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We combine the strategic insight of trial lawyers with strong academic backgrounds and prestigious appellate clerkships in federal and state courts. We know how to identify compelling appellate issues and how to present our arguments persuasively to the courts. We represent clients on appeal in both criminal and civil matters and we also seek to shape the law by drafting amicus briefs for national and local organizations that wish to weigh in on important legal issues before appellate courts. We have represented clients or amicus organizations in the Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and Massachusetts appellate courts.


We are zealous advocates for clients pursuing criminal appeals in Massachusetts appellate courts and in federal courts nationwide. We have won cases both on direct appeal and on collateral appeal. Our lawyers understand both the practical realities of criminal trials and the appellate process. Many of our lawyers also served as clerks on federal or state courts of appeals, where they gained insight into how appellate decisions are shaped, by helping judges analyze criminal appeals and draft decisions. Harvey Silverglate, who is of counsel to the firm, also has a particular expertise in which collar criminal cases (as reflected in his 2011 book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent).


We advocate for our clients on civil matters in Massachusetts appellate courts and in federal court. We are adept at identifying appellate issues and crafting persuasive and compelling arguments. As civil litigators who practice in state and federal trial courts, we can quickly analyze and understand a trial or litigation record. As former clerks for federal and state appellate judges, we understand appellate decision-making and apply those insights in our own work. Our lawyers have a range of experience in civil matters, and a particular expertise in employment law and restraining order/harassment prevention order appeals.

Amicus Representation

We work to shape criminal law and other areas of the law by writing amicus briefs on behalf of national and local organizations.

We have drafted numerous amicus briefs in support of defendants in criminal cases. For instance, in a sentencing case concerning repeat offenders, Inga Bernstein filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. In a Massachusetts case concerning mandatory minimums, Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah filed a brief in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of The Constitution Project, Drug Policy Alliance, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

We have also drafted amicus briefs regarding issues of public interest in a range of civil matters. In a case concerning health insurance and federal authority to preempt state law, Ana Munoz drafted an amicus brief for the Supreme Court on behalf of a group of constitutional and administrative law scholars. In a First Circuit case concerning gender discrimination and a hostile work environment, Monica Shah filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (“MELA”). Emma Quinn-Judge serves as the Co-Chair for the MELA Amicus Committee, and in that role she drafts, edits, and solicits amicus briefs on behalf of MELA in employment matters.

Client Reviews
I hired Mr Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein Law in April 2018 to get help for my son on an education-related matter. We worked primarily with Zoraida Fernandez, an Associate, and when needed met with Ruth O'Meara-Costello, a Partner. Zoraida was excellent. The whole process was emotionally exhausting and depressing and Zoraida was the only bright light in all of it... Nancy O.
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.