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Monica R. Shah

Partner
mshah@zalkindlaw.com
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(617) 742-6020

65A Atlantic Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02110

Partner Monica Shah focuses her litigation practice on criminal defense, employment, and Title IX matters. She has successfully handled complicated and highly-contested cases from the initial stages of investigation and discovery through trial and appeals, including most recently winning a nearly $10.9 million jury verdict on behalf of her client in a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the City of Boston.

In 2016, she was awarded the highest possible rating for professional excellence in litigation – AV Preeminent – by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2016, Monica was selected to the Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers.

Criminal Defense

Monica has a broad criminal defense practice that includes trial and appellate matters in both state and federal courts. She represents clients facing a full range of misdemeanor and felony charges, and has represented clients on various matters ranging from murder, drug possession and conspiracy, animal abuse, indecent assault and battery, money laundering, obstruction of justice, tax fraud and other white collar crimes, and foreign extradition.

Monica advocates tirelessly on behalf of her clients to protect their rights and achieve successful results for them. For example, in a first-degree murder case in which she was co-counsel, Monica secured dismissal of the indictment because the prosecutor introduced highly prejudicial evidence to the grand jury. In a case involving drug possession on federal property, Monica obtained a dismissal of the criminal charges resulting in only a civil ticket. In a federal extradition case, Monica secured bail and a stay of extradition for a client facing attempted murder charges in the United Kingdom, a highly exceptional result given that bail and stays are rarely granted in extradition cases. In many other cases, she has helped clients get their charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Employment Law and Other Civil Cases

Monica’s civil practice focuses on employment law, where she advocates for employees whose rights have been violated at work. She has represented clients with claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, FMLA, wage and hour laws, and whistleblower protection laws. In addition to counseling clients on these complex issues, she routinely litigates these matters in state and federal courts, and before the MCAD and EEOC. Monica also reviews executive contracts and negotiates separation or severance agreements. She has worked on behalf of executives and professionals in a variety of industries, including finance, law, higher education, government, and healthcare. 

Monica’s creative legal thinking and aggressive approach to her employment cases has resulted in substantial verdict and settlements on behalf of her clients. Monica won a nearly $10.9 million verdict at trial for her client, a longtime employee of the City of Boston who experienced race discrimination and retaliation. In a federal case, Monica secured her client’s reinstatement to a promoted position and a significant monetary settlement against the Department of Correction for gender discrimination, equal pay, wage and hour, disability, and FMLA claims.

Using her strong litigation background, Monica has also successfully advocated for her clients in a variety of other civil matters, including civil rights, personal injury, and business disputes.

Campus Discipline and Title IX

Monica also represents students involved in academic misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in disciplinary proceedings at colleges and universities around the country. She has helped both complainants and respondents navigate the often complex disciplinary procedures at their institutions, including Title IX investigations and hearings. She has achieved favorable findings for her clients, and has successfully resolved cases both before and after litigation.

Other Experience
Outside her firm work, Monica has also done pro bono work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cradles to Crayons, a Boston-based organization that provides essential clothing, books, and toys for low-income children. 

Prior to joining the firm, Monica was an associate at the firm Neufeld, Scheck & Brustin, LLP where she helped secure significant verdicts and settlements for victims of wrongful convictions and police misconduct in civil rights actions filed in federal and state courts around the country.

At Columbia Law School, Monica was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar and an Articles Editor on the Columbia Law Review. She also interned at several civil rights and indigent defender organizations, including the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem, and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.

Education

J.D., Columbia Law School, 2005

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2000
cum laude

Bar & Court Admissions State Bar of Massachusetts
State Bar of New York
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, EDNY
U.S. District Court, WDNY
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Clerkship
  • Judge Allyne R. Ross, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2005-2006
Publications

Monica R. Shah, Why Desi Women Earn Less Than Desi Men. News India Times (Apr. 22, 2016).

Emma Quinn-Judge & Monica R. Shah, With ‘Laltaprasad’ case, SJC on verge of ‘momentous decision’Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (Apr. 1, 2016).

Harvey A. Silverglate & Monica R. Shah, The Degradation of the “Void for Vagueness” Doctrine: Reversing Convictions While Saving the Unfathomable “Honest Services Fraud” Statute, 2009-2010 CATO SUP. CT. REV. 201 (2010).

Monica R. Shah, Note, The Case for a Statutory Suppression Remedy to Regulate Illegal Private Party Searches in Cyberspace, 105 COLUM. L. REV. 250 (2005).

Professional Affiliations

Boston Bar Association

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association

National Employment Lawyers Association

Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston

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