The Laws of Self Defense Level 2 – Andrew Branca


April 28, 2099
April 28, 2099 (All day)
Course Length
4 Hours
Course Difficulty

Required Equipment:
For this class, you will need the following items:



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The Law of Self-Defense LEVEL 2 Class provides an in-depth and comprehensive legal education on the NY–specific case law (court decisions) governing self-defense, presented by a nationally recognized legal expert in the field. The classes are in-person and conducted by Attorney Andrew Branca.


The LEVEL 2 Class builds upon the Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 Class, which is a mandatory pre-requisite (you can have taken a LEVEL 1 Class at any prior time, not necessarily the LEVEL 1 Class that immediately precedes this class. See below for information on waiving this requirement). The LEVEL 1 Class provides a full-day education on the general legal principles governing the lawful use of force in defense of self, others, and property, illustrated at a high level with the relevant statutes, jury instructions, and case law of the state in which the class is held. There is insufficient time in a single day, however, to cover all that material as well as to dive deeply into the self-defense court decisions for that state,.That’s where the LEVEL 2 Class comes in.


In the LEVEL 2 Class we take selected use-of-force court decisions and examine them in detail. This is essential to fully understanding the actual law of self-defense in any state, because it is in the court decisions that “the rubber meets the road” and the law is truly defined. Statutory language is important to know, but statutes don’t have any power by themselves; they only have power when they are interpreted and applied by courts to real people in real self-defense cases. That happens in the court decisions we examine in the LEVEL 2 Class.


The LEVEL 2 Class is approximately four hours in duration and consists of the following modules:

Overview of the Appellate Courts in the Context of Use-of-Force Law

This module provides the student with an understanding of the self-defense court process, where these controlling court decisions take place, how cases get there, and how these courts arrive at their legal conclusions.

Five Principles of the Law of Self-Defense

This module provides a quick overview and refresher on the five elements of a self-defense claim, because it is these five elements that will ultimately determine the court’s decision. This brief review is intended to bring up to speed students who have already attended the full-day Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 Class
. It is not, however, sufficient for people who have not attended the LEVEL 1 Class. It is for this reason that the LEVEL 1 Class is a mandatory pre-requisite for the LEVEL 2 Class. (If you have reason to believe that you already possess a sufficient legal background on use-of-force law to have the LEVEL 1 Class requirement waived, please contact us at Note that such waivers are extremely rare, however.)

Appellate Case Law on Use-of-Force Justification

This module forms the bulk of the LEVEL 2 Class. Here we take a list of approximately 10 of the most important use-of-force court decisions in the relevant state, and break them down in detail. We examine the parties involved, what they did (and didn’t do), how the courts perceived the facts of the case, what legal arguments were made by the prosecution and defense, what law the appellate court applied to the case, and how they arrived at their final decision. We will examine both the majority decision as well as any dissenting decisions, where appropriate.

We often describe the LEVEL 1 Class as a law school-level education on use-of-force law, and we are routinely told by lawyers taking the class for Continuing Legal Education purposes that it is the best CLE class they have ever attended. In that context, the LEVEL 2 Class can be thought of as a graduate-level education above and beyond the LEVEL 1 Class.


The Laws of Self Defense Level 2 – Andrew Branca


Prerequisites: None

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Subjects Covered

Overview of the Appellate Courts regarding use of force laws

Principles of the law of self defense

Appellate case law on use of force justification

State specific laws


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