Anna B. Hoffmann
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 spends much of her time puzzling through complex legal and factual issues to find 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.
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