Our Successes

In fighting for our clients, we have built an impressive record of achievements, including the following examples.

Criminal Defense
  • Won an acquittal on all charges after a three-week trial in Middlesex Superior Court in a first-degree murder case, which included charges of armed assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm.
  • Won an acquittal in federal court in a case involving federal racketeering and murder charges. A year earlier, the firm had succeeded in persuading the Justice Department not to seek the death penalty in this case.
  • Obtained acquittals of all felony sexual assault charges after a jury trial in a sexual assault case. If convicted, the client would have to face prison time and register as a sex offender. The client received only a conviction of a single misdemeanor charge and a short probationary sentence.
  • Won a judgment of acquittal for the CEO of a large corporation in a federal tax fraud case.
  • Won a motion to dismiss in a first-degree murder case in Suffolk Superior Court, resulting in the dismissal of the indictment against its client, on the grounds that the Commonwealth improperly presented highly prejudicial evidence to the grand jury.
  • Helped convince the Commonwealth to agree to a manslaughter plea in a case where a client was charged with first-degree murder and had repeatedly confessed to the killing.
  • Persuaded a federal judge to sentence a client to 60 months, concurrent with a state sentence, although the Sentencing Guideline range in the case was 210 to 260 months.
  • Won a motion for a new trial for a client charged with indecent assault and battery.
  • Secured an acquittal in Natick District Court for a defendant charged with operating under the influence and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Won a client an expungement of his criminal record in one of the first cases brought under Massachusetts' new expungement law.
  • Secured an acquittal on all charges for a university student criminally charged with sexual assault and domestic violence.
  • Won a McCarthy motion to dismiss an armed robbery by firearm and kidnapping case in Suffolk Superior Court.
  • Had a second offender DUI reduced to first offender and probation and dismissal of possession to distribute marijuana in Chelsea District Court.
  • Argued and won a motion for a continuance without a finding of three counts of indecent assault and battery at Roxbury District Court.
  • Convinced the judge to dismiss serious drug charges when the ADA wanted a probable cause hearing in Lawrence District Court, continued on no further continuance date.
  • Secured not guilty verdicts on all but a single traffic-related misdemeanor after a client was assaulted by police officers and charged with several crimes.
  • Represented a juvenile facing numerous charges of indecent assault and battery; after months of litigation, the D.A. dropped all charges against this client.
  • Secured pretrial probation on one charge, and a dismissal of two more, for a university student charged with various crimes related to alleged on-campus sexual misconduct.
  • Obtained parole for a client after nearly 23 years of incarceration. The client was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole while he was a juvenile, but worked hard to turn his life around. In 2019, the Parole Board concluded that he had been rehabilitated.
  • Won the compassionate release of a client who faced three more years in jail, based on the COVID-19 conditions at the federal prison at which he was housed and the meritorious appellate claims Zalkind Law is pursuing on his behalf.
  • Convinced a judge to suppress all evidence in an eight-count firearms case, as a result of which, the Commonwealth dropped all charges against our client.
Employment Law
  • Won a nearly $11 million verdict in a race discrimination and retaliation case against the City of Boston. A Boston jury found that the City of Boston and its First Assistant Collector-Treasurer discriminated and retaliated against a Treasury employee, a black woman and longtime public servant. Among other damages, the jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages, signaling its condemnation of the City’s unlawful conduct.
  • Negotiated a high six-figure settlement for an employee in a PFML case who was terminated the day she returned from parental leave. 
  • Won a $7.6 million verdict in a case charging the MBTA with retaliation against its former Chief Administrative Officer, an African American woman, who was suspended and then fired after she filed a complaint alleging that she had been retaliated against after working to correct systemic issues with race and gender discrimination at that agency. At the time, this was the largest employment discrimination jury verdict in Massachusetts’ history.
  • Won a $2.2 million verdict in federal court on behalf of a former female police officer in a discrimination and retaliation case against a police union. This was among the top jury verdicts of the year in Massachusetts.
  • Negotiated a substantial settlement as trial approached against a Commonwealth entity in a case involving discrimination on the basis of national origin and religion and retaliation.
  • Negotiated a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client in a pregnancy discrimination case where the client was terminated by her employer shortly after starting her maternity leave.
  • Obtained a substantial settlement on behalf of a female faculty member at a local university after defeating the university’s motion for summary judgment in a gender discrimination case.
  • Reached a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client with gender discrimination and retaliation claims against a Commonwealth entity.
  • Negotiated a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client in an equal pay and gender and national origin discrimination case shortly after filing a claim at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).
