Articles Posted in Recent News

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ZDB is proud to announce that the firm has been named in US News’ “Best Law Firms” for yet another year! This 2018 accolade ranks the firm as Metro Tier 1 in three separate categories: Criminal Defense – Non-White Collar, Criminal Defense – White Collar, and Employment – Individuals.

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Zalkind Law’s Attorney David Russcol clarifies the myriad of misunderstandings surrounding the latest Title IX news. He makes sense of Betsy Devos’s “retreat” on Title IX – which is just the start of a process – and dispels some fears around what the future of Title IX might look like. Though DeVos has withdrawn the Dear Colleague Letter, she has not indicated what she intends to replace it with. Russcol offers some thoughts on the rulemaking process going forward, and encourages us to think of this as an opportunity to make things better for both accused students and those who have suffered from sexual misconduct. Read the article here.

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Zalkind Law’s Ruth O’Meara-Costello was quoted in the Boston Globe’s article regarding a recent lawsuit filed against the US Department of Education over interim policy guidance for Title IX cases. Read the article and Attorney O’Meara-Costello’s thoughts here.

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We are pleased to announce that five of our attorneys have been selected to the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers List. We would also like to congratulate four of our attorneys for being selected to the 2017 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.

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Vox.com interviews ZDB Attorney Naomi Shatz on new Title IX guidelines. Shatz praises elements of the new guidelines that provide more clarity and transparency to students, but notes there is still work to be done to ensure that schools adequately address hostile environments while respecting the rights of accused students. Read the full story here.

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The WBA panel on Campus Sexual Assault will bring university administrators and legal professional together to provide their perspectives on issues related to campus response to sexual assault and harassment.  These matters have recently taken on new found significance with the Department of Education and Betsy Devos’s announcement regarding the rollback of Obama-era guidance that led to increased enforcement under Title IX.  Monica Shah will provide insight on her broad experiences representing both complainants and respondents in Title IX matters, including both students and faculty members. Learn more about the event and register here.

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Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was rescinding its 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence and its 2014 Questions and Answers on Sexual Violence, and issued a Questions and Answers on Campus Sexual Misconduct while noting that it intends to engage in formal rule-making on the topic. Attorney Naomi Shatz spoke to Inside Higher Ed about the interim regulations. The article can be found here.

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Last week, Education Secretary Betsy Devos announced she would be revisiting Title IX guidance for colleges and universities. Attorneys O’Meara-Costello and Shatz spoke to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly about their experience representing complainants and accused students under current campus Title IX procedures, and reflect on what changes these proposed revisions may bring. Read the article here.

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Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP is proud to announce that Attorneys Norman Zalkind, David Duncan, Inga Bernstein, and Emma Quinn-Judge are listed in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Additionally, Inga S. Bernstein has been selected as Best Lawyers’ 2018 Boston Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year.” Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is being honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” 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. In addition to this year’s recognition, Ms. Bernstein has been listed in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2007 for both criminal defense and employment law. Congratulations to all!

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In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, the SJC today affirmed that Massachusetts employees who use medical marijuana under state law to treat medical conditions are entitled to employment protections under state law governing disability discrimination. Zalkind Law’s David Russcol, along with Chetan Tiwari, submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association and a coalition of advocacy groups for individual rights, people with disabilities, and other affected groups. Matthew Fogelman and Adam Fine represented the plaintiff and made a strong case at oral argument. Based on the arguments presented, the SJC took a step no other state high court has taken, finding employment protections for medical marijuana users when those protections are not spelled out in the medical marijuana law itself. As a result of Barbuto, employees cannot be penalized or fired for their off-site use of medical marijuana unless an employer meets the high burden of showing that an accommodation would be an undue burden on the employer. A zero-tolerance policy for a positive drug test no longer gives an employer in Massachusetts an unqualified excuse for adverse actions.

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