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Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has chosen Naomi Shatz as an Up and Coming Lawyer honoree as part of its 2018 Excellence in the Law event. The award celebrates rising stars in the legal community who have practiced for 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in their firm and practice. On May 10, 2018, Shatz and her fellow honorees will be recognized at the 2018 Excellence in the Law event in Boston.

At Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, Shatz focuses on students’ rights, university discipline, and employee rights. She represents high school, college, and graduate students involved in disciplinary proceedings regarding claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and academic misconduct, and represents clients in criminal cases and employment matters. In 2016 and 2017 Shatz was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

Prior to joining Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, Naomi was first a Skadden Fellow and then a staff attorney with Legal Momentum and New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), where she litigated civil rights cases on behalf of middle and high school students.

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ZDB’s Monica Shah and Emma Quinn-Judge filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Cato Institute and The Center on Administration of Criminal Law in CPCS v. Attorney General, a case involving egregious prosecutorial misconduct arising from chemist Sonja Farak’s mishandling of thousands of drug samples at the Amherst Drug Laboratory.  The brief supports the Petitioners’ request that the SJC remedy the systemic and widespread injustice arising from prosecutors’ failure to disclose exculpatory evidence, fraudulent statements to the courts, and failure to identify and notify thousands of wrongly convicted individuals by dismissing the convictions of all defendants whose samples were processed by the lab during Farak’s time and issuing monetary sanctions against the Attorney General’s Office and District Attorney’s Offices.  The brief also argues for the prevention of future prosecutorial misconduct against other defendants by ensuring that judges proactively hold prosecutors accountable through clearly defined Brady standing orders, strong sanctions for noncompliance, and mandatory reporting to disciplinary boards.  Read more about the case and download the full amicus brief here: https://www.cato.org/publications/legal-briefs/committee-public-counsel-services-v-attorney-general-massachusetts-mass

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Zalkind Law partner Ruth O’Meara-Costello spoke yesterday, February 8, on the first Bench Meets Bar panel at Boston University School of Law. Along with judges and other attorneys, Ruth discussed an array of current legal topics and gave advice to aspiring attorneys. Zalkind Law is pleased to support and take part in BU Law’s exciting series of panels and networking events. 

Bench-Meets-Bar

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This week, Zalkind Law’s David Duncan and David Russcol secured an acquittal on all charges for a university student criminally charged with sexual assault and domestic violence. Our client was charged with one count of indecent assault and battery and one count of assault and battery on a family or household member. If convicted, he faced a maximum penalty of two and a half years in the house of correction on each count, registration as a sex offender, and serious immigration consequences. However, after a two-day trial, the jury unanimously found him not guilty on both counts. We also represented the student during a university Title IX investigation into the same incident, after which he was allowed to remain as a student and continue his studies.

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ZALKIND DUNCAN & BERNSTEIN LLP, a premier Boston criminal defense and civil litigation firm, seeks an associate to start in fall 2018 or sooner.  This progressive 11-lawyer law firm has an interesting and dynamic federal and state court practice, at both the trial and appellate levels.  Our criminal cases encompass 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, as well as general civil litigation.  We also have an active practice representing students, faculty, and other employees accused of misconduct or facing discrimination at colleges and universities (including in Title IX proceedings).

We are looking for an entry-level associate (0-2 years of experience) with excellent research, analytical, and writing skills.  Judicial clerkship a plus.  Excellent benefits.  More information about our firm can be found on our website: http://www.zalkindlaw.com.

Interested applicants should send their resume, law school transcript, writing sample (5-10 pages in length), and a cover letter to Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP, 65a Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110, attn: Associate Hiring, or e-mail them to resume@zalkindlaw.com with “application for associate position” in the subject line.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted no later than January 15, 2018. Applicants available to start before fall 2018 should include potential start dates in their cover letters.

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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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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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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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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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