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


On March 18, 2024, a Superior Court judge denied Harvard’s motion to dismiss a case brought by Zalkind Law attorneys David Russcol and Harvey Silverglate and co-counsel Ruth O’Meara-Costello. In the suit, Plaintiff Benjamin Edelman, a former tenure-track faculty member at Harvard Business School, alleges that Harvard mishandled an inquiry into Prof. Edelman’s conduct and he was not granted tenure as a result. Among other things, Prof. Edelman alleges that Harvard initiated a Faculty Review Board process when it was not needed, did not provide him with evidence that was used against him, and employed a flawed process that ultimately damaged his reputation. Zalkind Law brought claims of breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and promissory estoppel based on Harvard’s failure to follow its established procedures, biased practices, and conflicts of interest by the Faculty Review Board.


On Monday, October 30, 2023, Attorney Brian Bixby filed a discrimination and retaliation complaint against Burns & Levinson LLP, the firm where he works and where he served as a longtime Chair of the Private Client Group.

Mr. Bixby is a highly regarded and experienced estate and fiduciary litigation attorney. Although he had served as a Chair of the Private Client Group for many years, in July of 2020, the Burns & Levinson Managing Partner decided “it was time” for Mr. Bixby to be replaced by a younger partner. At the meeting where this was discussed, one member of the Firm’s Executive Committee speculated that Mr. Bixby “fears approaching retirement.” Despite the fact that he objected to being removed from this role, which he rightly viewed as a demotion, the Firm announced, falsely, that Mr. Bixby was “stepping down” as practice group chair.

Mr. Bixby tried to address his concerns internally. When that failed and the Firm learned that he would bring a complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Firm said that it was “really not going to be good” for him if he did that and that “it really [was] folly to go down that path.” Since Mr. Bixby filed at the MCAD, the firm has retaliated in several ways, financially and otherwise.



Zalkind Law is proud to announce that Monica Shah has been named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® for her work in Employment Law – Individuals in Boston. Congratulations to Monica for her great achievement!


“Lawyer of the Year” honors are awarded annually to only one lawyer per practice area in each region with extremely high overall feedback from their peers, making it an exceptional distinction.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Awards Zalkind Law inaugural “Empowering Women” Award. As the publication writes, “Supporting women is not just a top priority at Boston’s Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein. It serves as the 13-lawyer firm’s core identity.” This award highlights the firm’s unique makeup as a women-owned, majority-women firm, as well as the work we have done for decades to advance women’s rights in the workplace and in academics. Read more here:

We are pleased to announce that seven of our attorneys have been selected to Boston Magazine’s List of Top Lawyers of 2022.

According to Boston Magazine, “to compile this extensive guide, Boston magazine (in partnership with DataJoe Research) invited lawyers in the area to nominate up to three of their peers in a select number of specialties. The top vote-getters in each specialty were then reviewed by an advisory board of select lawyers, chosen for their credentials and the high number of votes they received. Sort by name, town, or specialty to find the pro you need, and then let them do the hard work.”

Please join us in congratulating the following attorneys who have been selected as Top Lawyers in 2022!

We are pleased to announce that eight of our attorneys have been selected to the 2022 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list. We would also like to congratulate three of our attorneys for being selected to the 2022 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!

We are pleased to announce that six of our attorneys have been selected to the Top Lawyers of 2021 list published by Boston Magazine. Boston Magazine invites lawyers in the area to nominate up to three of their peers in a select number of specialties. The top vote-getters in each specialty are then reviewed by an advisory board of select lawyers, chosen for their credentials and the high number of votes they received. Please join us in congratulating the following attorneys who have been selected as Top Lawyers this year.


Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP is proud to announce that Attorneys Inga Bernstein, David Duncan, Ruth O’Meara-Costello, Emma Quinn-Judge, Monica Shah, Naomi Shatz, Rachel Stroup, and Norman Zalkind are listed in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. They were recognized for their work in Criminal Defense: General Practice, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Employment Law – Individuals, Education Law, and Litigation – Labor and Employment. 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!

ZALKIND DUNCAN & BERNSTEIN LLP, a premier Boston criminal defense and civil litigation boutique, seeks an associate to start in fall 2020 or sooner. This progressive 12-lawyer law firm has a dynamic federal and state court practice, at both the trial and appellate levels. Our criminal practice includes crimes of violence, fraud and drug offenses, white collar crimes, and other felonies and misdemeanors. Our civil practice consists primarily of plaintiff-side employment matters, including discrimination cases, and representing students, faculty, and other employees accused of misconduct or facing discrimination at colleges and universities (including in Title IX proceedings). We also have a general civil litigation and complex motions practice.

We are looking for an associate with 1-2 years of experience and excellent research, analytical, and writing skills. Judicial clerkship a plus. Excellent benefits. More information about our firm can be found on our website:

Interested applicants should send their resume, law school transcript, writing sample (preferably 5-10 pages long, showing writing that has not been substantially edited or revised by anyone other than the author), and a cover letter to Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, 65a Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110, attn: Associate Hiring, or e-mail these items to with “application for associate position” in the subject line.  Applicants who are available to begin employment before fall 2020 should include such information in their cover letters. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted no later than January 31, 2020.

On March 25, 2019, Monica Shah presented a session on criminal law and students’ rights at the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston’s award-winning “Know Your Rights!” program at the Waltham Public Library.  Through this program, SABA GB empowers South Asian community leaders in Massachusetts on topics ranging from criminal law to employment law, bankruptcy, consumer protection, immigration, and elder care. Learn more about SABA GB and the KYR program here:

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