Tel: 510-839-5200


Law Enforcement Misconduct →
Civil Rights Violations →
Criminal Defense →


New College of California School of Law, San Francisco, California – 2002

University of California at Santa Cruz
Psychology – 1997

Professional Associations and Memberships

California State Bar, Member


Benjamin Nisenbaum has been in practice for 13 years. His practice specialty includes 1983 civil rights litigation and California state law civil rights and negligence police liability

In 2014, Nisenbaum appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments in Sheehan v. City of San Francisco. He also argued the case in the 9th Circuit overturning District Court dismissal in Sheehan and partial overturning District Court dismissal in Han v. City of Folsom.

Some of his other notable cases as lead counsel include verdicts in Northern and Eastern District, Torry Smith v. City of Oakland: $6 million verdict (malicious prosecution), Lorenzo Hall v. City of Oakland (malicious prosecution) Garcia v. County of Stanislaus (excessive force wrongful death verdict); as Co-Counsel: DeSantis v. City of Santa Rosa (excessive force wrongful death verdict);

Nisenbaum’s previous employment includes being a Law Clerk for the Law Offices of John Burris, Counselor for the Lincoln Child Center, Counselor for Youth Homes, Inc., and he was a research assistant for Foxtree Language Psychology Lab, UC-Santa Cruz.

Before becoming an attorney Nisenbaum was a competitive swimmer. In 1993 he became the ESAL Champion in the 100 Butterfly and an NCS qualifier. He also completed the City to the Sea Half Marathon in 2013.


  • University of California, Santa Cruz B.A.
  • New College of California J.D.

Courts Admitted

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California
  • All California State Courts

Civic Groups, Volunteer Organizations and Awards

  • Rising Stars, 2011-present
  • Top 40 under 40, 2013-present