News + Insights from the Legal Team at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein


Inga Bernstein has filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court seeking review of the career offender provision of the United States Sentencing Guideline in a case which, if decided in her client’s favor, would have wide-sweeping ramifications for the thousands of people sentenced as career offenders each year and for the deference due to the Sentencing Commission’s Guideline commentary more generally.

Inga Bernstein 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 Inga is pursuing on his behalf.

IngaThis year, Attorney Inga Bernstein is being recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers (link to the full list) and one of the Top 100 Lawyers (link to the full list) in Massachusetts. Inga has received recognitions from Super Lawyers since 2004. Click here (link to bio) to read more about her practice.

We are pleased to announce that seven of our attorneys have been selected to the 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list. We would also like to congratulate four of our attorneys for being selected to the 2020 Massachusetts Rising Stars list.

Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Only up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

Please join us in congratulating the following attorneys who have been selected as “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” this year.

Bernstein-headshot-horizontalAttorney Inga Bernstein received the 2020 Top Women of Law award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The award recognizes women lawyers who are “pioneers, educators, trailblazers and role models.” Click here to see a full list of the 2020 recipients.

Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP is proud to announce that Attorneys Inga Bernstein, David Duncan, Elizabeth Lunt, Ruth O’Meara-Costello, Emma Quinn-Judge, Monica Shah, Rachel Stroup, and Norman Zalkind are listed in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession and rates attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. Congratulations to all!

Inga Bernstein won a major victory for a client charged with strangulation and assault on a family member after a pretrial evidentiary hearing.  She defeated the prosecutors’ attempt to use the statements a non-testifying alleged victim made to police investigators.  All charges have been dropped.


As a top-rated attorney in the state, Partner Inga Bernstein has been recognized by the Super Lawyers list since 2004. This year, she was selected for both the prestigious Top 50 Women Lawyers and the Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts Lists. Read Inga’s bio here to learn more about her practice. To view the Top 50 list, click here. To view the Top 100 list, click here.

Bernstein-headshot-horizontalPartner Inga Bernstein argued today before the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit about an important issue regarding the Career Offender provision of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that has divided the federal courts of appeal and is actively being litigated in several circuits. Specifically, she argued that the crime of conspiracy to commit a drug offense does not trigger the Career Offender provision, notwithstanding interpretive commentary from the Sentencing Commission that says otherwise because the language of the Guideline is unambiguous and does not includes such crimes.  Rejection of the commentary in this instance is dictated by the Supreme Court’s June decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, which set clear limits on the deference that can be afforded to agencies interpreting their regulations.  A decision in this case will have far reaching ramifications for many people impacted by the career offender guideline.

The audio recording of the oral argument can be heard here.

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