  • Negotiated a seven-figure settlement in a sexual harassment case on behalf of a client after filing at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).
  • Won an appeal at the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) representing a client who had been terminated from her job due to the client's alleged possession of a bottle of hemp-based CBD (cannabidiol) oil at work, which the employer claimed violated their drug-free workplace policy. At the DUA hearing, Zalkind presented evidence that the substance in the client's possession was not illegal because it was hemp-based.
  • Negotiated a seven-figure settlement for a whistleblower in the financial services industry.
  • Negotiated a six-figure settlement for an independent contractor who was sexually harassed while working.
Student Rights & Title IX
  • Negotiated a substantial settlement on behalf of a female graduate student at a local university shortly before a trial in a gender discrimination case.
  • Helped a client prevail against a charge of sexual assault and three charges of physical assault brought by his ex-girlfriend who was a classmate in his graduate program. After a lengthy investigation and adjudication process, including the use of expert witnesses, the university found he had not committed those offenses.
  • Won an appeal on behalf of a law student after he had been expelled for cheating, which resulted in the student’s re-entry to the law school.
  • Won an appeal and rehearing with a student originally suspended from his graduate program for plagiarism. The school granted the student a new hearing on appeal based on significant procedural defects in the original hearing. At the new hearing, the student prevailed, and his suspension was overturned.
  • Won a preliminary injunction preventing a local university from expelling a graduate student for comments he made online as a teenager, years before enrolling at the university. The court agreed with our attorneys that being expelled from school constitutes the kind of harm that necessitates immediate judicial intervention, and found that our lawyers were likely to succeed in their claims that the school failed to follow its own written policies in deciding to expel the student.
  • Successfully secured the dismissal of sexual misconduct charges against a student at a local university. Prior to retaining Zalkind Law, the student had been found responsible and suspended indefinitely. Ultimately, the school rescinded the suspension and allowed our client to get back on track to graduate on time, with no record of discipline.
  • Helped an undergraduate client prevail against charges of sexual and physical assault brought against him under his school's Title IX policy. Our client was found not responsible for any violation of the school policy.
  • Won a preliminary injunction requiring a school re-admit a student it had expelled after failing to follow its own procedures in adjudicating a Title IX claim against him. 
  • Obtained numerous findings in Title IX proceedings in favor of clients who have been sexually assaulted on campus, resulting in the respondents' expulsions from their colleges. 
  • Obtained a finding in a Title IX proceeding in favor of our client, a student who was stalked for years by one of their classmates. 
  • Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction in a case where our teenage client was bullied by a former friend who then sued her for defamation and other torts for talking to friends about a falling out between them. 
  • Won an employment discrimination appeal at the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which upheld the jury verdict in a 2015 race discrimination and retaliation case and vacated the trial court's decision to reduce the jury's award of $10 million in punitive damages.
  • Won an employment discrimination appeal at the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which reversed the Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment on race discrimination and retaliation claims and allowed the client to take his failure to promote and retaliation case to trial.
  • Won an appeal from the entry of an abuse prevention order at the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
  • Won a Supreme Judicial Court case holding that our client, an individual sentenced while a juvenile for a second-degree murder and other crimes, was entitled to a hearing to consider the constitutionality of his sentence, and if necessary, to resentencing. 
  • Won an employment appeal at the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which reversed the Superior Court's grant of summary judgement on a race-based pay discrimination claim and therefore allowed us to reach a favorable settlement for our client. 
Civil Litigation
  • Defeated a motion to dismiss a case against Harvard University, which was brought on behalf of sororities challenging Harvard's policy punishing sorority membership. The Court concluded that the clients' gender discrimination and freedom of association claims should proceed to discovery.
  • Settled a First Amendment case brought by a local news reporter who was banned from a regional airport after attending a public meeting and asking questions about the airport's development plans. A concurrent investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office found that the airport had violated the open meeting law by banning the reporter. Pursuant to the settlement, the airport rescinded the no-trespass order against the client in addition to providing compensation.
  • Reached an $8 million settlement, after the jury was selected but before the opening statements, on behalf of a client who was seriously injured in a scaffolding accident on a construction worksite.
  • Won an arbitration award, including valuable real estate and a six-figure monetary award, for a client who was in a longstanding contract dispute with his partner over a joint venture agreement to renovate and develop condominium units in the Boston area.
  • Secured a favorable jury verdict for a client in a complex negligence case.
Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent - Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence 2020
Recognized by Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms
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 to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
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.