholarship, character and professional activities”
  • Harvard College, A.B., Government, cum laude
CONTACT INFORMATION

Phone: (212) 965-9081
Fax: (212) 965-9084

anna@nsbcivilrights.com
CLERKSHIP
Late Hon. Reginald C. Lindsay, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
ADMISSIONS
New York; Massachusetts
S.D.N.Y.; E.D.N.Y.; D. Mass.
2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court


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